Cardinals raise curtain with win
WILLMAR -- Under a full moon, the Jon Konold era at Willmar debuted with a 26-19 win over the Bemidji Lumberjacks on Friday night.
Over 1,600 fans on a perfect evening saw Willmar's new shotgun offense revealed. It produced two touchdowns and made no turn-overs.
But it was the defense that saved the evening for Willmar with five takeaways. Two went for touchdowns -- second-quarter interception returns of 22 and 73 yards by Adam Fagerstrom and Taylor Filipek, respectively.
"There were so many big plays," said Konold. "We had a lot of kids out there for the first time (on varsity) and a new staff trying to work things out, but it's great to get that first win."
Willmar lost the opener at Bemidji 25-12 a year ago but both teams last night were mostly new.
Senior quarterback Mark Dunham was sure-handed running the spread offense with plays signaled in from the sidelines by back-up Jake Rambow.
He directed long marches that resulted in scores by Grant Schow in the second quarter and Nathanial Swoyer in the third for a 26-7 lead.
The Lumberjacks' sophomore quarterback Mitchell Hendricks was intercepted four times but made a number of pin-point passes which makes the future bright.
Patrick Schueller, a senior defensive end, led the Willmar defense with 14 tackles and a fumble recovery deep in Willmar territory. Filipek also had a second pick-off and Jeremy Schendel another.
Willmar 26, Bemidji 19
Bemidji 0 7 0 12 -- 19
Willmar 0 19 7 0 -- 26
Wil - Grant Schow 9 run (kick fail)
Wil - Adam Fagerstrom 22 interception return (Mitch Fader kick)
Wil - Taylor Filipek 73 yard interception return (kick fail)
Bem - Ryan Rude 20 pass from Mitch Hendricks (Mike Rees kick)
Wil - Nathanial Swoyer 1 run (Fader kick)
Bem - Cole Bardwell 31 pass from Hendricks (kick fail)
Bem - Czar Woods 4 run (kick blocked)
First downs: not available... Rushing: 42-172 ... Passing (com-att-yds-int.): 11-28-247-4 ... Fumbles lost: 1 ... Penalties: not available
Rushing: Czar Woods 17-59, Evan Olson 14-90 ... Passing: Mitchell Hendricks 11-28-247-4 ... Receiving: Ryan Rude 5-149, Ben Hengel 1-7, Cole Bardwell 2-54, Wood 1-21 ... Punting: not available ... Interceptions: none ... Fumble recoveries: none ...
First downs: 8 ... Rushing: 35-108 ... Passing (com-att-yds-int.): 10-20-103-0 ... Fumbles lost: 0 ... Penalties: not available
Rushing: Nathanial Swoyer 15-27, Grant Schow 12-51, Mark Dunham 5-27 ... Passing: Mark Dunham 10-20-103-0 ... Receiving: Taylor Filipek 2-24, Jeremy Schendel 5-63, Blake Graves 1-3, Ryan Lawler 1-7, Swoyer 1-(-4) ... Punting: Swoyer 5-37.6 ... Interceptions: Filipek 2, Schendel 1, Fagerstrom 1 ... Fumble recoveries: Patrick Schueller 1 ... Tackles (solo-assist): Patrick Schueller 14, Nathanial Swoyer 9, Eugene Stepan 8, Coty Milhausen 7, Taylor Filipek 7, Adam Fagerstrom 7, Gabe Amon 6, Jeremy Schendel 4, Derrick Loiselle 4 ... QB sacks: none