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Prep football: Jays fly by Worthington

Worthington Trojans quarterback Tucker Sorenson (1) listens to head coach Brad Grimmius before beginning an offensive series Friday against Waseca. DOUG WOLTER/DAILY GLOBE 1 / 2
DOUG WOLTER/DAILY GLOBE Few things went right for the Worthington Trojans in the first half of Friday’s high school football clash against Waseca. But on this play, WHS’ Johnny Murillo made a big play by recovering a Bluejay fumble and running with it.2 / 2

WORTHINGTON — Waseca didn’t miss a beat after losing 27 seniors from a 2013 team that went 9-1.

Worthington found that out the hard way Friday when the Bluejays came in and spoiled the Trojans’ home opener by handing them a 47-0 Big South Conference loss. Waseca finished the game with 432 yards of total offense while the Trojans managed only 68 — 58 of which came in the first half.

“Waseca, coming in we knew they were tough,” Worthington coach Brad Grimmius said. “They were 9-1 last year before they were knocked off by the eventual state champion. I thought we started off OK but then we made a couple mental errors that put us in a hole. We put the ball on the ground too much and you can’t do that against a good ballclub. But I take nothing away from Waseca because they’re going to be a darn good team again this year. They’ve got athletes and tonight their athletes made more plays than our athletes.”

The Trojans’ offense came out looking solid, picking up 27 yards and a pair of first downs on its opening possession. The drive stalled in Waseca territory, however, and the home team was forced to punt. On the opening play of their first offensive possession, Bluejay senior Brady Bomsta broke a couple Worthington tackles and was off to the races. He dashed 80 yards for a quick touchdown. Dylan Hermanstorfer made the extra point and the Bluejays were on top 7-0 with 8:05 left in the first.

Bomsta scored his second of four touchdowns on the evening just a little more than four minutes later when, on a fourth-down play, he walked into the end zone for a 10-yard score. At the end of the first, Worthington was looking at a 14-0 deficit.

The Trojans got a spark on the first play of the second quarter. Waseca had driven deep into their territory when Zach Bruns forced a fumble and Johnny Murillo was there to pounce on it. Two plays later, however, Waseca’s Nick Buchele picked off a Worthington pass for the first of four Trojan turnovers in the first half. It didn’t take long before Bomsta caught a screen pass from Issac Highum and shot down the left sideline for a 42-yard touchdown pass, extending Waseca’s lead to 21-0.

The Bluejays added a 35-yard touchdown pass to Daniel Stroda and a 1-yard touchdown run by Bomsta — both after Worthington turnovers — to take a 34-0 lead into halftime.

Grimmius said much of his team’s problem on defense was an inability to bring down opposing ballcarriers.

“In these first two games we haven’t tackled,” he said. “You’ve gotta make tackles.”

The Trojans nearly picked up a big first down on their first offensive chance in the second half when, on 4 th-and-8 play, punter Nathan Russell took off on a sweep to the left on a fake. He was knocked out of bounds just one yard shy of the marker, however, and the drive ended on downs. Waseca responded with a 15-yard touchdown run by Josiah Frye to make it 41-0 midway through the third. Nick Dufault added one last score with 2:31 in the quarter when he broke a 45-yard touchdown run up the middle.

Worthington gained all 68 of its yards on the ground. Robert Lovan led the way with 50 yards on 16 carries despite having to leave the game after his first carry of the second half.

“We know Robert runs the ball really hard,” Grimmius said. “Right now we’re fighting cramps with him and that was the case last year as well. We’re trying everything under the sun to try and alleviate that. Good things happen to guys that work hard.”

Troy Ektnitphong added 10 yards rushing on five totes. Quarterbacks Tucker Sorenson and Vince Riley were a combined 0-for-8 with two interceptions through the air.

The Bluejays finished the game with 260 yards rushing on 36 carries along with 172 yards through the air. Bomsta finished the game with 98 yards and three touchdowns on six carries to lead the attack. Highum was 11-for-20 passing with Bomsta making three receptions for 44 yards and a score. Stroda had two catches for 43 yards and a touchdown with J.P. Eykyn adding 41 yards on three grabs.

Worthington (0-2 overall, 0-2 Big South) will try to get things turned around at 7 p.m. Friday in its Homecoming game against New Ulm.

“I told the kids at halftime, ‘We’ve gotta have fun,” Grimmius said. “All schemes — offense or defense — are made to work but if you’re not having fun that’s not going to happen. The bottom line is, we have to go out there and act like little kids who just love playing the game again.”

Waseca 14 20 13 0 — 47

Worthington 0 0 0 0 — 0

Zach Hacker

Zach is the Daily Globe sports reporter. He has previously been a sports editor at both the Waseca County News in Waseca, Minn., and The Emporia Gazette in Emporia, Kansas. He is originally from New Richland, Minn., and now lives in Worthington with his dog; a beagle-corgi mix named Homer. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with family and friends, pontooning on St. Olaf Lake and watching professional and collegiate sports.

(507) 376-7335