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St. Peter pulls away from Trojan gridders, 41-15

Worthington Trojans

ST. PETER -- Anxious to break into the win column in their final regular season football game of 2019, the Worthington Trojans lost to host St. Peter Wednesday night, 41-15.

Senior St. Peter quarterback Wyatt Olson threw four touchdown passes -- three to Ethan Grant -- as the Saints pulled away from a 12-0 halftime lead to extend it to 33-0 in the fourth quarter.

“We had a lot of penalties again, which hurt us,” said Trojans head coach Geno Lais. “We weren’t physical tonight, we weren’t as physical as we had been. And we had some mental breakdowns.”

St. Peter improved to 3-5 with the win. Worthington, 0-8, now awaits word on its first-round Section 3AAA opponent, which will likely be Luverne, at Luverne, on Tuesday.

The first quarter Wednesday was played mostly in the middle of the field and ended in a scoreless tie. The Trojans’ outlook appeared brighter on the final play of the quarter, however, when quarterback Will Brandner hit Tommy Lais on a 47-yard pass that reached deep into St. Peter territory.

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A few plays later, the Saints’ Jamarion Robinson intercepted a Brandner pass and returned it 70 yards for a touchdown. The extra point was no good, but the hosts led 6-0 with about 11 minutes to go before halftime.

“That was a big momentum changer. We were slow to recover after that,” Coach Lais said.

The Trojans moved the football to St. Peter’s 32-yard line on their next possession, aided by a facemask penalty. But they never got any closer and punted.

St. Peter moved from its own 28-yard line deep into Worthington’s side of the field, but a big stop by WHS lineman Kyle Mullaney seemed to halt the Saints’ progress. But on the next play, Olson connected 15 yards to Ethan Volk for a score. A 2-point conversion failed.

Both teams moved the ball well through the air. For the game, Olson completed 17 of 28 passes for 236 yards. Brandner completed 15-for-39 for 252 yards with two TDs.

In the third quarter, the Saints resorted mostly to running the football. But it was with a pass with two minutes showing on the clock that they used to pad their lead to 19-0 after Olson connected with Grant.

Less than a minute later, St. Peter tightened the screws as Olson connected to Grant for an 80-yard score. A 2-point conversion was successful, making the score 27-0.

Throughout the game, Worthington showed it could move the football. But St. Peter came up with the defensive stops when needed, and penalties hurt the Trojans, too.

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With 11:51 remaining in the fourth quarter, Olson and Grant hooked up for their third touchdown pass of the game, covering 10 yards. It came after a Brandner pass was intercepted. It was Olson’s 23rd TD pass of the season.

Finally, with 8:45 left in the game, WHS had something to show for a nifty drive. It came on a third-down play at the St. Peter 10 as Brandner connected with Lais. Brock Bruns passed to Bickett for the conversion.

Later, Brandner put the Trojans in scoring position again with a 42-yard pass to Bruns to the Saints’ 3-yard line. From there, he hit Bruns again for the TD. Reynaldo Paniagua booted the extra point.

Inside a minute to play, junior running back Nathan Fogal broke free on a 49-yard run to the WHS 1-yard line, then scored the final touchdown for the Saints on the next play.

Worthington 0 0 0 15 -- 15

St. Peter 0 12 15 14 -- 41

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