RCW finished football season with 13 players
MAYNARD -- The Renville County West football team didn't many players to start out the season. Still, the Jaguars fielded a team of 21 and even won a couple of games during the regular season.
For their playoff game against MACCRAY Tuesday, however, the Jaguars were down to 14 players, mostly due to injuries that had occurred throughout the season. That number dropped to 13 when the game started because freshman running back Chris Feldman re-injured his ankle before kickoff.
"He was bound and determined to play again, but he tweaked (his ankle injury) in warmups," said RCW coach Tim Tanner. "Later in the game I asked his if wanted to get in and he said, 'I don't care.' I told him 'I could get you in on the extra point,' but I asked him again if he tweaked his ankle again during warmups.
"I told him 'I would love to get you in, but with wrestling season coming up I didn't want to risk anything.'"
While being so short on personnel, Tanner and his coaching staff had to do some tweaking of their own. Freshman Jason Mertens moved to center so Travis Holm could replace Cody McLagen -- who broke his arm in the regular-season finale -- at fullback and Nate Wensauer was moved from the offensive line to the backfield to help protect Brian Feldman on passing plays. Freshman Jesse Lindahl took over on the line for Wensauer.
"I could have put free safety Roly Barajas [another freshman] in the backfield, but he's only about 120 pounds," said Tanner. "A lot of young kids did a good job for us. We ended up with five seniors and one junior and we should have 10 kids coming back (next year).
"I tell you what. We had 13 kids out there and five were freshmen. It was an interesting group of kids, but they didn't back down."
Picking up six the long way
Tuesday's area section football playoff games featured two touchdowns that covered 99 yards.
Trevor Sandgren of Redwood Valley returned a second-quarter kickoff 99 yards in its win over Montevideo and Zimmerman had a 99-yard run in its win over Litchfield.
According to the Tribune's archives, the last time the area saw a 99-yard touchdown was Sept. 14, 2007, when McLeod West completed a long pass against Renville County West. The last team in the Tribune's coverage area to score from 99 yards out was Redwood Valley when Kole Prodoehl completed a pass to Eric Ellingworth against Blue Earth on Sept. 25, 2005.