The Free Press, Mankato, MN

September 7, 2013

In Mankato East's home opener, the FALCONS ROLL

Faribault piles up 279 yards of rushing offense

By Chad Courrier ccourrier@mankatofreepress.com
The Mankato Free Press

---- — MANKATO — Faribault had no secrets.

Line up, power football, try to stop us.

Faribault rushed for 279 yards on 51 attempts, rolling past Mankato East 41-6 in a Big Nine Conference game Friday at Wolverton Field. The Falcons tried only seven passes, all in the first half.

"Faribault has always executed really well early in the season," East coach Eric Davis said. "They're a tough draw early. Their idea of the perfect game is zero passes.

"We competed pretty well against them last year, a lot better than we did tonight."

Faribault (2-0) scored its first touchdown after an East fumble, going 25 yards in seven plays with Jeremiah Balfe scoring on a 3-yard run.

Faribault's second scoring drive was more impressive, marching 74 yards on 15 plays, converting three times on fourth down. Balfe's 1-yard run and a 2-point conversion made it 14-0 midway through the second quarter.

"On two of those (conversions) we weren't lined up and ready when they snapped it," Davis said. "We weren't ready, and they executed really well."

Balfe's third touchdown came on a 25-yard run later in the quarter, making it 20-0 at halftime.

In the first half, Faribault gained 173 yards of offense, with 134 yards on 28 rushes. East had only 34 yards of offense, though Nic Seiler completed 6 of 8 passes for 43 yards.

"We didn't make the tackles we should have made," East senior defensive end Nick Makovsky said. "We weren't playing our gaps."

As tough as the first half was for East, things got worse in the second half. The Falcons scored on the first possession, a 9-play drive, to make it 28-0. Following a fumble near midfield, Faribault scored again on five running plays for a 34-0 lead.

After an interception, Faribault scored its final touchdown on a 12-yard run for a 41-0 lead.

East finally got on the board with 15 seconds remaining when Cooper Wolfe threw a 32-yard scoring pass to Vincent Colbrunn. The conversion failed.

"(Faribault) was really classy about it," Davis said. "They started subbing down in the third quarter, and so did we. But you always want to take that zero off the board."

East had 13 yards of offense in the second half, though most of that came from the reserves. Brett Duit was the leading rusher with 57 yards on three carries.

"Every loss is frustrating," Makovsky said. "We need a lot more energy in practice. We had a good one (Thursday), but you need that every day."

East (0-2) hosts Rochester Mayo in a Big Nine game Friday.

"It doesn't get any easier," Davis said. "Mayo is one of the top three teams in the conference. We're going to have to show some grit and toughness. More than we did tonight."