Trojans drop a tight one to Goodhue

By : 
CHAD SMITH
TRI-COUNTY RECORD

The Rushford-Peterson football team suffered its first loss of the season on Friday night, falling at Goodhue by a score of 14-7 in a matchup of state-ranked clubs.

The No. 5-ranked Trojans couldn’t hold on to a one-point third quarter lead as the Wildcats came up with a 45-yard touchdown pass and two-point conversion to win a low-scoring defensive tussle. The Trojans are 5-1 overall (5-1 sub-district) with two games left in the regular season.

“It was a physical, hard-hitting game, which it always is when we play Goodhue,” said Trojans’ coach Davin Thompson. “The kids played hard and did a lot of really nice things. We also did some things that were a little uncharacteristic for us, especially when it came to penalties in the first half.

“We’ve had to mix up our snap count to keep people from trying to blitz and time the snap of the football. Unfortunately, we ended up faking ourselves out and were hit with eight false-start penalties. Still, we did a lot of good things in spite of that.”

The Goodhue offense is typically run-oriented, but the Wildcats showed they weren’t afraid to air it out Friday night. Goodhue quarterback Sam Opsahl hit receiver Carter Danielson on a 24-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter. The missed two-point conversion attempt made it 6-0 Goodhue early in the first half.

R-P entered the second half trailing 6-0, but wasted little time putting points on the board in the third quarter. Carter Weidemann galloped 25 yards to score the first Trojan points of the game. Nolan Mueller’s extra-point kick gave the Trojans their first and only lead of the game, 7-6.

Goodhue didn’t wait long to respond. Opsahl hit Kyle Schoenfelder on a 50-yard TD pass to retake the lead, and the two-point conversion made it 14-7 and the last scoring of the game.

“Our defense did play pretty well,” Thompson said. “We had a third-down and five in the first quarter, so we were going to throw a short post pattern and Landon got hit as he let the ball go. They picked it off and ran it back to our 25 but we were able to make a nice stand there. We stopped them four times when they had the ball inside our 20-yard line.

“Other than one drive in the first half, the defense did well. On the second TD pass, they sent a receiver on an out-and-up route, but our cornerback covering the receiver slipped and the safety couldn’t get over-the-top in time to help out on the play. The quarterback also made a great pump-fake on the play that froze our defensive line for just a moment too.”

With the loss, the Trojans sit one game behind unbeaten Blooming Prairie (6-0) in the Mid-South East Sub-District standings. Goodhue (tied at No. 10 in the Class A rankings) is a half-game behind R-P at 4-1, thanks to a loss to Blooming Prairie.

R-P has a game looming with the Blossoms at Blooming Prairie for the final regular-season game next week. Before that, the Trojans host the Hayfield Vikings on Friday night for the final regular-season home game at Ben Niggle Field.

“(BP) will come in running a spread offense and a 4-4 defense (four down linemen and four linebackers),” Thompson said. “They’ve been down for a couple years but they’re playing better football this year. John Howe is their head coach and he was also my defensive line coach at Winona State University, so it’ll be fun to meet back up with him.

“We talked to the kids on Friday night after the Goodhue game about just being who we are and doing our thing,” he said. “We didn’t do that very well on Friday. We’re telling them it doesn’t matter what color jersey is opposite us, we have to do what we do and do it well.”

Schedule

Even with a big game looming in Blooming Prairie next week, Thompson said he’s not worried about this week’s Hayfield game being a potential “trap” game. The Trojans will come in focused on the Vikings.

“That will not happen,” he said. “We need to focus entirely on Hayfield and we will. After watching Goodhue game tape on Monday, it’ll be pretty obvious that if we take care of ourselves, things will fall into place.”

Kickoff against the Vikings is set for Friday night, Oct 12 at 7 p.m..

 

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