Falcons end Tigers’ season again

Published 3:09 am Wednesday, October 28, 2009

For 24 minutes Albert Lea competed with Faribault, but in the next 12 minutes everything changed.

A third-quarter bonanza propelled the Falcons (6-3) past the Tigers (2-7) Tuesday in a 28-6 Section 1AAAA football playoff victory at Bruce Smith Field in Faribault. Faribault scored on its first two possessions of the second half and Albert Lea’s offense had no response.

“Faribault came out and beat us in the second half,” Anderson said. “We just never seemed to have that fire, that edge.”

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The No. 3 seed Falcons held a 14-6 lead at halftime, but Jake Bass’ third touchdown of the game and a Bo Putrah 31-yard touchdown reception spelled the end for the sixth-seeded Tigers (2-7) as Faribault ended Albert Lea’s season for the second straight year.

“I just think Faribault’s defense was better than our offense in the second half,” Anderson said. “I think they kind of stepped it up a notch. Whereas we kind of blocked well in the first half, I don’t think we blocked very well in the second half.”

The second half started miserably for Albert Lea. After a three-and-out, the Falcons stormed down the field, benefitting from a 15-yard late hit penalty, to go ahead by two scores after Bass ran in from 3 yards out for his third touchdown of the game.

After another three-and-out, Faribault found it’s passing game. Dan Fredenburg caught an 18-yard pass and 14-yard pass on the Falcons’ second drive of the half to put Faribault in position for another touchdown. Then on third-and-9 from the Albert Lea 31, Joe Grote connected with Putrah for a 31-yard touchdown pass.

Albert Lea had just 21 yards of offense in the second half after a first half where it put up 131 and outgained the Falcons by nearly 50 yards. After not throwing a pass last week and rushing for 248 yards in a 13-0 win over Austin, the Tigers were limited to 107 yards rushing, 86 of which came in the first half.

It could have been a tied game at halftime, but Albert Lea failed to come away with any points deep inside Falcon territory.

Albert Lea had a first-and-10 at the Faribault 11-yard line with less than 2 minutes to go in the first half, but after two short gains on running plays, the Tigers were whistled for an illegal motion penalty that put them at the 16-yard line and time for just one play before the half. Kyle Kriewall’s pass was picked off and Faribault held a 14-6 lead.

The Falcons intercepted Luke Grossman’s half back pass on the opening play from scrimmage and Bass scored six plays later on a 2-yard run.

Albert Lea responded with a 13-play, 75-yard drive when Trevor Rasmussen caught a 13-yard touchdown pass on a fourth-and-8. Aaron Klatt made an amazing one-handed grab during the drive for a 19-yard gain and six plays later the Tigers were on the board.

“I really think we improved enough to play with the Faribaults of the world, but it was just a disappointing second half,” Anderson said.

Albert Lea graduates 13 seniors from this year’s team.

Faribault 28, Albert Lea 6

Albert Lea 6 0 0 0 — 6

Faribault 7 7 14 0 — 28

First Quarter

F—Bass 2 run (Morris kick), 8:11.

AL—Rasmussen 13 pass from Kriewall (kick failed), 2:21.

Second Quarter

F—Bass 11 pass from Grote (Morris kick), 7:12.

Third Quarter

F—Bass 3 run (Morris kick), 7:49.

F—Putrah 31 pass from Grote (Morris kick), 3:38.


First Downs 11 18

Rushes-Yards 34-107 43-153

Total Net Yards 152 256

Passing 45 103

Punt Returns 2-0 5-14

Punts 5-142 2-66

Kickoff Returns 5-75 2-27

Interceptions-Ret. 0-0 3-NA

Comp-Att-Int 3-16-3 5-10-0

Sacked-Yard lost NA NA

Fumbles-Lost 2-1 1-1

Penalties-Yards 5-34 6-45


RUSHING—Albert Lea, Stolt 13-45, Grossman 8-30, Cooper 8-24, Kriewall 4-8.

PASSING—Albert Lea, Kriewall 3-16-2-45, Grossman 0-1-1-0.

RECEIVING—Albert Lea, Klatt 2-32, Rasmussen 1-13.