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Tribune photo by Rand Middleton St. Cloud Apollo wide receiver Noel Tiegen, who caught two touchdown passes from quarterback Ben Alvord, gets off a running punt in the first half over the outstretched hand of Willmar defensive end Cole Hagen on Friday at Hodapp Field in Willmar.

Prep football: Eagles kick Cardinals on HC

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WILLMAR — St. Cloud Apollo celebrated the Willmar homecoming by pulling the plug  on the Cardinals high-scoring offense on Friday night.

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The Eagles never trailed in the 24-13 Central Lakes South win before 1,794 on a cool evening with light rain falling in the second half at Hodapp Field.

Willmar had the edge in offense 320 to 254 yards but the Eagles made all the big plays.

Apollo goes to 3-0 in the CLC South while Willmar takes a step back to 2-1 with Rocori in Cold Spring next Friday and then St. Cloud Tech invading Hodapp the following Wednesday prior to playoffs.

Apollo will host cross-town rival St. Cloud Tech on Friday.

It was a happy homecoming for fourth-year Apollo head coach Justin Skaalerud, a 2000 Willmar graduate who was 0-2 before last night against his alma mater.

Ben Alvord, the Eagles junior QB and a third-year starter, threw darts. Three went for touchdowns: 7 yards to Jeremy Koffe and 18 and 55 yards to 150-pound speedster Noel Teigen.

The defense appeared well schooled against an offense that had piled up 146 points the previous three weekends. The Eagles, featuring many two-way players, didn’t allow big TD plays, contained Card RB Michael Heitzman, never let the passing game break loose or Willmar special teams to do damage.

QB Auggie Hahn was Willmar’s best weapon. He ran for 84 tough yards, including all 18 yards in short drive after Colten Carlson recovered an Eagles fumble. He also threw for 209 yards. WR Chris Cunningham hookup with Hahn 6 times for 66 yards and a third quarter TD.

But Willmar wasn’t sharp amassing 9 penalties and three turnovers.

Inside linebacker Vaughn Johnson led the defense with 13 tackles. Tyler Stegeman had an interception in the fourth quarter on the Willmar 10 but the Cards fumble the ball away the next play leading to a Connor Waldron field goal and an 11 point lead with 5:29 left to play.

SC Apollo 24, Willmar 13

SC Apollo (2-0, 4-1)           7  7   7   3— 24

Willmar (2-0, 4-1)              0  7   6   0— 13

Apo – Jeremy Koffe 7 pass from Ben Alvord (Connor Waldron kick)

Wil – Auggie Hahn 5 run (Max Trochlil kick)

Apo – Noel Teigen 18 pass from Alvord (Waldron kick)

Apo – Teigan 55 pass from Alvord (Waldron kick)

Wil – Chris Cunningham 13 pass from Hahn (kick fail)

Wil – Waldron 21 field goal

St. Cloud Apollo

First downs: 11 … Rushing: 38-86 … Passing (com-att-yds-int.): 10-18-168-1 … Fumbles lost: 1 … Penalties: 7-63

Rushing: Ben Alvord 13-16, Noel Tiegen 6-22, Jeremy Koffi 1-0, Kyle RosenthaL 7-25 … Passing: Alvord 10-18-168-1 ... Receiving: Tiegen 5-99, Jeremy Koffi 4-62, Mike Ashwill 1-7 … Punting: Tiegen 5-35.8 … Interceptions: Kolt Herron, Tiegen

Willmar

First downs: 18 … Rushing: 33-111 … Passing (com-att-yds-int.): 23-34-209-2 … Fumbles lost: 1 … Penalties: 9-65

Rushing: Auggie Hahn 20-84, Michael Heitzman, 13-27 … Passing: Hahn 23-34-209-2  ... Receiving: Chris Cunningham 6-68, Heitzman 2-16, Adam Nibaur 4-45, Tyler Pendill 1-11, Travis Deegan 1-8, Austin Grove 8-62  … Punting: Zach Radermacher 1-20.0, Nibaur 6-30.7  … Interceptions: Tyler Stegeman … Fumble recoveries: Colton Carlson … Tackles (solo-assist): Vaughn Johnson 9-5, Buzzy Tollefson 2-1, Carlson 3-4, Jacob Croonquist 1-2, Deegan 7-0, Zac Rudolph 2-1, Joey Lee 1-2, Cole Hagen 1-1 … QB sacks Croonquist 1  … Tackle for loss: Johnson, Lee, Tollefson

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Rand Middleton

Covers Willmar and area high schools and Ridgewater College, plus amateur baseball, stock car racing and fitness events in summer. Writes weekly column since 1980. Began working in radio and at weekly newspaper in Munising, Michigan, in 1972. Started parttime at West Central Daily Tribune Sept. 1974. Fulltime beginning Feb. 1979. Married to Tribune news clerk Donna (Miller) Middleton, formerly of Kerkhoven. 2 grown children. 

(320) 214-4334
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