Faribault Football Rides Gardner Past Albert Lea
Faribault Falcons senior Alex Gardner scored 4 touchdowns in a 47-6 domination of the Albert Lea Tigers at Jim Gustafson Field in Albert Lea tonight. Gardner had 248 yards rushing on 21 carries.
Because of that performance Gardner and the Falcons offensive line members of Devin Lockerby (6'5 301 Jr.), Owen Ellendson (6'4, 215, Sr.), Alex Leet (6'5, 275, Sr.), Tim Neirby (6'3, 247, Jr.) and Brady Beske (6'1, 300, Soph.) were named the Malecha's Auto Body Faribault players of the game. Senior back Cael Casteel also had some nice blocks to help spring Gardner for long runs.
Last Saturday on the Faribault Coaches Show at Bashers Head Coach Ned Louis talked about how good the Falcons defense has been. For the third straight game they held an opponent to a single score.
Talk about penetration the Faribault defensive line lived in the backfield of the Tigers with 16 tackles for loss recorded in the game. 14 different Falcons players were involved in those negative plays for Albert Lea.
Faribault pinned Albert Lea on their first offensive series and Palmer blocked a punt. One of the Tigers scooped up the ball and ran all the way to the Faribault 33 yard line making the blocked punt a big gain for Albert Lea.
The Falcons would stop them and take over on their 26 yard line. A few plays later Gardner scored on a 7 yard run with 6:28 to go in the first quarter. Junior quarterback Hunter Nelson ran in the two point conversion.
On Faribault's next possession Nelson hit Jordan Klecker on a beautiful 30 yard touchdown pass. Gardner ran in the two point conversion. With 4:40 to go in the first quarter it was 16-0.
Owen Ellendson scored with 9:55 to go in the half on a 4 yard run. Nelson then hit Palmer on a jump pass for the two point conversion to make it 24-0
Albert Lea got their only score on a Cole Glazier 11 yard run with 8:46 to go in the half. The extra point kick attempt was blocked.
Faribault would score two more times in the final 1:06 of the first half to lead 40-6 at the brreak. Gardner had both of those touchdowns. Runs of 8 yards and 45 yards. Gardner added a two point conversion run.
The Falcons went right down the field to start the second half and scored on a 45 yard Gardner run. Sophomore Ian Ehlers kicked the extra point with 8:04 to go in the third quarter to make the score 47-6.
Reserves played the rest of the way for Faribault against primarily Albert Lea's starters.
Albert Lea actually led in time of possession according to the Falcons official statistics. 25:09 to 22:51. The Tigers ran 52 plays to Faribault's 54 plays.
The Falcons had 451 total yards, 387 on the ground, 64 through the air. Albert Lea finished with 146 total yards, 122 through the air and 24 rushing.
Faribault turned the ball over 4 times in the damp cool weather. Albert Lea returned the favor with 4 turnovers also.
The Falcons had 23 first downs to the Tigers 6. Faribault was 2 for 7 on third down conversions and 0 for 4 on 4th down tries. Albert Lea was 2 for 12 on third down and 1 for 2 on 4th down.
Senior linebacker Cade McCusker and junior linebacker Elijah Hammonds led the defense with 4.5 tackles each. Gardner also had a sack on defense, Alex Leet also had a sack. Owen Ellendson and Devin Lockerby met at the quarterback once too.
Faribault finishes their regular season 4-2. Albert Lea is 0-3.