Trojans fall prey to Falcons

The first six minutes of the second half made all the difference in the New Prague Trojans' Section 1AAAA semifinal game against Faribault.

After an evenly-played, scoreless first half, Faribault marched the length of the field and scored on the first possession of the second half.

The Trojans fumbled on their next possession, leading the Falcons with a short field, and they capitalized and made it 14-0.

On their next play from scrimmage, another fumble gave the Falcons good field position, and led to another score, making it 20-0 Falcons just six minutes into the second half.

Those two turnovers made all the difference as the Falcons defeated the Trojans 27-12 to advance to the Section 1AAAA championship game. They will host Red Wing at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4.

The game opened with the Trojans going on an impressive drive, deep into Faribault territory. But the drive stalled and the Falcons took over.

They too, marched downfield, but stalled deep in Trojan territory. Faribault tried getting the first points on the board, but a field goal attempt was blocked by the Trojans.

After the Falcons went on their scoring binge, New Prague finally got things going late in the third quarter, capping a drive with a 5-yard touchdown run by Nathan Preston. The two-point conversion came up short and that made it 20-6.

New Prague had several more possessions in the final quarter, but couldn't get things going. Faribault scored another touchdown with 1:42 remaining to go up 27-6.

But New Prague didn't quit. Quarterback Kyle Stepka led the team downfield, completing a 20-yard touchdown pass to Jake Meyer. That made it 27-12 with 12 seconds left.

The Trojans were outgained by the Falcons, as Faribault used a page - actually, several pages form the Trojan playbook in that they kept the ball on the ground for the most part. They had 52 rushes for 241 yards. They added a 4-for-11 passing for 57 yards for 298 total yards.

The Trojans had 36 rushes for 175 yards, and New Prague was 5-of-9 passing for 84 yards.

Preston was the Trojans' leading rusher with 15 carries for 51 yards. Shetka had eight carries for 40. Other rushing yardage came from Stepka (7/28), Nick Natole (4/27), Luke Tietz (1/23) and Nick Johnson (1/6).

Stepka was 5-of-8 passing for 84 yards and a score. Johnson was 0-for-1.

Shetka caught two passes for 38 yards, Tietz had one grab for 33, Meyer one for 20 and Dakota Cole had 1 for minus-7 yards.

New Prague ends its season with a 3-7 record. It is The Trojans' first losing season since 2008.

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