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New London-Spicer quarterback Ryan Vraa, left, hands off to Adam Essler who veered sharply down the sideline for a 65-yard TD run. Essler rushed for 208 yards and four touchdowns. Tribune photo by Rand Middleton

Prep football: NLS takes out Litchfield

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sports Willmar,Minnesota 56201 http://www.wctrib.com/sites/default/files/styles/square_300/public/fieldimages/37/1027/102613-nls-vraa-essler.jpg?itok=ZfLXfxsQ
West Central Tribune
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Prep football: NLS takes out Litchfield
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

NEW LONDON — It’s the Wildcats and the Cardinals.

 No, not those Cardinals to the south —the Annandale Cardinals to the north.

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After dispatching game but outmanned Litchfield 39-18 at Pederson Field on Saturday night, the Cats and the Cards will meet in the postseason for a fifth year in a row.

The playoff series is tied 2-2 with Annandale winning the last two, including 20-17 last year in the Class AAA quarterfinals and 21-20 in the 2011 post-season opener.

The combatants Section 6AAA final is slated for 8 p.m. Friday back at Huskies Stadium in St. Cloud.

The Cats topped the Dragons for the second time but the Litchfield group put more fight this timem, compared to a 57-8 whipping on Sept. 13.

Adam Essler, the Cats’ 185-pound senior back, scored twice in the first half but NLS led 16-12 at the break. The Dragons answered with a 78-yard Alex Hendricks to Eddie Estrada connection and a 32-yard run by Estrada, the junior wide receiver/linebacker.

The Dragons could not contain the speedy Essler (24-208 yards, 4 TDs) nor the outside runs of Jarrett Hatlestad (7-77) as the Cats’ ground machine piled up 364 yards.

Fullback/linebacker Ben Beuning had quite a game with a touchdown, interception and six tackles.

The Dragons couldn’t keep defensive end Chris Nelson out of their backfield where he sacked Hendricks four times.

The Dragons, slack in numbers with 28 juniors and seniors, rustled up 90 yards on the grass and 181 in the air. Andrew Schneider rushed 8 times for 47 yards.

New London-Spicer 39, Litchfield 18

Litchfield (3-7).............12  0  0   6 — 18

NL-Spicer (7-2)...........16  0  8  15 — 39

NLS – Adam Essler 65 run (Ben Beuning pass from Ryan Vraa)

Lit – Eddie Estrada 78 pass from Alex Hendricks (fail)

NLS – Essler 1 run (Shane Zylstra pass from Vraa)

Lit – Estrada 32 run (fail)

NLS – Essler 5 run (Beuning run)

NLS – Essler 63 run (Brett Olson pass from Vraa)

NLS – Beuning 6 run (Olson kick)

Lit – Austin Larson 41 pass from Hendricks (fail)

Litchfield

First downs: 11 … Rushing: 30-95 … Passing (com-att-yds-int.): 8-23-181-2 … Fumbles lost: 1… Penalties: 9-86

Rushing: Eddie Estrada 5-42, Andrew Schneider 8-47, Alex Hendricks 14-3, Cody Rau 2-(-2), Dylan Kotzer 1-5 … Passing: Hendricks 7-22-181-2 ... Receiving: Eric Madsen 3-38, Estrada 1-78, Schneider 1-9, Rau 1-9, Austin Larson 2-75 … Punting: Estrada 5-37.0, Rau 1-34.0

New London-Spicer

First downs: 16 … Rushing: 49-364 … Passing (com-att-yds-int.): 4-14-0 … Fumbles lost: 1… Penalties: 5-60

Rushing: Adam Essler 24-208, Ben Beuning 7-33, Trey Austvold 2-27, Ryan Vraa 6-15, Jarrett Hatlestad 7-77, James Magnuson 2-2, Hunter Sjoberg 1-2 … Passing: Vraa 4-13-11-0 ... Receiving: Hatlestad 2-8, Zylstra 1-(-10), Ethan Bohlsen 1-13 … Punting: Vraa 6-34.8 … Interceptions: Beuning, Kellon Knutson 1 …  Tackles (solo-assist): Beuning 5-1, Jarod Vossen 5-1, Austvold 5-2, Chris Nelson 1-0, Erik Schneider 3-2, Essler 3-1, Eben Pederson 2-1, Luke Gould 1-4, Austin Adams 2-0, Colton Henjum 1-3, Ethan Parsons 2-0, Regan Rice 2-0 … QB sacks: Nelson 4, Schneider 2.5, Gould .5

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