Faribault starts fast, handles JM

FARIBAULT — Rochester John Marshall's two lost fumbles on its two first possessions didn't help.

FARIBAULT — Rochester John Marshall's two lost fumbles on its two first possessions didn't help.

But the real reason that JM lost 41-21 to Faribault in the Section One, Class AAAAA semifinals at Bruce Smith Field?

That's easy: Faribault.

The Falcons were too much, and on both sides of the ball.

"They just don't make mistakes," JM first-year coach Kevin Kirkeby said.


The other thing they do — and sure did it against JM — was run the ball and defend the run.

Led by senior running backs Joey Hoisington and Mitch Nagel, and senior quarterback Danny Ehlers, Faribault finished with a crushing 315 yards on 48 carries. Their balance was deadly: Hoisington had 91 yards rushing, Nagel 80 and Ehlers 72.

And defending the run went just about as well for No. 1 seed Faribault (7-2), which was taking on a No. 5-seeded John Marshall team (5-5) which had looked like world beaters its previous two games. There was a stunning 21-19 Rockets win over then No.-1 ranked Mankato West, then a 42-21 blasting of Rochester Century in the first round of the section playoffs.

JM had gotten both of those wins thanks in good part to a running game which couldn't be stopped. JM racked up 238 yards rushing against West, then 382 against Century. It had been junior halflback Josh Mattison who had led the way in both games, with 162 yards rushing, then 223.

Against Faribault there was nothing close to that. JM finished with just 125 yards on the ground, with Mattison being held to 68 on 20 carries.

"They out-physicalled us," Kirkeby said. "They got into us at the line of scrimmage and did a good job there. I also feel bad that we didn't execute the way we'd hoped to."

While JM struggled to make things work offensively, there was no such problem for Faribault. The Falcons were literally unstoppable in the first half, as Ehlers perfectly operated their option-running offense, and his linemen won the war up front.

Faribault had the ball five times in the first half, scoring touchdowns every possession. There was a 57-yard drive, a 56-yarder, a 65-yarder, a 60-yarder and a 58-yarder.


While the Falcons were doing that, JM was sputtering or worse. The worse was those two lost fumbles on its opening two possessions. If it had hoped to match Faribault score for score, coughing up the ball twice took care of that.

Faribault led 34-0 at halftime.

It was the second time this season that the teams had played. JM actually won the first meeting 36-14 in the season opener.

Asked what was different this time, JM standout receiver Sam Aakre said it came down to a couple of things. First, he believed his team was feeling pressure to win after being an underdog against West and then against Century (at least according to Century's No. 4 seed). Against Faribault — a team that it had already beaten once — the expectation by many was that the Rockets would win again, especially after playing so well the last two weeks.

"You could feel it on the bus ride over here; guys were quieter and not as loose," Aakre said. "But it is tough to beat a team twice."

Secondly, Aakre noted that Faribault was the team that seemed to come out with the most energy.

"They came more ready to play than we did," he said.

Once that 34-0 lead was built, about the only thing left to ponder was the final score. JM's chances of coming back against a team rolling like this were about about nil.


Still, the Rockets kept fighting, and managed to outscore Faribault 21-7 in the second half, albeit many of the points against the Falcons' reserves.

But JM's fight didn't got unnoticed by Kirkeby. It also didn't surprise him.

"Our kids never gave up, which was great to see," Kirkeby said. "It was a really satisfying year with these guys, watching how they great together, and how they bought into what we were doing, and how much fun they seemed to have."

Faribault 41, John Marshall 21

John Marshall#0#0#6#15#—#21


First quarter

F – Joey Hoisington 15 pass from Danny Ehlers (Andy Swanson kick), 6:20.


Drive:9 plays, 57 yards, 3:42. Key:Hoisington 13 run.

F – Mitch Nagel 4 run (Swanson kick), 2:16.

Drive:8 plays, 56 yards, 3:32. Key:Hoisington 26 run.

Second quarter

F – Nagel 20 run (Swanson kick), 7:47.

Drive:4 plays, 65 yards, 1:17. Key:Ehlers 13 run.

F – Ehlers 48 pass (Swanson kick), 4:29.

Drive:3 plays, 60 yards, 3:15. Key:Hoisington 18 pass from Ehlers.


F – Nash Bauer 24 pass from Ehlers (kick failed), :34.

Drive:8 plays, 58 yards, 2:38. Key:Bauer 8 pass on 3rd down.

Third quarter

JM – Josh Mattison 12 run (Kevin Byrne kick), 9:11.

Drive:6 plays, 28 yards, 2:05. Key:Mattison 10 run.

F – Felipe Ramirez 2 run (Swanson kick), 3:51.

Drive:8 plays, 44 yards, 3:25. Key:Bauer 23 pass from Ehlers on 3rd down.

Fourth quarter


JM — Sam Moen 45 pass from Adam Herzog (Moen pass from Herzog), 4:33.

Drive:7 plays, 85 yards, 3:15. Key:Cazz Martin 12 run.

JM — Sam Aakre 67 pass from Herzog (Byrne kick), :33.

Drive: 1 play, 67 yards, :10.



First downs#10#23

Total net yards#245#426


Passing yards#120#111






Rushing — John Marshall, Josh Mattison 20-68, Cole Savick 3-25, Kevin Byrne 2-9, DJ Hardin 2-11, Sam Aakre 4-(minus 9), Adam Herzog 7-6, Cazz Martin 3-15. Faribault,Joey Hoisington 11-91, Mitch Nagel 14-80, Danny Ehlers 4-72, Felipe Ramirez 12-49, David Sadergaski 2-14, Joe Miller 5-9.

Passing — John Marshall, Herzog 3 completions, 5 attemps, 0 interceptions, 2 touchdowns, for 120 yards. Faribault, Ehlers 7-9-0-2 for 111 yards.

Receiving — John Marshall, Aakre 1-67, Sam Moen 1-45, Dontrell Johnson 1-8. Faribault, Hoisington 2-33, Nash Bauer 4-64, Sadergaski 1-14.

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