The Faribault Falcons took the long bus ride to Willmar Saturday and came home after scoring a 35-28 win over the Cardinals.  They had to come from behind to accomplish their goal.

In the latest Minnesota Associated Press high school football poll Willmar was rated #7 in Class 4A while the Falcons did receive votes but did not crack the top 10.

The Falcons started the scoring with 7:02 to go in the first quarter on a senior to senior connection between Hunter Nelson and Ian Ehlers for 20 yards.  The extra point kick was good by senior Edwardo Solis.

11:44 to go in the half the Cardinals scored on a 91 yard screen pass play with the extra point kick good.

5:22 to go in the half Willmar added a 1 yard TD run and kicked the extra point.  At the half the score was Willmar 14 Faribault 7.

8:13 to go in third quarter Nelson ran the ball into the enc zone from 11 yards out the two point pass attempt was no good.

3:07 left in the third Nelson connected again on a pass with Ehlers, 3 yards for a score.  Two point pass attempt was again no good.

On the kickoff following the touchdown a Cardinal darted 92 yards for a touchdown.  The extra point kick was good.

With 11:30 to go in the game Willmar connected on a 33 yard touchdown pass.  The point after kick good to make the score 28-19 Willmar in the lead.

7:41 left in the game the Falcons got a 3 yard touchdown run by senior Matthias Lenway. The two point conversion was a successful pass to senior Elijah Hammonds making the score 28-27 in favor of Willmar.

2:45 to go in the game Hammonds ran into the end zone from 3 yards out.  Nelson hit junior Johnny Frank for the two point conversion.

The statistics were not as close as the score.  Faribault rolled up 403 yards of total offense to Willmar's 284.  The Falcons ran 76 plays, Willmar 48.

Passing yards were 177 for Faribault, 147 for the Cardinals.

Rushing yards 226 for the Falcons, 137 for Willmar.

Penalties for Faribault 6 for 45 yards, Cardinals 6 for 70.

Time of possession was 30:09 for the Falcons, 17:51 for Willmar.

Faribault racked up 26 first downs, the Cardinals 13.

The Falcons converted 11 of 18 third downs while Willmar was 2 of 9.

Faribault picked off two passes and played error free themselves in terms of turnovers.

Ehlers and Frank had the interceptions.

Nelson was 13 of 21 for 177 yards and two scores.  He connected with 6 different receivers.

Ehlers caught 4 passes for 69 yards and two scores.  Frank had 4 catches for 29 yards.  Junior Beau Schrot caught 2 passes for 45 yards.  Senior AJ Worrell had a 15 yard reception and Lenway caught a pass with no yards gained.

Defensively Lenway was all over the field with 9 solo tackles.  Likewise, Hammonds had 6 solo tackles.

#2 rated Hutchinson defeated St. Peter 49-12 and by virtue of their top seed in Section 2AAAA will host Faribault Friday, November 5, 2021 at 7:00 p.m.

Some Sections have neutral site championship games.  Many require their Section finals to be on artificial turf fields because State Quarterfinals are all on artificual surfaces but I believe each Section makes their own decisions.

Frankly I'm in agreement with this format.  If you are the top seed you should get a home game in the Section final.  It's the reward you get for earning the top seed,

What do you think?  I'd love to hear some comments.

The game will be broadcast on POWER 96 Radio, 95.9 FM and POWER 96 app.

Do you agree with these rankings?

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