Farmington defense keeps team afloat until offense kicks in

For The Weekly Post

MACOMB – Given the way the football game played out, it was fitting Farmington closed the scoring in last Friday’s win over Macomb with a defensive touchdown.

Hunter Darsham returned an interception 33 yards to cap Farmington’s 26-8 win at Macomb. The victory kept the Farmers (6-0, 5-0) unbeaten atop the LincolnLand large division and guaranteed a playoff spot.
“Defensively we played really well. I felt it was our most complete game defensively,” Farmington Coach Toby Vallas said. “They have some very talented skill guys and I think we did a better job of reading our keys and doing our individual jobs.”

Macomb opened the scoring on an 11-yard run by starting quarterback Braden Holthaus, who would later leave the game with what Vallas said appeared to be an elbow injury.

Macomb’s replacement at quarterback, junior Langdon Lambert, threw three interceptions, helping Farmington take control.

After a scoreless third, the Farmers took control in the fourth with a 61-yard scoring run by fullback Logan Utt and a 14-yard run by quarterback Lane Wheelwright, who had 104 rushing yards and 101 passing yards. Utt led with 118 rushing yards on five carries.

“On offense we put the ball on the floor a couple of times to kill some drives and had some negative plays to put us behind the chains,” Vallas said. “But I felt we were in control the whole game. It was a just a matter of putting the points up.”

The Farmers first score was a 27-yard run by Wheelwright in the second quarter.

Next up for Farmington is a road game in Kewanee against Annawan-Wethersfield and its gifted offensive backfield of running back Zeb Rashid and quarterback Dillon Horrie.

“They have an outstanding running back, the best kid we’ve played for sure,” Vallas said.

Mercer County 20
Elmwood-Brimfield 12

ELMWOOD – For the second week in a row, the Trojans outgained an opponent yet ended up losing.

The difference was a 74-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown by Tannen Whitehall with no time remaining before halftime. That and two other big plays boosted struggling Mercer County (3-3, 2-2).

“You could say two weeks in a row we’re one big play away in each game from possibly winning it,” E-B Coach Todd Hollis said. “You’ve got to win those big plays when they come. But at the same time, it tells me these guys are getting there. Because early in the season, we were not one big play away, we were lots of big plays and small plays away.”

On the visitor’s final score, E-B junior Bo Windish caught a pass and was fighting for extra yards when a hard hit dislodged the ball into Whitehall’s arms. That was the third score of the first half for Whitehall, a speedy sophomore who ran for 90 of Mercer County’s 166 total yards.
Whitehall also squirted around the end for a 49-yard run in the second quarter and had a 27-yard score in the first after Mercer County hit on a 43-yard pass.

“They had not shown the option on film and they hadn’t been running it,” Hollis said.

“It burned us about three times.”

That was about it for the Golden Eagles offense, as Windish accounted for more yards than the visiting team, with 140 rushing yards and 71 more on receptions. That included a 29-yard TD pass from Layne Johnson with 7:05 remaining. Sophomore Johnson replaced injured starter CJ Ramirez late in the second quarter.

Layne Durst ran 10 yards for E-B’s other score.

But the Trojans’ final two drives ended on a fourth-down incompletion and an interception.

E-B is on the road Friday at Macomb, which could be without its starting quarterback.
– Jeff Lampe