Falcons Coach Confidence Huge in Football and Life
Faribault Falcons football Head Coach Ned Louis brought a few guests to Bashers for the Coaches Show Saturday. The veteran coach watched his team dominate the Winona Winhawks 38-6 Friday night.
It was the most impressive win to date for Faribault, now 3-2. Winona fell to 2-3.
Coach Louis said "Confidence is the key in the turnaround." After a double overtime win over Northfield to open the season the Falcons were beaten soundly by Kasson-Mantorville in their first road game.
Coach Louis remarked, "You could see the confidence build in the Mankato East game. Even though we lost." They haven't lost since.
The most impressive thing for Louis is the play of the Falcons defense. Austin can score but they handled the Packers attack. Winona was also dominated by Faribault.
The Falcons scored with 1:20 to go in the first quarter when junior quarterback Hunter Nelson scored from 5 yards out. The two point conversion run by senior Alex Gardner was good to make it 8-0.
Faribault would score with 10:10 to go in the half on a Nelson 12 yard run. Nelson' two point conversion run was not successful. The score at halftime was 14-0 Faribault.
Winona scored with 9:40 to go in the third quarter on a 1 yard run after the Falcons turned the ball over around their 10 yard line. The point after kick was blocked.
Faribault added another Nelson touchdown run with 2:37 to go in the third quarter. This one from a yard away. Nelson completed a pass to Gardner for the two point conversion.
Junior Matthias Lenway scored a one yard TD with 7:18 left in the game. Lenway also ran in the two point conversion.
It was senior night at Bruce Smith Field. Coach Louis stated it would be their final game on their home field because the section coaches determined to play all section games on a turf neutral field.
The Falcons totally dominated the game with 369 total yards to the Winhawks 84.
Coach Louis loves to see the balance on offense. 205 yards rushing, 164 yards passing. Faribault had 24 first downs, Winona 4. Third down conversions for Faribault 6 of 12, Winona 2 of 14.
Three linemen joined him at Bashers Saturday. Seniors Owen Ellendson and Alex Leet and junior Devin Lockerby. Senior linebacker Joe Palmer was the other guest.
Palmer leads the team in tackles as an undersized linebacker. Coach Louis said the senior linebacker, "Is playing a high level of football. He's relentless in his pursuit of the ball."
The linemen enjoy blocking for their teammates because they know they appreciate it. Gardner ran 22 times for 121 yards. The second straight game over the 100 yard mark. Nelson added 47 yards on 12 carries. Lenway had 37 yards on 7 carries.
Nelson was 12 of 23 for 164 yards and a touchdown. Senior Carter Breitenfeldt with 5 receptions for 63 yards. Junior Jordan Klecker 3 catches for 25 yards. Junior Zach Slinger had 2 for 60 yards. Sophomore Johnny Frank collected an 8 yard catch and Lenway had a 8 yard catch.
Winona was held to 8 total yards rushing and 76 yards passing. The Falcons had 4 sacks. One each for Alex Gardner, senior Nick Ehlers and Alex Leet. Owen Ellendson and junior Tim Neirby combined for the other sack.
Coach Louis commented that not only are the young men he coaches "Very good football players. They are even better human beings." He added he really enjoys being around the young men.
Ellendson prefers defense. Lockerby offense and Leet appeared to lean more defensively also. All the linemen play on offense and rotate in defensively. Palmer plays some offense but also enjoys the defensive side of the ball more.
Faribault ends the regular season Wednesday night at Albert Lea. The Tigers (0-2) will be coming out of some COVID-19 weeks off. Coverage on POWER 96 Radio 95.9 FM begins 6:45 p.m. Winona's last regular season game is at Kasson-Mantorville.
The Section Tournament is scheduled to begin Tuesday, November 17. It looks like the Falcons could play Winona again.