Farmington quarterback Connor Weed took off on a 22-yard scramble for a first down against Minnetonka on Friday night. Weed’s rush was a crucial play in the Tigers’ first scoring drive. [Photo by Jeff Lawler, SportsEngine]
Minnetonka and Farmington entered Friday each seeking a signature victory. A resounding win over the other to advance to the state quarterfinals would fit the bill.
Host and No. 2 seed Farmington (6-4) beat No. 3 Minnetonka (8-2) 34-0 in the Class 6A playoffs.
“Just such an incredible effort by our defense,” Farmington co-head coach Rick Sutton said. “We really haven’t put together four quarters all year. Tonight, we were just flying around, making plays and taking the ball away. It was really fun to watch.”
Minnetonka’s regular-season opponents finished with a 17-40 combined record. Farmington played four ranked foes in the regular season and was defeated by all. Its regular-season wins came against teams with a 9-23 record.
Minnetonka outgained Farmington by 10 yards in the first half but faced a 14-0 deficit. Rod Finley scored his first of three rushing touchdowns from a yard out to break the scoreless tie 29 seconds before halftime. He finished with 24 carries for 120 yards.
Minnetonka was aggressive in looking to draw even before halftime, but it proved costly. Farmington junior Jonathan Shrum intercepted a pass and returned it 60 yards for a touchdown with five seconds remaining.
Farmington starting quarterback senior Connor Weed exited with an injury on the first drive of the second half. Coaches said he could have returned, but they stuck with freshman Jonah Ask.
Ask took over in Minnetonka territory and scrambled 20 yards to set up Finley’s 5-yard score. Ask ran five times for 67 yards and a touchdown and completed one of two passes for 7 yards.
“For him to step up as a freshman and do that, it shows how much we have each other’s backs,” Shrum said. “It doesn’t matter how old he is or how much experience he has, it just shows that anybody can step up for the next player.”
Brandon Ebel caught four passes for 85 yards and all but sealed the victory with an interception on the ensuing Minnetonka drive.
Farmington will meet No. 1 seed Eden Prairie on Nov. 12 in Chanhassen in a rematch of a 37-29 Eden Prairie win on Sept. 10.
“It was a close game the first time. I hope we can bring the intensity we’ve brought all year,” Shrum said. “The first time we played them we didn’t play our best game, so I hope we can bring how we played now to the next game.”
Farmington is moving on to the Class 6A state quarterfinals in resounding fashion.
The No. 2 seed Tigers dispatched the No. 3 seed Minnetonka Skippers 34-0 Friday in Farmington.
Farmington drew first blood on a 1-yard touchdown rush by Rod Finley on a direct snap in the wildcat formation with 29 seconds until halftime. The score was set up by a pair of 22-yard rushes by quarterback Connor Weed.
Jonathan Shrum intercepted a pass and returned it 60 yards for a touchdown with five seconds until halftime to give Farmington a 14-0 lead.
Weed exited the game early in the third quarter with an injury. Freshman Jonah Ask replaced him at quarterback and ran for 20 yards to set up a 5-yard Finley touchdown rush.
Another methodical drive led to Finley’s third touchdown rush from five yards out with 2:32 remaining in the third quarter.
Ask added a 12-yard touchdown rush in the fourth quarter, and he ran five times for 67 yards.
Jacob McCalla led Minnetonka with 10 carries for 37 yards. Will Martin completed 19-of-28 passes for 218 yards and two interceptions.
Finley led Farmington with 24 carries for 120 yards and three touchdowns.
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