Trojans wreck Raiders’ homecoming with 34-21 win

New Prague took advantage of four Northfield turnovers Friday to spoil the Raiders homecoming game with 34-21 Missota Conference win.

But they didn’t have long to savor the win against Northfield. They immediately started preparations for Friday’s game against Farmington. The Tigers, 6-0, sit atop the Missota Conference and are ranked No. 9 in this week’s AP Poll for class 5A schools. This is the first year that Farmington has been in the large-school classification for post-season play.

The Trojans, rebounding from a disappointing loss to Hutchinson a week earlier, got things going quickly, as Drew Feuk intercepted a pass on the Raiders third play from scrimmage.

The Trojans brought the ball downfield quickly. Ross Skluzacek got a first down by hitting Ryan Witty with an 11-yard pass, then Tony Kubes gained 28, getting stopped at the Raider 2. Two plays later, Mike Romig scored from one yard out, and Eric Olson’s kick made it 7-0 Trojans with 8:30 remaining in the period.

After a Northfield punt, the Trojans got the ball back and put together a long drive, going 33 yards on 10 plays. The drive was set up by a big punt return by Kubes. The touchdown came on an 8-yard pass from Skluzacek to Brian O’Neill. Olson’s kick made it 14-0 with 2:36 remaining in the first period.

The Raiders third drive of the game produced an impressive drive, going more than 60 yards to the Trojan 4-yard line, but the Raiders fumbled and Jake Schoenecker recovered, ending the threat temporarily.

The Trojans got some breathing room with a first down, but then a pair of penalties drove them backwards, and on second and long, Skluzacek’s pass was intercepted at the Trojan 15. Northfield capitalized with a touchdown by T.C. Goss.

New Prague responded with a long drive, covering 65 yards all on the ground, eating up nearly five minutes on the clock. Daren Geyen broke away for a 20-yard gain on third and long, and Kubes gained 14 a play later. Romig got the touchdown with a one-yard plunge, and Olson’s kick made it 21-7 with 3:47 left.

Northfield responded with an eight-play drive that covered 74 yards in less than two minutes. Anthony Jacobs got the score and made it 21-14. That was the score at halftime.

The Trojans got a big kick return to start the second half, giving them the ball on the Raider 23. Four plays later, Romig carried from one yard out, his third of the night, giving the Trojans a 28-14 lead.

Northfield responded with a good drive of its own, capped by a 37-yard pass to Shane Kitzman, making the score 28-21.

The Raiders appeared to have tied the game on a big play later in the third, but the play was called back on a holding call.

Both teams traded punts the rest of the quarter, with the Raiders fumbling late in the third.

New Prague returned the favor with a fumble early in the fourth, and the teams again exchanged punts.

The Trojans iced the game when Feuk got his second interception of the night and returned it 26 yards for a touchdown.

New Prague gained 211 yards on the ground and added 81 in the air for 292 total yards. Northfield had 185 yards rushing and 71 passing for 256 yards.

Kubes was the leading ground gainer, with 14 carries for 91 yards. Geyen had 53 yards on 11 carries and Romig had 50 yards on 21 carries.

O’Neill caught three passes for 54 yards and a touchdown. Witty, Kubes and Kyle Smisek each had a catch.

Skluzacek was 6-of-11 passing for 81 yards.

After facing Farmington Friday, the Trojans have a short week before their regular season finale, at Red Wing. That game will be played Wednesday, Oct. 19.

The post-season starts Tuesday, Oct. 25. There are six teams in Section 6AAAA, with the top two getting a first-round bye. As of this week, New Prague (4-2) and Orono (5-1) would have the byes, with St. Louis Park and Waconia, both 3-3, hosting first round games against Shakopee and Mound-Westonka, both 1-5. The semifinals are Saturday, Oct. 29, and the championship is Friday, Nov. 4.

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