Last season, Faribault never got a shot at Byron.
Not during the team’s resurgent regular season, which was shortened and chopped Byron off the table, or during the one-game postseason. The Falcons thought they had the talent to topple the Bears and earn a spot in the Section 1-4A final.
A year later, and with Faribault now in a different section, it got its long-awaited chance Friday night in Byron, where the Falcons raced to a 32-14 victory to improve to 2-0 this season.
Faribault and Kasson-Mantorville, which beat Byron 31-21 in Week 1, are two of the final three remaining undefeated teams in the Big Southeast Blue District. Mankato East is 1-0, and plays Saturday afternoon against Red Wing.
To get to that point, the Falcons ran over, around and through the Bears on Friday night. Faribault racked up a combined 269 yards on the ground, led by senior Matthias Lenway’s 144 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries.
He scored the first touchdown of the game from 40 yards out to put Faribault up 8-0 in the first quarter with senior quarterback Hunter Nelson rushing in the two-point conversion
Nelson added two rushing scores and 106 yards on 12 carries, while the lefty also completed 8 of 19 passes for 166 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
Senior AJ Worrall caught one pass all night, but it was a 50-yard touchdown, while senior Isaac Mata finished with two receptions for 49 yards and a touchdown. Jordan Klecker also caught two passes for 39 yards.
Faribault entered halftime with a 20-7 lead, before Nelson scampered for touchdown runs of 9 and 41 yards in the third quarter to expand that lead to 32-7. Byron added a fourth-quarter touchdown, but the game was already out of reach by that point.
Defensively, Faribault forced and recovered three fumbles. Owen Nesburg led the defense with 6.5 tackles, while Elijah Hammonds added five tackles and all of Beau Schrot, Worrall and Devin Lockerby finished with three tackles.
Moving forward, Faribault plays Friday, Sept. 17 at Stewartville, which lost 47-20 in Week 1 against Mankato East and plays Saturday night against Albert Lea.
Elsewhere in the Big Southeast Blue District on Friday, Kasson-Mantorville whooped Winona 42-16 in Winona.
The Falcons and KoMets are scheduled to meet Friday, Oct. 1 in Kasson.