Jordan trips No. 4 Fairmont football in state quarterfinals
PRIOR LAKE — The unranked Jordan Hubmen reversed the turnover ratio in their favor during Saturday’s rematch with the No. 4-ranked Fairmont Cardinals during Class AAA state quarterfinal football action at Dan Patch Stadium.
Fairmont utilized a 3-to-1 plus turnover ratio to post a 41-26 regular-season victory over Jordan on Sept. 8 at Ames Stadium in Jordan.
The Hubmen’s defense, however, created three Cardinal turnovers without committing, while quarterback Jonathan Draheim and running back Tariq Smith produced game-best offensive statistics to engineer Jordan’s 20-13 state triumph over Fairmont.
Draheim passed for 272 yards, three touchdowns and a 2-point conversion, while Smith twisted and turned his way to 125 yards on a yeoman 25 carries to power the Hubmen into the Class AAA state semifinals.
Jordan (9-3) squares off against No. 2-ranked Pierz (11-0) at 2 p.m. Saturday at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. Pierz flattened No. 8-ranked Proctor, 42-13, during quarterfinal action.
Fairmont, which made its third state appearance of head coach Mat Mahoney’s 11-year tenure, ended its season with a 9-2 overall record.
No. 1-ranked St. Croix Lutheran (11-0), the state runner-up in 2016, plays Pequot Lakes (9-2) in the other Class AAA state semifinal at 4:30 p.m. Saturday at U.S. Bank Stadium. St. Croix Lutheran crushed defending state champion and No. 10-ranked Rochester Lourdes, 61-29, while Pequot Lakes shut out Mora, 34-0.
“It just wasn’t our night. Our offense wasn’t clicking for the first 18 minutes of the game,” said Mahoney. “We committed those two key turnovers in the first half to keep ourselves off the scoreboard.”
Jordan linebacker Jon Huss and cornerback Noah Schmitt delivered those respective interceptions to thwart Fairmont quarterback Nate Kallenbach and his Cardinals’ potential scoring drives downfield late in the first and second quarters.
Hubmen safety Jagger Leik knocked away Kallenbach spirals on second and third downs to force a rare game-opening three-and-out series by the Cardinals.
Draheim, Smith and offensive then assembled a 16-play, 69-yard time- consuming drive to draw first blood at 6-0 during the heavyweight slugfest.
Draheim converted a fourth-and-1 from Fairmont’s 49 and later, a fourth-and-10 from the Cardinals’ 34, to sustain the offensive march. Jordan’s senior signal-caller zipped a 16-yard strike to Noah Schmitt for a pivotal first down at the Fairmont 18 before the strong-armed quarterback covered the remaining distance via a laser slant pass to speedster Marlon Wiley at the 7:49 mark of the opening quarter.
Jordan defensive end Tyler Buesgens helped spearhead another stonewalling stance to force Fairmont to punt with time winding down in the first quarter.
Draheim fired a 19-yard quick out pass to Wiley to reach Cardinal territory at the 42 before spotting wide receiver Adam Kreuser on a left-side slant just four snaps later and the junior speedster sprinted 40 yards to double the Hubmen’s lead. Ryan Friedges then caught Draheim’s 2-point pass and juked his way into the end zone for a 14-0 edge with 3:22 left in the first quarter.
Kallenbach — who generated 140 yards on 15-for-25 passing before exiting via an ankle injury during the latter stages of the third quarter — fired a 12-yard bullet to Wyatt Quiring, zipped home a 10-yarder to Dustin Schultz and reached the Hubmen’s 35 on an 8-yard connection to Hayden Berhow.
Tight end Brady Allen’s reverse-turned-option pass was picked off by Jordan linebacker Jon Huss at the Hubmen’s 1 to keep the Cardinals off the scoreboard before the opening quarter ended.
Collin Steuber, Allen and safety Sam Schwieger each batted away Draheim passes to slam the brakes on Jordan’s ensuing offensive march at the Fairmont 5 via downs.
Kallenbach, the master of comebacks, countered by flipping a 21-yard screen to running back Jordan Wolter before hitting Berhow on a pair of 8-yarders sanwiched around Schultz’s 5-yard grab. Kallenbach later drilled Schultz for an 11-yarder to Jordan’s 1, but Hubmen tackle Anthony Quinones and linebacker Jon Huss denied back-to-back Fairmont runs for a loss of 1 yard to set up third and goal at the 2. Schmitt intercepted a pass in the end zone and stayed put for the touchback with 2:06 remaining before halftime.
Linebacker Zac Ringnell’s stop for no gain on a first-down run and Schwieger’s tip-away on third-and-long forced a Jordan punt during the opening series of the third quarter.
Kallenbach picked apart the Hubmen secondary with quick tosses to Schultz, Schwieger, Quiring and Wolter to reach the 33. Fairmont’s senior quarterback rolled left and lofted a 33-yard TD pass to the sure-handed Quiring to inch within eight. Kallenbach’s PAT kick made it 14-7 with 7:36 remaining in the third.
“I thought our guys gave everything that they had and played their hearts out in the second half to make it a game down the stretch,” said Mahoney.
After Steuber, Ringnell and Wolter halted Jordan’s next possession, Draheim’s ensuing punt was fumbled and picked up by Ryan Friedges at the Fairmont 40 midway through the third period.
Cornerback Daniel Reiter tipped away the Hubmen’s fourth-and-three pass from the 33 to allow the Cardinals to regain possession via downs.
Junior Garrett Myren replaced the injured Kallenbach under center and utilized his rumbling running style and passing to assemble a 12-play, 67-yard scoring drive aided by a Hubmen horse-collar penalty and a holding infraction in the secondary.
Myren fired a 6-yard scoring strike to Schultz near the right pylon to inch within 14-13 with 37 seconds remaining in the third quarter. Nuss and Buesgens swallowed up Myren on the 2-point run to keep the game at a one-point difference.
Once again, Draheim relied on his two favorite targets — Wiley and Kreuser — to answer with a score two minutes into the fourth frame.
Draheim rifled a 17-yard out to Wiley, Tariq Smith chewed up 18 and 8 yards on the ground, and Draheim capped the march with a 17-yard, tackle-breaking completion to Kreuser. Fairmont defensive end Devin Johnson and Ringnell blocked the PAT kick to keep the game at 20-13 with 10 minutes to go.
Jordan’s defense allowed only one Fairmont first down during the next two possessions while the Hubmen offense tallied five first downs during their two series to evaporate time to close out the win.
Wiley finished with a game-best seven receptions for 96 yards and a TD for Jordan, while Tariq Smith contributed five catches for 46 more yards.
Quiring and Schultz each pocketed five catches, including one TD apiece, en route to 57 and 35 yards, respectively, for Fairmont.
Fairmont 0 0 13 0 — 13
Jordan 14 0 0 6 — 20
JOR–Marlon Wiley 18 pass from Jonathan Draheim (run failed), 7:49.
JOR–Adam Kreuser 40 pass from Draheim (Ryan Friedges pass from Draheim), 3:22.
FMT–Wyatt Quiring 33 pass from Nate Kallenbach (Kallenbach kick), 7:36.
FMT–Dustin Schultz 6 pass from Garrett Myren (run failed), 0:37.
JOR–Kreuser 17 pass from Draheim (kick blocked), 10:00.
First downs: Jordan 20; Fairmont 17. Rushing: Jordan 33-121; Fairmont 22-77. Passing (Comp-Att-Int-Yards): Jordan 24-47-0-272; Fairmont 21-36-2-161. Fumbles-lost: Jordan 1-0; Fairmont 1-1. Penalties: Jordan 7-85; Fairmont 7-59.
Rushing: Tariq Smith (JOR) 25-125; Myren (F) 6-38. Passing: Draheim (JOR) 24-47-0-272; Kallenbach (F) 15-25-1-140, Myren (F) 6-10-0-21, Brady Allen (F) 0-1-1-0. Receiving: Jordan: Wiley 7-96, T. Smith 5-46, Noah Schmitt 4-31, Friedges 4-30, Kreuser 2-57, Jon Huss 1-8, Ryan Samuelson 1-4. Fairmont: Quiring 5-57, Schultz 5-35, Jordan Wolter 4-20, Hayden Berhow 3-24, Sam Schwieger 3-20, Allen 1-5.
Defense: Interceptions: Huss (JOR) and Schmitt (JOR). Fumble recovery: Friedges (JOR).