"The first half we had a tough time getting the running game going and gave Rushford-Peterson a short field, said coach Chris Mensink about Friday's football game, a 33-21 loss to the Trojans. "Field position was in their favor, and we could not reverse the field."

Fillmore Central fumbled and gave R-P their second score. Devon Block had a fine defensive play towards the end of the first quarter, intercepting a R-P pass in the end zone to stop a Trojan drive.

The Falcons did get on the scoreboard in the second quarter on a four-yard run by junior Tom Henry. Collin Bennett converted the extra-point, cutting the R-P deficit to 13-7. A great 62 yard kickoff return by Devon Block and a 20 yard pass to Dan Gatzke (from Brandon Breitsprecher) set up the scoring run by Henry. R-P got on the scoreboard a third time in the first half, with their second big scoring play, a 36 yard pass. The first score of the game for the Trojans came on a 64 yard run.

After another Rushford-Peterson score in the third quarter, and a lead of 26-7, Fillmore Central put together a rally scoring a pair of touchdowns and cutting the lead to five, at 26-21.

Fillmore Central's second TD came on an 11-yard run by Dan Gatzke, set up by a 32-yard pass from Breitsprecher to Logan Masters. The Falcons cut into the lead even more in the fourth quarter on a five yard pass from Breitsprecher to Gatzke. Bennett hit both extra-points, and the Falcons trailed by less than a touchdown, 26-21. FC's last score was set up by a 20 yard Logan Master's run and a 17 yard pass from Brandon Breitsprecher to Andrew Coyle.

After receiving a punt with 2:43 to go in the game, and trailing by five, "we put ourselves in position to win," said coach Mensink, but "we just came up a little short." Rushford-Peterson picked off a Breitsprecher pass and took it into the end zone for a "pick-six" and a 33-21 lead.

The Falcons completed a couple passes in their last possession, but turned out to be too little-too late, falling to the Trojans by a final score of 33-21.

"Our execution was much better in the second half," stated Mensink. "Our kids played with passion and intensity to get us in position to have a chance to win. We also executed in the kicking game," added the coach. "Collin Bennett and our PAT team went 3/3, much improved over the previous week. Those are important points. Our football team has made great strides the past few weeks and are playing some pretty good football, which is what you want to see as the playoffs are right around the corner."

With one game to go in the regular season, Fillmore Central is 2-5, over-all, and 1-3 in the TRC-South. In the playoff picture, the Falcons are currently sixth in the quarterfinals seeding. Bethlehem Academy is currently in the top spot, with Blooming Prairie second, Rushford-Peterson at No. 3, followed by Goodhue (No. 4), Southland (5), FC (6), Kingsland (7), and Wabasha-Kellogg (8). Final seeding will come out after the regular season is completed on Wednesday.

Individual stats...Passing: Brandon Breitsprecher, 11/23, 139 yds., 2 TD's, 3 INT; Dan Gatzke, 0/1; McKinnen Stone, 0/1. Receiving: Logan Masters, 2/39 yds.; Dan Gatzke, 5/58 yds. 2 TD's; Tom Henry, 2/20 yds; Devon Block, 1/5 yds; Andrew Coyle, 1/17 yds. Rushing: Masters, 1/20 yds; Breitsprecher, 6/-8 yds; Gatzke, 17/41 yds., 2 fumbles; Stone, 2/5 yds. Henry, 6/15 yds., 1 TD.

Scoring by quarters....

R-P 7-12-7-7 = 33

FC 0-7-7-7 = 21

Team stats vs. Rushford-Peterson


First downs 10 14

Rushing 40 c, 173 y 32 c, 73 y

1 fumble, 3 TDs 2 fum, 1 TD

Passing 6/14, 137 yds 11/25, 139 yds

2 TD's, 1 INT 2 TD's, 3 INT

Total 'O' 54 p, 310 y 57 p, 212 y

Penalties 7, 75 yds 2, 20 yds

Turnovers 2 5

Time 26 min. + 21 min. +