Tiger stadium was loud and raucous Friday night as Farmington celebrated its homecoming, but the Rosemount Irish quickly quieted the crowd as they routed the hometown team 35-7. The Irish offense was clicking on all cylinders while the Tiger offense had trouble finishing drives and preventing big plays. Rosemount improves to 2-2 and gets back to .500 for the first time this season while Farmington drops to 0-4.
Neither team was able to find its groove in the first quarter as each team punted several times. However, just minutes into the second quarter the Irish struck first when senior running back Garrison Green scored from 15 yards out. The extra point by junior kicker Nathan Whiting was good and Rosemount led 7-0 with 9 minutes and 23 seconds left in the first half.
After a short punt by the Tigers the following possession, Rosemount started at the Farmington 43 yard line. Senior quarterback Max Carter completed a 29-yard pass to senior wide receiver Andrew Reuter down to the Tiger one and Green scored his second touchdown of the quarter to give the Irish a 14-0 lead with 5:55 left in the second quarter.
Both teams exchanged punts before senior defensive back Evan Geiwitz came up with an interception of sophomore Tiger quarterback Alex Berreth at the Rosemount 10 yard line. Rosemount then drove down the field before Carter hit Reuter for a 33-yard touchdown pass at the end of the half. This increased the Irish lead to 21-0 at halftime.
Rosemount started the second half with the ball after junior wide receiver Jonathan Mann returned the kickoff to the Farmington 44. From there, Carter once again converted on a big pass play to junior wide receiver Zack Barnick for a 46-yard touchdown and the Irish led 28-0 with 10:26 left in the third quarter. Midway through the quarter, the Tigers were pinned at their one yard line when they fumbled and Rosemount recovered at the Farmington two. From there, Green scored his third touchdown of the game and it was 35-0 Rosemount with 5:33 remaining in the third.
Farmington received a spark from sophomore wide receiver Eli Green, who returned the kickoff to the Tiger 43. They then drove down with the help of a few Rosemount penalties and sophomore running back Zach Janz scored from two yards out to put Farmington on the board. The extra point by junior kicker Alex Kiage was good but the Tigers trailed 35-7 with 2:49 left in the third quarter. After a Rosemount three-and-out, Farmington was driving again before Berreth was picked off for the second time by Geiwitz for a touchback at the end of the third quarter.
Neither team did much in the fourth quarter as some reserves entered for both teams, but the Tigers did block an Irish field goal at the end of the game.
Rosemount took more shots down field throughout the game than they normally do.
"Well, we were clicking, we've been practicing that all week," Carter said about the game plan. "Our coaching staff did a great job, they watched past games and saw where people would come down and where the open spots were, so our coaching staff did a great job of exploiting that for us."
Carter also said that it felt good to flex the offense's muscles after their plan against Eagan the week before and the slow start they had to their season.
"It felt good to throw to the guys again," he said. "Against Eagan we kind of just pounded them with the run so it was good to air it out again. But we kind of took care of it in all aspects of the game tonight, it was fun. The first game was brutal for us, we kind of had a 'coming to Jesus' moment, we just did what the coaches told us to do and played as a team."
Carter threw for 200 yards and two touchdowns on 11-of-22 passing and Rosemount ran for almost 200 yards, led by Green who carried the ball 21 times for 156 yards and two touchdowns. Five different receivers caught passes for the Irish-senior wide receiver Cadin Rudoll had four receptions for 54 yards, Reuter caught three passes for 79 yards and a touchdown and Barnick had his 46-yard touchdown catch-and as a unit averaged more than 18 yards per reception.
On the home team's side, senior Tiger wide receiver Alijah Moe said his team needs to simply play smarter.
"Honestly, those penalties killed us the most when we were down there in the first half, we had that big penalty," he said. "We just got to be smarter, we really do have to be smarter, work harder in practice and focus up more."
After a quiet first game, Moe has come on as perhaps the Tigers' biggest offensive threat. The last three games, he has 19 catches for 268 yards and three touchdowns, including five receptions for 59 yards against the Irish.
"I just got more confidence as it went on I guess," Moe said. "The first game I was a little nervous, not gonna lie, then like I got a hold of it and went off from there."
Farmington was able to move the ball fairly well against Rosemount, though some of that came with the game was already decided, but they could not finish drives. Sophomore quarterback Alex Berreth, seeing his first significant varsity action after getting in the game some last week against Lakeville North, was 23-for-34 passing for 221 yards but also had two interceptions. Moe had his five receptions while senior wide receiver Dylan Freetly grabbed six passes for 60 yards. Green matched those six catches for 46 yards himself.
The Tigers were semi-effective on the ground with Janz rushing for 58 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries while coming close to 100 yards rushing as a team discounting sacks.
Farmington will have another electric atmosphere next week as they take on the Eagan Wildcats at the Minnesota Vikings' TCO Stadium, part of their new practice facility. Game time is 7:30 p.m. Rosemount travels to Eastview next Friday to take on the Lightning.