Ned Louis

Faribault coach Ned Louis, seen after a 2018 matchup against Northfield, hopes the Falcons can find consistency in the final weeks of the regular season. (Faribault Daily News file photo)

3-and-out with the Rochester John Marshall Rockets

  • Faribault (1-5 overall, 1-3 district) hits the road this week for a matchup against Class 5A Rochester John Marshall (2-4 overall, 2-3 district).
  • The youthful Falcons have endured some growing pains through six games, but look to end the regular season on a high note in their final two games.
  • After starting the season 0-3, the Rockets have bounced back, winning two of their last three games. They are coming off of a 24-12 loss to Rochester Mayo.

When the Falcons have the ball

Last week, Faribault committed seven turnovers, so it’s fair to suggest things can only improve from here.

“We just have to be more consistent. We can compete with good teams if we play four quarters and limit mistakes. When we do that, we can be a good football team,” Faribault head coach Ned Louis after last week’s loss to Mankato East. “I know we’re young, and maybe that’s just part of being young. We have two left and then the playoffs. We just have to keep plugging away.”

Quarterback Nick Ehlers will be back under center. The junior will look to be more under control this time around, limiting turnovers and improving as a game manager.

“We can’t give up a team like John Marshall extra possessions, because they’ll wear us out,” said Louis. “We have to take care of the football, sustain drives and avoid penalties and turnovers. They’re tough to run against. If we’re going to move the ball, we need a good balance. We’re going to have to complete a lot of passes, but also be able to run just so they can’t drop everyone in coverage. We need a well-balanced attack.”

A theme all season, the Falcons have stayed upbeat in practice amidst adversity in a transitional season.

“We’ve had a good week and the guys are staying positive,” said Louis. “They are ready to close out the regular season strong and a fresh start in the playoffs."

Faribault averages 14 points per game. John Marshall surrenders 31.

When the Rockets have the ball

A run-heavy team, senior Braden Black leads the way in John Marshall’s backfield. A workhorse with good size, Black presents a tough challenge for a Faribault defense looking to find consistency.

“We have to win the line of scrimmage. Linebackers have to fly to the football and get an overall better pursuit to the ball,” said Louis. “We’ve given up too many big plays in the past few weeks. We have to be more consistent. That’s the key in football. We’ve played well at times this year, but not for four quarters.”

Behind center, Cole Peterson leads the Rockets offensively. Parker Navitsky, alongside Black, represents a threat in the backfield. On the outside, John Marshall will be relying on Jack Ward and Jacob Welp, among others, to move the chains through the air.

John Marshall averages 17.5 points per game. Faribault surrenders 36.8.

Key to the game

With a run-heavy attack, Ned Louis says John Marshall will attempt to run it down Faribault’s throats. For the Falcons, they need to stop the run first, then worry about everything else.

Coach says

“Our young kids are maturing. Now our juniors have to start playing like seniors and are sophomores like juniors.” - Faribault head coach Ned Louis.

Reach Sports Reporter Dan Slaubaugh at 507-333-3119 or follow him on Twitter @fdn_dan. ©Copyright 2019 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All rights reserved.

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