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FOOTBALL: Farmington keeps winning, not derailed by bumps and bruises

By: Scott Burnstein, October 4, 2012, 9:00 am

FARMINGTON – Despite being bitten by a severe injury bug the past month, the Farmington High School football team hasn’t been slowed down.

Since Week 3, the Falcons have lost some primary personnel to injuries, including all-league senior tailback Jordan Degreffenreed, his back-up, Deuce-Vivus Eldorin and senior quarterback Troy Mitchell.

Undeterred and refusing to have its progress impeded, Farmington is 5-1 going into its Week 7 Oakland Activities Association White Division match-up with cross-town rival North Farmington (2-4).

“We’ve got hit by some injuries across the board in our lineup,” admitted Falcons head coach John Bechtel. “But we’ve moved some things around and kids have stepped up and we’re still looking pretty good.”

With Degreffenreed and Eldorin on the shelf with ankle sprains suffered in Week 4 and Mitchell just recently cleared to play following a concussion incurred in Week 3,  senior captain Connor Mohr and sophomore back-up field general Kyle Collins have been there, among others, to save the day for Bechtel and the Falcons’ faithful.

Mohr, an all-league full back and linebacker since he was a sophomore, has assumed No. 1 ball-carrier duties for Farmington and is demolishing defenses, chewing up yardage in devastating fashion. Last Friday night in the Falcons 41-29 defeat of Rochester Adams, Mohr chugged along for 225 yards and two touchdowns on the ground, to go along with his customary dozen tackles on defense. When he was a sophomore in 2010, he averaged almost nine yards per carry, before playing mostly at his linebacker spot last year as a junior

Collins, the junior varsity starter last season, has looked incredibly steady taking over quarterbacking duties in Mitchell’s stead. He had three touchdowns, two throwing and one rushing, in the Adams game. His 21-yard scoring connection with Mohr opened the game’s scoring and his 29-yard hook-up with University of Cincinnati-commit Isaiah Gourdine made it 25-7 in the third quarter.

Protecting Collins and leading the way up field for Mohr has been senior Ryan Caprathe, the Falcons’ heart and soul on the offensive line.

Farmington’s defensive line is anchored by Michael Purry and Keenan White and it’s linebacker corps by Mohr and Wes Kuuttila.

The secondary is headlined by Gourdine, who will play safety in college with the Bearcats and junior Curtis Brunson, another long and athletic college prospect in the defensive backfield, learning the tricks of the trade from his Big East-bound teammate.

Senior Chad Wilyard, who has caused and recovered some important fumbles this year, junior Josh Craven (running back-defensive back), sophomore Justin Banks (offensive line-defensive line) and freshman David Reese (linebacker-fullback) have all made significant contributions for the Falcons, too.

“We’re fighting through the adversity and once we’re fully healthy, which will be soon, we’re going to be that much more explosive.”

Degreffenreed is expected back on the field any week now and Mitchell returned to the huddle with a 65-yard touchdown strike to Gourdine in the second half of the Adams game last week.

A win against North Farmington in Week 7 will clinch Bechtel and the Falcons their fifth straight playoff bid.