Scarlets thump Trojans, 60-14

The New Prague Trojans never had a chance against the No. 1-ranked Mankato West Scarlets in their season-opening football game Thursday, Sept. 1.

University of Minnesota recruit Philip Nelson completed 10 of 16 passes for five touchdowns and ran for another - all in the first half - as West defeated New Prague 60-14 at Trojan Field. The Scarlets led 52-0 at halftime.

The 60 points scored by West tied for the most ever given up by the Trojans in the program's history, according the the team's website. In 1935, New Prague lost to Le Center 60-0. Only five times has the margin of loss been greater, most recently in 1981, when Rosemount defeated the Trojans 49-0.

West called off the dogs in the second half, resting Nelson and giving the Trojan offense a chance to operate against the Scarlets' second unit. New Prague scored twice on big plays, the first one early in the second half on a 71-yard pass from quarterback Kyle Stepka to halfback Zack Shetka. Stepka found Shetka open in the middle and the speedy senior caught the ball, split a pair of defenders and made a couple of cuts to avoid the pursuit on the scoring play.

The other touchdown came in the fourth quarter on a 49-yard run up the middle by junior fullback Ben Oldenburg.

Team statistics were as lopsided as the score. West had 24 first downs to the Trojans' four. They outgained the Trojans 527-192.

Not only did Nelson hurt the Trojans in the air with his five scores, he also was the leading rusher with 136 yards.

Oldenburg was New Prague's leading rusher, with 62 yards on three carries. Other rushers were Stepka (4 carries/22 yards), Nick Johnson (2/19), Jake Molitor (5/19) Shetka (2/6), Nick Natole (3/6), Ben Hendrickson (1/2), Joe Heinz (1/1) and Brok Schwartzkopf 1/-16). Schwartzkopf's total came on a punt attempt when he couldn't handle the low snap and recovered the ball ahead of a pair of rushing Scarlet linemen.

Stepka was one of seven throwing, with the one touchdown for 71 yards.

Leading tacklers for the Trojans were Foster Syvongsay and Michael Coldagelli, each with five and Jake Meyer with four.

The Trojans are back at home at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9, when they face Holy Angels in their Missota Conference opener. The Trojans edged the Stars 7-6 in last year's meeting.

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