Slow start dooms Rebels football

Sports Editor

The Champlin Park football team entered its game against Blaine Sept. 29 looking to replicate its success from last season.

(Photo by Brian Flanary)
Champlin Park’s Ernest Worjloh breaks off a run in game action from earlier in the 2017 season.

The Rebels played a back-and-forth contest with the Bengals last season before earning the victory with a touchdown pass with 53 seconds left.

This time around, Blaine got off to a hot start, as the Rebels trailed 27-0 in the first quarter and Blaine, after Champlin Park brought the game back to within six points, earned a 46-28 victory.

“It was fun to watch them grow as a group and get on each other,” Korton said. “We just got down by too much, when you get down by 27 points right at the start, that’s a lot in high school football.

“These are young men, they’re growing into it and were almost too hard on themselves. You almost need to get them to lighten up and take it play-by-play and not focus on the big picture and limit our mistakes.”

After Blaine’s early offensive explosion, quarterback Joey Faulds hit running back Ernest Worjloh on a 49-yard touchdown pass to make it 27-7 after the first quarter. Then, after Blaine made it 34-7, Faulds and Worjloh connected again on a 10-yard touchdown pass just before halftime to make it a 34-14 score at half.

The Rebels were red-hot coming out of the halftime locker room, as Cal Hanson returned the second-half kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown and Worjloh broke off an 80-yard touchdown run for his third touchdown of the game to bring the game within six points.

“When you have speed like Ernest does and you can move like he can, you want to get the ball in his hands because big things can happen,” Korton said. “He can change things and turn things around with his big-play ability, so we try to get the ball in his hands and pick up first downs and move the chains.”

Blaine sealed the victory with two touchdowns to end the third quarter.

“We came back and showed a lot of heart coming back, but we made too many mistakes,” Korton said. “You can’t make mistakes and turn the ball over against a good team and they capitalized on all of our mistakes.”

Faulds threw for 99 yards and two touchdowns, with 65 yards and two touchdowns going to Worjloh, while also rushing for 113 yards to help lead the Champlin Park offense. Worjloh added 134 rushing yards and a touchdown to amass 199 total yards and three touchdowns.

Thomas Zinnah led the Rebel defense by recording 12 tackles while also picking up a sack.

Champlin Park (3-2) will play next against Roseville at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6, at Champlin Park High School.

Follow Chris Chesky on Twitter at @MNSunSports or @SunSportsChris, or on Facebook at SunSportsStaff.