Holmen stifles Trojan offense

New Prague’s JT Butler caught six passes for 64 yards in the Trojans’ loss to Holmen. (Chuck Kajer Photo)

The New Prague Trojan football team opened its season with a disappointing loss to Holmen, WI. A big and talented Vikings squad shut out the Trojans, 33-0.

            Holmen’s big defensive line stifled the Trojan rushing attack, as New Prague lost 11 yards rushing for the game. A week earlier, Holmen had done the same to Chippewa Falls, which lost 33 yards on the ground.

            New Prague’s offense  and defense were hampered when senior Nathan Preston went down to injury. Preston made all three tackles on the Vikings’ first possession and carried the ball twice on New prague’s first possession. On the Trojans’ second possession, he caught a pass on the left flat and was tackled for a loss. He appeared to hurt his knee on the tackle and did not play the rest of the game.

            New Prague went three-and-out on six of their nine possessions. their longest drive came at the end of the first half, when they went 72 yards, to the Vikings’ 8-yard line. The half appeared to end on a pass from Tyler Johnson to Peter Molitor that went for the Holmen 16 as time ran out, but a facemask penalty gave the Trojans an untimed down from the 8-yard line. Johnson’s pass into the end zone was intercepted.

            Holmen scored three times in the first half, on a 2-yard run from Noah Risch late in the first quarter, on a 50-yard pass from Tyler Anderson to Dillon Martinez early in the second and on a 10-yard run by Mitchell Deinger late in the half.

            They added two scores on long drives, all on the ground, in the second half to make the final 33-0.

            Trojan quarterback Johnson was 14-of-29 passing for 143 yards. JT Butler was the top receiver, with six catches for 64 yards. Jake Klein had two catches for 26 yards, Gage Bergman had two catches for two yards, and six other Trojans had one catch each - Ben Buthe for 28 yards, Molitor for 20, Kyle Rookaird for six, Josh Polson for one and Preston and Michael Schumacher each for minus-1 yard.

            Polson was the Trojans’ leading rusher, and the only one to have positive yardage, gaining two yards on four carries. Will Halloran had one carry for minus-2, Preston two carries for minus-4 and Johnson four carries for minus-7.

            Logan Dykstra led the Trojan defense with 11.5 tackles, including 11 solo tackles. Mitch Gullickson had eight tackles, two for loss, while Calvin Rezac had five and Nathan Zweber had 4.5.

            New Prague returns to action at home on Friday, Sept. 6, when they begin their final Missota Conference campaign against Holy Angels. The Stars lost their opener to Edina 40-0.