The Faribault Falcons were trailing Albert Lea by two scores late in their game at Jim Gustafson FIeld before they scored the game winner with 58 seconds to go in a 28-24 win.  It was one of the most dramatic come-from-behind wins I've seen in Faribault football in recent years.

Head Coach Ned Louis told POWER 96 before the game the Tom's Lock and Key of Faribault key would be keeping players fresh on a warm night.  It appeared the Tigers got very tired in the fourth quarter.  Albert Lea had 30 players on their roster, Faribault 49 players.

Tigers senior 6'0 185 pound running back Javarus Mucha-Owens had 190 yards on 18 carries and a couple scores in the first half.  Owens finished the game with 249 yards on 36 rushing attempts.

For the most part the Falcons did do a better job of containing Owens in the second half and he was limping the final several minutes of the game.

Albert Lea took a 21-14 lead into the lockeroom at the half.

Faribault scored on their opening series of the game capping a 55 yard drive with a junior Alex Gardner 8 yard touchdown run.  An attempted pass for the two point conversion was no good.

The Tigers answered on their first series with a 74 yard drive ending with a 3 yard dive for a touchdown by Owens.  The extra point was blocked and the game was tied at 6.

After a three and out by the Falcons, Albert Lea started on their 35 yard line and three plays later Owens darted for a 51 yard score.  a two point conversion was good to make it 14-6.

With 8:58 to go in the first half Faribault junior running back Alex Gardner scored a two yard t.d. and ran in for the two point conversion to give Faribault a 14-13 lead.

Tigers sophomore running back Cameron Davis answered with 2:39 to go in the half with a 1 yard dive into the end zone.

It looked like Faribault was going to take the lead again at the half when junior quarterback  6'6 201 pound Nick Ehlers threw a pass to classmate 6'1 157 pound Carter Breitenfeldt in the end zone but Breitenfeldt couldn't secure it.

Halftime score was Albert Lea 21, Faribault 14.

The Tigers got the ball to start the second half and appeared to be driving when a couple of penalties stalled their efforts.  Senior Ismael Cabezas kicked a 31 yard field goal that had plenty of leg with 3:03 to go in the third quarter.

24-14 was the score until there were 6:31 seconds to go in the game. Faribault scored after recovering a fumble at the 41 yard line of Albert Lea.  Gardner ran in from 10 yards out and also ran for the two point conversion to make it 24-22 Tigers.

After getting a stop the Faribault offense took over at their 28 yard line and it looked like the game may be over when they converted a 4th and 13 on a Ehlers pass to Breitenfeldt.  With 58 seconds to go in the contest Ehlers hit junior 5'9 163 pound Taylor Day over the middle and he took the ball to the house for a 44 yard touchdown.  Faribault missed a pass for a two point conversion.

With all their timeouts Albert Lea got the ball back.  The kickoff following the Faribault score took 11 seconds because the Tigers returner was running around.  Albert Lea abandoned any runs at that point. Tigers senior quarterback Logan Howe threw a pass over the middle that was picked off by junior linebacker Jake Flom with 24 seconds to go sealing the Falcons victory.

Faribault had 333 total yards on offense and Albert Lea 328.  The Falcons finished the game with 239 yards through the air and 94 on the ground.  The Tigers amassed 277 yards rushing and 51 yards passing.

Ehlers finished the night 15 of 25 for 239 yards and a touchdown.

Gardner tallied 83 yards on 14 attempts with three scores.

Day had 8 catches for 100 yards and a t.d.

Breitenfeldt added 4 catches for 76 yards.

Nick Flom tallied 3 catches for 63 yards.

Defensively Bryce Nolen, Gael Ramirez each had 7 tackles to lead Faribault.

Our Faribault State Farm Insurance agents Faribault players of the game were Day, Gardner, Ehlers on offense.  Thor Keilen, Jake Flom, Jordan Nawrocki on defense.

Special recognition was also given to the Faribault offensive line starters Evan Langer, Thor Keilen, Timothy Neirby, Jordan Nawrocki and Devin Lockerby.  Opening up nice holes in particular for Gardner and giving Ehlers time to throw when Albert Lea was blitzing nearly every down.

Faribault now 1-3 hosts Class 5A top ranked Owatonna next Friday on POWER 96.

Albert Lea 1-3 goes to Mankato East next week.

Coach Louis is going to attempt to be at Bashers for the Faribault Coaches Show 10 Saturday morning and might bring along some of his players.


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