Prep football: Trojans dominate Pipestone Area
PIPESTONE — Offense and defense meshed into a perfect marriage for the Worthington Trojans Friday night in Pipestone.
Sustained drives, big third-down conversions, thrilling punt returns and success in both the running and passing games characterized the Trojans with the football. Add to that a smothering defense and the Trojans escaped from Pipestone Area’s homecoming with an impressive 26-0 victory.
Marcus Potter, who missed much of the 2013 season due to a nagging wrist injury, scored two touchdowns in the Trojans’ shutout. Quarterback Will Dudley, who was termed a “game time” decision this week due to a sore shoulder he’d been nursing, played and directed a consistent WHS attack and scored a touchdown of his own. Jessie Guerra, best known for his defense at safety, scored Worthington’s final touchdown with 9:12 left in the third quarter on his first carry of the night.
Everything that the Trojans threw at the Arrows, it seemed, worked.
Pipestone Area’s fine junior quarterback Boyer Bouman missed the bulk of last week’s 21-6 loss to Redwood Valley due to injury, and his status this week was uncertain. He played, but nothing he or his teammates attempted could budge the Trojans.
The victory was sweet for WHS, which was easily subdued on Oct. 4 by Southwest Conference rival Marshall, 33-7. But with Friday’s victory, WHS moved to 3-4 overall and 3-2 in the conference. The Trojans’ next and final regular season game will be Wednesday at Trojan Field against the conference leader, Jackson County Central.
With Friday’s loss, Pipestone Area fell to 3-5 overall and 2-4 in the conference.
“The guys put it all together tonight,” said Trojans head coach Brad Grimmius, who singled out his defensive coordinator Ron Vorwald and his special teams coach Staci Sauerbrei for getting players prepared on all levels.
“Our players were flying,” continued Grimmius. “What I really like about it was that the kids were having fun.”
Worthington opened the scoring early as Pipestone Area fumbled the opening kickoff. Capping a 29-yard drive, Potter —a 165-pound senior —scored on a six-yard carry. The point-after was missed, leaving WHS up 6-0.
Later in the first quarter, Worthington was back in business aided by a 25-yard Potter run. But a 45-yard field goal attempt by Will Mulder was wide left.
Not to be discouraged, Worthington threatened again on its next possession as running back Troy Ektnitphong rambled on a 25-yard run to the Arrows’ 25-yard line. Moments later, Dudley rolled left and cut back to the middle on a 24-yard score.
A two-point try came up short but Worthington led 12-0 with 11:50 remaining till halftime.
In their next possession, a big punt return from Guerra set WHS up at midfield. Ektnitphong reeled off a 14-yard run on first down and Dudley converted a fourth-and-short on a sneak. With 3:07 left before halftime, Potter scored on a one-yard sweep and the PAT was good, making it 19-0.
Worthington took the second half kickoff and moved toward another score. The big play in the drive was a 23-yard run by Robert Lovan and the 16-yard run by Guerra was his second of the night.
Final unofficial totals showed Worthington with 326 total yards, with 245 coming on the ground and 81 through the air. Pipestone Area had just 60 total yards, getting held to negative four on the ground and 64 with the pass.
Ektnitphong led WHS rushers with 88 carries on 15 attempts. Potter carried eight times for 58 yards and Lovan six for 39. Dudley completed seven of 11 passes for 81 yards with one interception and ran seven times for 30.
Worthington 6 13 7 0 — 26
PA 0 0 0 0 — 0