FAIRMONT – Fairmont assistant coach Mat Mahoney can add another order to his draft football playbook -Galatians 5:22.
Mahoney is a Class AAA No. at Fairmont.
Quarterback Blaze Geiger ran for two touchdowns and threw two more touchdowns to Levi Pooley, while Cole Wiemers, Gage Borntrager and Fairmont’s defensive defense produced another shutout to lead the home team to a 32-0 victory over Luverne at Thomas Mahoney Field.
Two-time defending champion Fairmont (9-1) received a rematch against No. 2-seeded Waseca Bluejays (8-2) for the Section 3AAA Championship at 7 pm Friday night at the dugout in New Ulm. Waseca earned the next round by defeating No. 3-seed Jordan (6-4) is a 21-7 decision on Saturday.
Luverne finished its season with a 6-4 record.
“Luverne head coach Todd Oye had a great game plan to use all the time on the clock to help keep our offense off the field as much as possible,” said Mat Mahoney, whose program has defeated Luverne five times in a row during the second round of the playoffs. “We were confident that our defense would stop them and keep the game alive.
“When we got the goal with a minute and a half left in the first half, we took a breath together and told ourselves, ‘It’s going to be okay. Continue to be patient.’”
With time running out in the second quarter, Borntrager used his 6-foot-5 frame to pressure Luverne quarterback Carter Sehr, forcing an early third-down-and-nine throw.
Luverne’s next punt traveled just 11 yards to put Fairmont’s offense in business at the 50 and Geiger went to work on a snow-filled wave.
Geiger, who finished 9 of 13 for 125 passing yards, zipped a 5-yarder to Jace Teveldal before threading a 20-yard pass to Nolan Schultze to the Luverne 25. Geiger found Pooley in the flat for another five yards before Elijah Johnson ran. for another five yards to gain the 14.
Geiger hit Schultze for a 4-yarder before the big quarterback unleashed a perfect 10-yard TD pass to a sliding Pooley. Kellen Stenzel kicked the PAT to give Fairmont a 7-0 lead with 1:16 left in regulation.
Elijah Johnson then contributed 26 of his team-high 69 yards on Fairmont’s first drive of the third quarter before Geiger capped an eight-play, 73-yard drive with a 20-yard TD run up the middle. Stenzel’s layup doubled Fairmont’s lead to 14-0 at the 8:21 mark.
Schultze’s fumble recovery and 16-yard return to Fairmont’s 46 on the heels of Luverne receiver Conner Connell’s 25-yard reception and a second-down fumble put the home team on the edge of a three-TD lead.
Geiger and Co. he needed just five draws to capture paydirt and open up a 20-0 lead. Geiger threw a 48-yard pass to Pooley for another six points at 5:08 of the third, but Fairmont still had not scored.
After quarterback Hunter Johnson & Fairmont’s defense forced a three-and-out, Geiger found the likes of Levi Pooley again – this time for a 33-yard gain to Luverne’s 7. Geiger crossed the goal line from 2 yards out for a. command a 26-0 lead with 2:23 to go in the third.
A fumble penalty against Fairmont, combined with Luverne running back Sam Rock for 30 yards, the visiting Cardinals knocked on the door at the home team’s 10-yard line, but two turnovers later created a slippery slope.
Both Luverne and Fairmont had the snowball out of reach for Wiemers to pick up a fumble at the 15. The Fairmont linebacker hit 85 yards, with the hometown Cardinals crowd following him to the end zone. Ethan Geerdes’ block took away Luverne’s last chance to prevent a TD comeback with 10:11 left in regulation.
Geiger finished with 57 yards on seven carries, while Pooley hauled in four passes for 97 yards and two scores for Fairmont.
LUV 0 0 0 0 – 0
FMT 0 7 19 6 – 32
FMT-Levi Pooley 10 pass from Blaze Geiger (Kellen Stenzel kick), 1:16.
FMT–Blaze Geiger 20 run (Kellen Stenzel kick), 8:21.
FMT-Levi Pooley 48 pass from Blaze Geiger (kick failed), 5:08.
FMT–Blaze Geiger 2 run (conversion failed), 2:23.
FMT-Cole Wiemers 85 fumble return (conversion failed), 10:11.
THE THINGS THEY GIVE US
First down: Fairmont 9; Luverne 7. Rushing: Fairmont 31-157; Luverne 39-128. Passing: Fairmont 9-14-0-125; Luverne 3-7-0-35. Record-losses: Fairmont 3-1; Luverne 5-2. Penalties: Fairmont 2-25; Luverne 2-15.
Offense: Rushing: Elijah Johnson (FMT) 13-69, Blaze Geiger (FMT) 7-57; Sam Rock (LUV) 13-68, Elliot Domagala (LUV) 13-43. Passing: Blaze Geiger (FMT) 9-13-0-125, Joe Long (FMT) 0-1-0-0; Carter Sehr (LUV) 3-5-0-35, Josh Hansen (LUV) 0-2-0-0. Receiving: Levi Pooley (FMT) 4-97, Nolan Schultze (FMT) 3-18; Elliot Domagala (LUV) 2-10, Conner Connell (FMT) 1-25.
Defense: Fumble recoveries: Conner Connell (LUV), Nolan Schultze (FMT) and Cole Wiemers (FMT). Distractions: None.