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Prep football: Trojans man up, but Marshall prevails

BY AARON HAGEN The Globe WORTHINGTON -- Head coach Gene Lais knew his Worthington football team was up against a tough Marshall team in Friday's home opener. And while the Trojans had their opportunities at times against the Tigers, Marshall came...

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Worthington Trojans Turner Rogers (44) contends with Marshall's Josh Deines (27) to scoops up the ball Friday night after the Tigers fumbled a punt return. (Tim Middagh/The Globe)

BY AARON HAGEN

The Globe

WORTHINGTON -- Head coach Gene Lais knew his Worthington football team was up against a tough Marshall team in Friday’s home opener.

And while the Trojans had their opportunities at times against the Tigers, Marshall came away with a 56-0 victory.

“We knew they were a good team,” Lais said. “They are probably going to be in the final four in Class 4A in all likelihood. Our whole message all week was we’re not going to back down from any challenge. I don’t think the score was necessarily indicative of how we played defensively with how much we competed.”

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For the Tigers, quarterback Trey Lance spearheaded the attack. He threw for 226 yards and two touchdowns and added two rushing scores.

Lance and wide receiver Nick Klaith had a connection all night as the senior wideout had six receptions for 103 yards and both scores.

“It was a good night,” Klaith said. “I have a good quarterback who throws the ball right to me. So I know I can catch it every time. It was a little shaky at first, but it got better as the game went on. I don’t think we came out ready to play. We just didn’t have our heads in it. Coach told us we needed to get going. Everyone started picking each other up and turned it around.”

Tight end Jake Hess added three receptions for 104 yards.

“Nick and the tight ends had a great game tonight,” Lance said. “Nick’s been having a couple of great games the last couple. Upfront, I have all the time in the world. The linemen did a great job tonight. I have to give them some love, they are always working hard.”

Marshall, which hasn’t given up a point so far this season, nearly saw that streak come to an end in the first quarter.

After a muffed punt, WHS had the ball on the Marshall 19. The Trojans moved the ball to the 2, but the drive stalled.

“We have to man up and be tough enough to get one yard sometimes, too,” Lais said. “They know we’re going to run ISO out of the wishbone, we just have to be tough enough to get there. I think our kids grew up a little bit tonight. We got a little more physical, tough and battled. That was fun to see.”

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Marshall took over, and on the second play of the drive, fumbled back to Worthington. With first and goal and on the 2 again, the Trojans ran for no yards, and then fumbled it back to the Tigers.

“We started slow,” Lance said. “I had a dumb play on a punt return and put our defense in a bad spot, but our defense really played well tonight and held them to zero points. After that, we kind of got rolling in the pass game.”

Marshall then went on a 98-yard drive as Jefferson Lee V scored his second touchdown of the game to give the Tigers a 21-0 lead.

Lance, who scored the game’s second touchdown on a 12-yard keeper and later had an 11-yard touchdown run, threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Klaith -- who found room in double coverage -- for the game’s fourth score.

A Klaith interception set up another Lance-to-Klaith touchdown as the Tigers led 35-0 at halftime. Lee finished with 205 yards rushing and three touchdowns had a 50-yard touchdown run in the second half.

“It’s hard to say in a 56-0 game you played well defensively, but I think we played pretty good defensively. We were in the right spots, we were pretty physical. We’ll come out of this and learn to be better,” Lais said. “I didn’t think I’d feel very good after this game and I still don’t feel real good, but I was really proud of the way they competed. I think we did get better. When we look at the film, we’ll see we did some better stuff. We still need to finish.”

The Trojans are at St. Peter Friday.

Marshall 14 21 14 7 -- 56Worthington 0 0 0 0 -- 0

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Trojans Karter Honius (26) and Hunter Cam (71) bring down Marshall runner Gabe Raini (25). (Tim Middagh/The Globe)

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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