TROJANS FOOTBALL: Arrows pierce TrojansWORTHINGTON —Scoring in a variety of ways at Trojan Field Friday night, the visiting Pipestone Area Arrows dominated the second quarter of Worthington High School’s Homecoming football game and claimed a decisive 41-0 Southwest Conference victory and improved to 3-0 for the season.
By: Les Knutson, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON —Scoring in a variety of ways at Trojan Field Friday night, the visiting Pipestone Area Arrows dominated the second quarter of Worthington High School’s Homecoming football game and claimed a decisive 41-0 Southwest Conference victory and improved to 3-0 for the season.
After scoring just once in the first quarter, the Arrows put 28 points on the board in an explosive 12 minutes of action before halftime, building a 34-0 advantage at intermission.
“We’re playing pretty well,” said PA head coach Troy Bouman, who credited his experienced staff of assistant coaches and an ever-improving offensive line with much of the Arrows’ success. “Our line is communicating as a group and doing the job opening holes for our backs, who are running the ball hard.”
Brady Bos, a 5-9, 170-pound junior, found the seams through those blocks numerous times and gained lots of yardage with bruising second-effort rushes, which included a trio of touchdown bursts.
Bos rambled 37 yards on a well-executed screen pass midway through the first quarter — setting up the Arrows’ first touchdown — and finished the game with 129 yards rushing on 18 carries.
Senior quarterback Jacob Derby (5-11, 180), who missed most of last season after being injured during PA’s Game 3 loss to Worthington (34-0) at Pipestone’s Paulsen Field, had a fine all-around game Friday as a passer, runner and kicker.
In less than three quarters of action, Derby completed seven-of-14 passes for 110 yards, rushed seven times for 20 yards, booted three extra-point, had a pair of nice punts and came up with a key fumble recovery after one of Worthington’s best runs of the game.
Derby capped PA’s six-play, 60-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown sneak with 2:26 left in the first quarter.
“He’s a good all-around player and we’re glad he’s back,” summed up Bouman about his versatile signal caller. “We’re playing with a lot of confidence and getting contributions from lots of guys.”
Senior running back Alex Ossefoort (5-7, 150) certainly made his share of contributions as he caught four passes for 42 yards — including a 29-yard touchdown reception — and rushed for a nine-yard touchdown.
Late in the game, junior running back Walker Kor (6-0, 170) picked up a pair of big gains on the ground and finished with 37 yards on six rushes.
As a team, the Arrows ground out 196 yards rushing on 35 attempts.
Worthington, meanwhile, was unable to sustain any consistent offensive, as the Trojans were forced to punt five times and had two passes intercepted.
For the game, WHS gained only five net yards in 28 rushing attempts as 63 positive yards were offset by 58 yards of negative yardage.
“We need to block and tackle better,” summed up Trojans’ head coach Brad Grimmius. “We work on those two fundamentals for an hour in different drills during practice each day. But it needs to click in the games.”
The Trojans did complete their first pass of the season and, in fact, finished five-of-11 passing for 57 yards.
Junior quarterback Blake Schroeder was five-of-seven for all of those yards, including a 22-yard strike to sophomore tight end Will Mulder down the left sideline late in the game.
Earlier on the same drive, Schroeder fired a 16-yard completion to sophomore Jaron Sternke over the middle for a Trojan first down.
Sophomore Troy Ektnitphong caught a pair of passes, including a 12-yard gain along the right sideline in the third quarter.
But, as happened several times during the game, the Trojans misfired — fumbling the snap and losing the ball on the next play.
Junior running back Jesse Guerra, who gained 35 yards on eight carries, picked up an apparent first down on a hard 11-yard gain in the second quarter, but his fumble at the end of the run was recovered by Derby.
“We had some nice gains and then fumbled,” exclaimed Grimmius. “We can’t shoot ourselves in the foot after we do something good. We need to develop more consistency to keep drives going.”
The Trojans (0-3, 0-2) have not scored since the fourth quarter of the season-opening Fairmont game two weeks ago.
Arrows break game open with four second-quarter touchdowns
After neither team generated much offense on their opening drives, Bos burst loose on his screen run to the Worthington 15-yard line.
Two plays later, Bos carried the ball to the one and then Derby crossed the goal line on his sneak, putting the Arrows up 6-0.
On the second play of the second quarter, Derby rolled to his left and pitched a perfect lead pass to a wide open Ossefoort — along the left sideline — for a 29-yard scoring play.
The PAT kick by Trav Thomssen made the score 13-0 with 11:44 to play in the first half.
Derby’s fumble recovery led to PA’s third touchdown drive, which was capped by Ossefoort’s tackle-breaking nine-yard scamper.
Derby’s PAT kick increased the Arrows’ lead to 20-0 at the 8:47 mark of the second quarter.
A tremendous catch — along the left sideline by PA’s — Josh Mabon for a 27-yard gain was the key play of that drive.
On Worthington’s next possession —following a nice kick return (18 yards) by Guerra —PA senior linebacker Austin Appel intercepted a Trojan pass and returned the ball 15 yards, setting the Arrows up at the WHS 20-yard line.
On the their first play —following the interception return — the Arrows spread two receivers to the left side and then Bos bolted through a wide-open hole to that side for a 20-yard touchdown run.
Derby’s kick widened the gap to 27-0 with 8:24 showing on the second-quarter clock.
The Arrows scored once more before the half ended, aided by a pair of first-down runs by Derby, who stayed on his feet remarkably well on one of those runs.
A fumble recovery advancement by junior offensive tackle Michael Giangrande helped sustain the drive.
Following a pass interference penalty on the Trojans, Bos surged through the left side of the Arrows’ line for a 12-yard touchdown run and Derby’s PAT kick made the score 34-0 with 54 seconds to play in the first half.
The only scoring of the second half came on a well-executed play by the Arrows with 4:51 left in the third quarter.
Derby faked the ball to Ossefoort, cutting to his right, and then handed the ball to Bos — who darted 21 yards untouched through a big hole for the Arrows sixth touchdown of the game.
Thomssen’s perfect PAT kick completed the game’s scoring.
Worthington picked up several first downs in the fourth quarter, including the two pass plays from Schoeder to Sternke and Mulder, respectively.
Marcus Potter and Zack Palmer each had a pair of nice rushes during that final Trojan drive, which stalled out at the Arrows’ 23-yard line —after a sack by PA’s Collin Mueller and an incomplete pass.
PA's Gunnar Manderscheid, a rugged 5-8, 215-pound senior linebacker, recorded a pair of key sacks for the Arrows, who effectively thwarted Worthington's offense throughout the game.
The Arrows will host rival Luverne (3-0, 2-0) in the annual "Battle of the Axe" game Friday, while the Trojans travel to Windom (0-3, 0-1) tangle with the Eagles.
PA 6 28 7 0 — 41
WGTN 0 0 0 0 — 0