Northfield runs past outnumbered Trojans

BOURBON — Triton football head coach John Johns made one thing perfectly clear following his team’s loss Friday — he’s darn proud of his charges.
While the crafty Northfield offense rolled up 287 rushing yards en route to a 27-6 victory over host Triton, the small-in-numbers, big-in-effort Trojans earned plenty of praise from their leader.
“We dressed 22 guys and played 16,” Johns said. “We can last for awhile, but I wouldn’t trade these guys for any other group of guys. I love each and every one of them.
“I could not ask any more of these guys,” he added. “Scheme-wise there’s things we want to work on, but I couldn’t be any prouder of these guys; they played their tails off. If there’s one thing that needs to be put in the paper, it’s that I’m extremely proud of these guys.”
Junior running back Josh Bickel — one of four Northfield backs to cross the goal line — powered the Norsemen’s misdirection-heavy attack with 105 rushing yards on 17 carries. His 10-yard run with 11:27 left in the fourth quarter handed Northfield a two-possession edge, 20-6.
“Northfield’s a solid ballclub,” Johns said. “We went toe to toe with them while we were fresh. (Northfield’s) going to win a lot of football games.”
Triton’s Josey Farmwald toted the pigskin nine times for 108 yards, 67 of those out of punt formation on a low, bouncing snap that turned into the Trojans’ lone score of the night. The speedy senior fielded the rolling football, ran left, cut back across the middle and won the foot race to the end zone to make it a 14-6 game with 3:10 left in the third frame.
“I wanted to punt, but we dribbled the snap,” Johns said. “Our standard operating procedure on low snaps is to still punt if we can. Josey said he didn’t think he could get it away, so he took off. That touchdown was created by kids blocking and Josey Farmwald making an athletic play. I can’t take any credit for calling it; I wanted to punt. Josey made a heckuva play.”
Defensively, the Trojans created four turnovers with Farmwald, Grant Stichter, Trevor Kanarr, and Justin Martin each smothering Northfield fumbles. Cole Creighbaum and Phillip Stepp dislodged the ball for Stichter’s and Kanarr’s recoveries respectively.
However, Triton was unable to convert those miscues into points.
“We were able to move the ball a couple times, but we weren’t as productive with those turnovers as we wanted to be,” Johns said. “One of the things we emphasize is creating turnovers. We created them, but we missed some opportunities. We really needed to get a score in the first half.”
Meanwhile, Northfield intercepted a trio of passes, the biggest Drake Richter’s pick and return to the Triton 21 late in the second frame. Alec Wells cashed in with a 1-yard pitch around the right end and Xian Rodriguez added his first of three extra points for a 7-0 Norsemen edge with 33.2 seconds left before the intermission.
“That was huge,” Johns said. “That’s one of those things that changes the game. They were able to capitalize; they saw the end zone and got it in.”
Shane Vigar’s 11-yard touchdown run on a counter put the Norsemen up 14-0 with 5:05 left in the third quarter. Richter capped off the night’s scoring with a 17-yard scamper midway through the final stanza.
Triton opens Northern State Conference play next week at Culver.
At Bourbon
Score by quarters
Northfield: 0 7 7 13 — 27
Triton: 0 0 6 0 —  6
Scoring summary
Second quarter
N — Alec Wells 1 run (Zian Rodriguez kick), 33.2.
Third quarter
N — Shane Vigar 11 run (Rodriguez kick), 5:05.
T — Josey Farmwald 67 run (kick failed), 3:10
Fourth quarter
N — Josh Bickel 10 run (kick failed), 11:27
N — Drake Richter 17 run (Rodriguez kick), 5:48.
First downs: 16 7
Rushing yards: 43-287 30-206
Passing yards: 22 39
Passing: 2-9 6-20-3
Fumbles-lost: 8-4 1-0
Punts: 2-29 4-29.6
Penalties: 4-30 2-20
Northfield stats
Rushing: Bickel 17-105, Richter 10-63, Wells 4-47, Vigar 5-44, Carter Frieden 5-10, Marcus Kroh 1-10, Jarred Short 1-8.
Passing: Frieden 2-9, 22 yards.
Receiving: Vigar 2-22.
Tackles: Bickel, Kroh 6.
Triton stats
Rushing: Farmwald 9-108, Grant Stichter 7-50, Cole Creighbaum 12-48, Jeremy Jones 1-0, Nate Spangle 1-0.
Passing: Stichter 6-19-3, 39 yards; Creighbaum 0-1.
Receiving: Creighbaum 3-14, Farmwald 2-11, Nick Harker 1-14.
Tackles: Trevor Kanarr 6.
Records: Northfield 1-1, Triton 1-1.