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Prep football: WHS opener a 51-21 loss to Jordan

JORDAN -- Hope springs eternal at the start of every high school football season, but the Worthington Trojans will have to go back to the drawing board after Friday's 51-21 season-opening loss on the road to the Jordan Hubmen.

JORDAN -- Hope springs eternal at the start of every high school football season, but the Worthington Trojans will have to go back to the drawing board after Friday’s 51-21 season-opening loss on the road to the Jordan Hubmen.

Jordan, led by the five-touchdown passing of senior quarterback Jonathan Draheim and a stifling defense, put 24 points on the board in the first half and 20 more in the second for a 44-0 halftime lead. That was too much for the Trojans to overcome.

Ironically, it was Worthington that had the first chance to score. Early in the first quarter, senior defensive end Tyler Linder stripped a Jordan ball carrier of the football in the backfield and recovered at the Hubmen’s 39-yard line.

A 20-yard field goal attempt by the Trojans’ Lay K Paw, however, was no good.

That’s when the Hubmen went to work. On the ensuing possession, Draheim hit teammate Ryan Samuelson for a long pass to the WHS 5-yard line. On the next play he found Ryan Friedges open for a touchdown toss. A 2-point conversion succeeded and with 6:53 remaining in the quarter, the score was 8-0.

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It became 16-0 less than three minutes later. The Hubmen, operating quickly following a Worthington punt, moved the ball again through the air. Tariq Smith scored the touchdown on a 1-yard run, and again the 2-point conversion succeeded.

After a Nathan Boneschans punt was blocked, Jordan set up again at the WHS 21. Later, on a third-and-goal situation inside the 1-yard line, the Hubmen ran it in for their third score. They again converted a 2-point conversion and it was 24-0.

Draheim threw his second, third and fourth TD passes of the game in the second quarter, the last one with just 39 seconds showing on the clock.

Throughout the first half, Worthington struggled to get its offense in gear. The Trojans made a few big plays defensively -- an Austin Svalland sack of Draheim in the first quarter, a Linder sack on a fourth-and-eight play late in the second quarter were among them. But the Hubmen weren’t held back for long. Draheim completed 21 of 24 passes for 272 yards in the half. Meanwhile, Worthington ran the football 19 times for only 33 yards, and second-year starting quarterback Logan Huisman passed for just six net yards.

“We had a lot of missed opportunities. In the first half we were our own worst enemy,” said Trojans head coach Gene Lais. “We had a missed assignment or missed play. All things that are correctable.”

The third quarter started well for Worthington, with a first down on Jordan’s 33-yard line after the Hubmen failed to get a first down after the second half kickoff. But the Trojans were unable to score, and Draheim responded with a 50-yard touchdown pass -- throwing across his body -- to Samuelson.

Determined to score, the Trojans did in the third stanza. Senior running back Ethan Pavelko got the tally on a 4-yard off tackle run. Paw added the extra point.

Immediately afterward, Jordan came out with its second team offense, and the Trojans’ defense stiffened. Early in the fourth quarter Worthington’s offense found the end zone a second time on a 7-yard pass from Huisman to senior Gavin Calmus, and the extra point was again good.

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Finally, on the last play of the game, sophomore reserve quarterback Will Brandner connected with junior Turner Rogers on a 9-yard touchdown pass, and Paw made good on the PAT.

The final score left the Trojans far short of Jordan, but it did end the game on a happier note for the visitors.

“Our kids did some good things in the second half,” Lais said. “No matter what the score, it’s only one loss.”

WHS will travel to play New Ulm next Friday.

Worthington 0 0 7 14 -- 21Jordan 24 20 7 0 -- 51

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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