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Prep football: Fairmont flies away from Trojans

FAIRMONT -- Senior quarterback Garrett Myren had a hand in three first half touchdowns and the Fairmont Cardinals dumped the visiting Worthington Trojans 36-6 in a high school football game Friday night.

FAIRMONT -- Senior quarterback Garrett Myren had a hand in three first half touchdowns and the Fairmont Cardinals dumped the visiting Worthington Trojans 36-6 in a high school football game Friday night.

A week after beating Belle Plaine on the road on a Reynaldo Paniagua field goal with just three seconds remaining in the game, Worthington faced a strong Cardinals team armed with a 4-1 record. The home team asserted its dominance early, mixing two safeties with four touchdowns on its way to a 29-0 halftime lead.

Fairmont threatened early in the first quarter by intercepting a pass from WHS quarterback Will Brandner and setting up at the Trojans’ 22-yard line. The Worthington defense held, however, on a fourth-and-goal play from the 3-yard line.

But on the Trojans’ first play from the 4-yard line, Brandner was sacked in the end zone for a safety.

Later in the quarter, the Cardinals scored again on the heels of a 57-yard Jordan Wolter run to the WHS 4. Myren found the end zone on a 4-yard keeper. FHS led 8-0 as the extra point was missed.

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The second safety of the first quarter came with 1:59 to go, and it occurred on the occasion of a blocked Austin Svalland punt. The loose ball was recovered by Worthington, but in the Trojans’ own end zone.

After the ensuing free kick, Fairmont scored its second touchdown with 38 seconds remaining in the quarter on a 15-yard screen pass from Myren to Wolter.

Still not satisfied, the Cardinals completed a 42-yard pass early in the second quarter off a fake punt. They scored on their next play, a 12-yard pass from Myren to Dustin Schultz.

With 1:29 before the half, Fairmont notched its fourth touchdown of the half on a 12-yard pick-six by Caden Baarts. Worthington had stopped the FHS offense on a fourth-and-goal pass at the 7-yard line moments earlier.

Worthington made more than a few solid defensive plays in the first half, including seven tackles for loss (Svalland had three). But the visitors rushed for just 31 yards in the first half while Brandner completed no passes in eight attempts.

It wasn’t all his fault. Worthington’s protection broke down often.

“I thought our defense played really well,” Trojans head coach Gene Lais said. “We put them in terrible spots all night. Honestly, though, we did absolutely nothing on offense.”

Fairmont scored again in the third quarter on a 13-yard pass from Myren to Blake Buntjer on a fourth-and-10 play.

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The Trojans’ offense perked up later as Svalland -- who already had four tackles for loss -- recovered a fumble at the WHS 48-yard line. A Brandner 32-yard pass to Lucas Boever moved the ball within scoring range, but a few plays later Fairmont took over on downs. No matter. Moments later, Boever intercepted a pass and returned it 23 yards to the endzone.

A 2-point conversion pass failed, but the Trojans were finally on the board.

Worthington, 2-4, will host Albert Lea next Friday. The team finished with a net-2 yards rushing, as Svalland led with 25 yards on four carries. The WHS passing game fared much better in the second half. Boever caught three aerials for 45 yards.

Fairmont gained 362 yards unofficially.

Worthington 0 0 0 6 -- 6Fairmont 16 13 7 0 -- 36

Doug Wolter joined the Worthington Globe in December of 1983 as a sports reporter. He later became sports editor, and then news editor and managing editor. In 2006 he moved to Mankato with his wife, Sandy, and served as an editor at the Mankato Free Press. In 2013 he and Sandy returned to Worthington to take up the job of sports editor at The Globe, and they have been in Worthington since.

Doug can be reached at dwolter@dglobe.com.
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