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Trojan gridders keep improving despite 0-4 start

Worthington Trojans

WORTHINGTON -- The Worthington High School football team is heading into a tough stretch in the schedule this week, but in spite of the fact that the winless Trojans were unable to capture two winnable games over the last two weeks, head coach Gene Lais says his players are improving every day.

“You would never guess when they come to practice that we’re 0 and 4,” Lais said.

On Friday, the Trojans go on the road to play 3-1 Waseca, a team whose only loss was to Fairmont (20-14). Last week the Bluejays beat a previously unbeaten Jordan squad, 42-39.

Worthington lost its last two games 12-0 to Sibley East and 26-22 to New Ulm.

“They’re looking forward to a challenge and to see how much we’ve improved,” Lais said on Tuesday.

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The team, he said, has maintained its effort. Players are better with their assignments, and they’re learning better how to adjust to specific opponents. Members of the scout team, for instance, are doing whatever they’re asked in practice.

On the field, said Lais, the Trojans are getting better at their tackling, better at their blocking.

Fans are noticing that quarterback Will Brandner, a strong-armed, smooth-throwing signal caller, and his receivers are developing a better feel for each other.

In Waseca, Worthington will face a solid team. Lais describes the Bluejays as tough and physical. They return several good players in the line and at linebacker positions. They have some big-play players on offense, including Ryan Dufault, who rushed 28 times for 159 yards against Jordan while scoring the winning touchdown with 2:21 remaining on a 62-yard romp.

Meanwhile, the Trojans, said Lais, will keep plugging away.

“We’re not there yet,” said the coach, “but we’ve got more physical than we were at the beginning of the year.”

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