Some plays, but not enough for Trojans football team
WORTHINGTON -- For the Worthington football team, getting momentum hasn’t been an issue this season.
But sustaining it has.
The Trojans clawed their way back into Friday’s game against Jordan, but the Hubmen made big plays in key times to come away with a 39-12 victory.
“That’s kind of been the story of the year,” WHS head coach Gene Lais said. “Good things happen and all of a sudden, that one thing. That and missed opportunities. They are a good team, too. They made some plays. They had some playmakers.”
With the wind chill pushing the temperatures into the high teens at kickoff, and with a light snow falling to start the game, the conditions were less than idea for the passing games.
So the Trojans stuck to the ground game behind their offensive line and running back Emmett Bickett.
“Our o line was amazing tonight,” Lais said. “Knowing the conditions, getting after people, our o line and full back did a nice job blocking. We kind of adjusted at halftime on the fly a little bit knowing we weren't going to be able to throw the ball in the wind.”
Bickett finished with 125 yards on 33 attempts and a touchdown. His touchdown came following a fumble recovery by Worthington’s Tate Gaul. On the drive, the Trojans found a little energy and excitement while using a no-huddle attack. Bickett carried the ball eight times while running the same play repeatedly. The persistence paid off for a three-yard touchdown run.
“I think part of it came because we were running the ball and having a little success,” Lais said. “When you can run the ball and the o-line can kind of take over like that, the excitement builds and you can kind of build on that. The energy builds. That’s fun. As an old o-linemen, that’s what football is about.
“It’s a sign of how good we can be at times and how talented we can be.”
The WHS defense forced a punt on the ensuing possession. A Jordan player went to down the punt, but only touched the ball and left it on the field. Worthington’s Kipton Jenson then picked up the ball and ran in for a 30-yard touchdown, cutting the Jordan lead to 19-12, and giving Worthington the momentum.
“It’s that realization of the players knowing they can win,” WHS assistant coach Jake Ludemann said. “For so long, they felt like they haven’t been able to do it. When you see that little bit of success, they finally realize, ‘hey, we can do it.’ Then it goes and goes. Then something happens and it disappears.”
And something did happen that killed the momentum. On the ensuing kickoff, Jordan’s Ryan Samuelson returned the kick 89 yards for a touchdown.
The Hubmen scored on a wide receiver pass and a 42-yard touchdown strike from Noah Milhouse to Thomas Dietel in the fourth quarter to pull away.
“Our record doesn’t show it, but I still think we’re a good football team,” Lais said. “One of the things is the character of these guys. They got beat tonight and they had a lot of disappointment on the field, they are still in here enjoying each other. They enjoy being around each other in practice, they enjoy doing stuff with each other, they enjoy being a family.”
The Trojans end their regular season Wednesday in St. Peter.
Jordan 6 13 6 14 -- 39
Worthington 0 0 12 0 -- 12