Caught in a Storm
SAUK RAPIDS -- The Willmar Cardinals' three-week road trip which began in high spirits and with a 3-0 record has turned into a bumpy ride with a motor leaking oil and tires going flat.
Sauk Rapids, which had given up 90 points in its last two games, blanked the Cardinals 21-0 at the Storm homecoming on Friday in Central Lakes Conference football.
It was the first win for Bill Magnuson's team and avenged a 20-12 loss to Willmar and his former Minnesota-Morris teammate Ken Heitzman. At game's end, Magnuson's happy bench doused him with a bucket of water to celebrate the Storms' second win in two years.
Willmar lost 33-7 to a strong Sartell team last week but was expected to do better against the Storm, even with Willmar missing three starters to injury.
But the Storm dominated play both sides of the line while shirking 110 yards in penalties and six turnovers.
By halftime, the Cardinals had generated 28 net yards and trailed 7-0 on senior halfback Andrew Gunderson's short scoring run at the end of the half.
The Storm went up 14-0 in the first two minutes of the third quarter. On the first play from scrimmage, Travis Peckskamp busted a 64-yard run with Kyle Birkland making a diving tackle to at least delay a touchdown for two more plays.
Willmar, which committed four turnover and had 75 yards in penalties, could get little going.
Like last week, the offensive line couldn't hold their blocks. Quarterback Andy Boersma was minus 50 yards in sacks and busted options. Cory Hanson got nothing in eight attempts and seemed to be limping in the second half. Tailback Tyler Horning, replacing injured Tom Prunty, rushed for 35 yards in 10 attempts.
Boersma passed for 43 yards with two interceptions.
For the second straight week, the defense allowed two 100-yard rushers (Gunderson 15-102, Peckskamp 15-143).
Birkland made a goal line interception and 65 yards return. Linebacker Justin Schwieger logged an impressive 15 tackles. Freshman punter Jordan Smith had a 35-yard average taking over for injured defensive end Matt Roisum.
Willmar encounters the last leg of its homecoming trifecta at Alexandria on Saturday
Sauk Rapids 21, Willmar 0
Willmar (3-2, 3-2) 0 0 0 0 -- 0
Sauk Rapids (1-3, 1-4) 0 7 14 0 -- 21
SR - Andy Gunderson 2 run (Danny Mace)
SR - Kevin Strang 2 run (Mace kick)
SR - Travis Peckskamp 2 run (Mace kick)
First downs: 8 ... Rushing: 38-18 ... Passing (com-att-yds-int.): 4-11-43-2 ... Fumbles lost: 2 ... Penalties: 8-75
Rushing: Andy Boersma 14-(-50), Eric Manz 2-17, Cory Hanson 8-1, Tyler Horning 10-35, Josh Dahlke 2-(-6), Mike Dunham 1-15, Andrew East 1-3 .... Passing: Boersma 4-11-43-2.... Receiving: Horning 2-13, Dahlke 1-12, Birkland 1-18 .... Punting: Jordan Smith 4-35.7 .... Interceptions: Kyle Birkland, Horning .... Fumble recoveries: Mike Iliff, Josh Bernhagen, Brandon Klein, Justin Schwieger... Tackles (solo-assist): Horning 1-2, Birkland 3-3, Manz 0-5, Adam Schow 0-4, Cory Hanson 2-1, Ross Van Hauen 1-2, Trent Molacek 1-0, Justin Black 0-2, Justin Schwieger 2-13, Josh Bernhagen 2-4, Mike Iliff 0-7 ... QB sacks: Manz, Molacek
First downs: 13 ... Rushing: 42-251`... Passing (com-att-yds-int.): 1-11-7-2... Fumbles lost: 4 ... Penalties: 12-110
Rushing: Andrew Gunderson 15-102, Travis Peckskamp 15-143 .... Passing: Zach Rudolph 1-11-72-2 .... Receiving: Mitch Rau 1-7.... Punting: Rudolph 2-36.0 .... Interceptions: Tyler Spiczka, Justin Moehle
NEXT -- Willmar: Friday at Alexandria