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Willmar tackled Marshall ball carriers by committee most of the night. Dragging down the Tigers' Andrew Thomas are from left, Nathan Esboldt (9), Taylor Filipek (12), Nathaniel Swoyer (40) and John Schlegel (58) Tuesday night at Hodapp Field in Willmar. Tribune photo by Rand Middleton

Willmar tops Marshall for first home section win in 6 years


WILLMAR -- Nothing like playoff football -- though the Willmar Cardinals haven't had much to celebrate this century.

Until last night.

The Cardinals took a slam-bang, back-and-forth, suspenseful Section 2AAAA opener from the Marshall Tigers 34-28.

"This is awesome," said quarterback Mark Dunham in the joyful aftermath. "To win a playoff game at home. It's been a long time."

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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. 

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