Arrows fly past Trojans, 7-0
PIPESTONE -- For the second week in a row, the Worthington Trojan football team was on the wrong end of a one-touchdown game.
In the Southwest Conference opener for both teams, the Pipestone Area (2-0) defense shut out the Trojans, 7-0, Friday night.
"It's very disappointing; I hate losing," Worthington head coach Dennis Hale said. "We never scored, but our defense played well. Actually, they played well for two weeks now and offensively we're just not getting the job done."
PA head coach Troy Bouman said the Arrows' defense was the difference in the game.
"I have to give our defense a lot of credit to shut that wide open offense down," Bouman said. "When you get people spread out you have to make wide open tackles in space. The kids on the field really worked hard and did the things we needed to do to pitch a shutout."
While the offense struggled for the Trojans (0-2) against the Arrows' defense, the Worthington defense held its own against a strong passing attack.
"Our defense stuck out in my mind," Worthington senior Tim Roos said. "Our defense stepped it up from the beginning."
The Trojans had an opportunity to score first early in the game.
Mike Vorwald led the Trojans down the field behind a 17-yard pass to Roos. Vorwald finished 6-14 with 51 yards and two interceptions.
Facing a second down on the PA 15, Adou Omot had a long run down inside the 5-yard line, but the play was called back because of a holding call.
"It was big," Hale said of the penalty. "It stopped maybe a scoring drive. We had a couple of guys wide open that we couldn't connect with so here we are losing again."
The Arrows' only scoring drive came in the first quarter. Taking over on their own 23, Sam Schneider ran for 16 of his 62 yards on the night to advance the ball to the 39.
Schneider and Austin Faber took turns moving the ball down the field until Schneider found pay dirt from 25 yards out.
After a successful PAT, PA held a 7-0 lead.
The Trojans fumbled the ensuing kickoff, giving the Arrows the ball on the Worthington 32.
The Arrow offense worked the ball all the way to the 1-yard line, but was facing a third and goal from the one. Doug Mead's quarterback sneak resulted in no yards, and Schneider lost four on the next play as the Trojan defense stopped the Arrow offense.
"Offensively, we got some points when we needed to, but we left some out there," Bouman said. "You have to give Worthington credit to come up with a fourth and goal in the second series to stop us. You have to give the Worthington defense a lot of credit for forcing some turnovers."
Roos said the defensive stop was a big momentum swing.
"We kept them to seven points and stopped them within the 10 three or four times," Roos said. "But we still held our own and that's something I'm proud of."
After turning the ball over on downs, the Trojans were once again on their heels.
The Arrows worked the ball down to the 8-yard line behind 61 yards passing from Mead.
"The inside man just kept coming in on a slant and we just couldn't get there quick enough on the slant," Roos said. "The slant has always been a good pass play wherever anyone plays. It's just something we have to work on during the week and improve on everyday."
Facing a fourth down, Bouman elected to send his field goal unit on to the field. The attempt was no good, leaving the score 7-0.
The Trojans stopped the Arrows again inside the 5-yard line in the third quarter.
After recovering a Trojan fumble, the Arrows worked the ball down to the 1-yard line. The Worthington defense forced a fumble and Vorwald recovered to keep the score 7-0.
Worthington's last chance for points came with 3:44 left in the game. The Trojans were able to move the ball down to the PA 30, but could not complete a fourth down pass to end the game.
"You can't ever accept a loss," Roos said. "As hard as everyone worked tonight, it's just hard to take. Some things you just have to swallow and you have to step up from that and just continue on."
The Trojans had just 214 yards on the night behind 62 yards on the ground from Roos and 92 yards on 8-of-15 passing from Kyle Vaske.
"We had zero points, so you can guess what I think about our offense," Hale said. "We gave up seven points. We should be winning if we give up seven. A week ago we gave up 12 and we should be averaging many more points offensively so it's been very frustrating."
The Arrows were led by Mead, who was 14-of-19 for 145 yards in the air.
"He (Mead) played really well and he's getting so much better and running the show and understanding what we want," Bouman said. "He throws a really nice ball."
Next week, the Arrows will face Luverne, and Bouman hopes the experience of winning a close game will help in the key conference showdown.
"For us, any win we get is huge, especially with the lack of experience that we have," Bouman said. "Any wins that we can pick up in close games are only going to help us get better."
The Trojans will be at home for the first time all year, as they host Windom.
"The kids are pretty resilient, so whether we won tonight or lost, we're going to play Windom next Friday and we're going to play at home," Hale said. "We haven't played at home yet, so that'll be exciting and hopefully we'll play better offensively than we have the last two games."
Hale has confidence that the team will bounce back next week.
"We just talked about that it wasn't a two-game season," Hale said. "They signed up for the full schedule and we're going to coach them for the full schedule and we're going to turn this thing around."