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Armstrong recovers from rough start with big third quarter to defeat Coon Rapids

By JIM PAULSEN, Star Tribune, 10/04/19, 9:30PM CDT


A 21-point outburst in the third quarter helped the Falcons remain undefeated en route to a 35-21 victory.

Armstrong wide receiver Nick Barrett (2) caught the ball for a first down before bracing for a hit by Coon Rapids safety Antonio Manos (1) in the first half Friday. Photo: Aaron Lavinsky • aaron.lavinsky@startribune.com

It was not unexpected, but Armstrong coach Jack Negen was still frustrated by the way his Falcons came out in a 35-21 come-from-behind victory over Coon Rapids.

In the first quarter-and-a-half Friday at Armstrong, the Cardinals (4-2) sliced through the Falcon defense with relative ease, building a 14-0 lead on two touchdown runs by quarterback Jake Van Hulzen.

“I didn’t really like that first half,” Negen said. “It was a physical game and they dominated us physically. I was frustrated, honestly. These homecoming weeks, they’re weird.”

But there’s something special going on at Armstrong, which improved to 6-0 this season, much of it tied to the leadership and never-say-die nature of senior quarterback Jake Breitbach, not seven months removed from a torn ACL in his left knee.

Breitbach, whose knee had kept him from running the ball much until Friday, resembled the dual-threat he was a year ago. He rushed for 80 yards after halftime and engineered an offense that scored 35 unanswered points, turning a potential disaster into a delightful game.

First report

Armstrong recovered from a disastrous first quarter-and-a-half, rallying to defeat Coon Rapids 35-21 on Friday.

The Falcons, playing at home, trailed 14-0 early in the second quarter as Coon Rapids moved up and down the field with ease. The Cardinals got touchdown runs of 1 and 16 yards from quarterback Jake Van Hulzen, silencing an Armstrong homecoming crowd.

The Falcons cut the lead to 14-7 at halftime on a 21-yard fade pass from quarterback Jake Breitbach to Jordan Lewis.

Armstrong took control with a 21-point third quarter. Breitbach ran for a score and threw a 38-yard touchdown pass to Nick Barrett, sandwiched around a 3-yard scoring run by Aboubacar Kourma.

A 24-yard end-around pass from Thai Bowman to Lewis in the fourth quarter extended the lead to 35-14 for Armstrong, which improved to 6-0.

Coon Rapids (4-2) got a late touchdown from David Geebli for the final margin.

Check back later for more on the game.

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