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Ridgewater whips Rainy River to end skid

INTERNATIONAL FALLS -- It's a long bus ride from Rainy River Community College to Willmar any way you look at it, but the Ridgewater Warriors found a way to brighten the 300-mile drive Saturday by whipping the Voyageurs 27-12 in an MCCC inter-divisional football game.

The win snapped a three-game losing streak starting South Division play Saturday at home against Central Lakes.

The Warriors dominated running 90 plays for 365 net yards to 46 plays and 218 yards for Rainy River.

Aaron Minter threw a pair of touchdown passes to Shawn Thissen and Keith Lumley ran for two touchdowns.

The defense was led by safety Tony Kley, who picked off three Chris Bunch passes, inside linebacker Blake Hagert (11 tackles) and cornerback Montae Bailey (10 tackles, recovered fumble, sack). The Warriors were stout along the defensive line with Ross Brandt, Abe Miller and Ben Thonvold combining for 15 stops.

Lumley, a 165-pound freshman who had missed two games with a chest injury, ran 12 yards to top off a nine-play, 44-yard, first-quarter march for the first half's only score.

Eric Nordling forced a fumble on the second-half kickoff and recovered it to set up a 31-yard drive in 10 plays. Minter threw three yards to Thissen for the score.

A Kley interception and return led to a 20-yard Minter to Thissen connection for a 19-6 lead at 3:59 of the third quarter.

After Rainy River got to within 19-12, Lumley scooted nine yards to cap a 53-yard drive -- longest of the game for Ridgewater. Big gainers were an 11-yard run by Louie Pirrotta, two 11-yard passes to Thissen and a 12-yarder to tight end Steve Peppin.

Pirrotta ran for 82 yards in 12 attempts. Thissen, who was not expected to play because of a knee injury, caught eight passes for 132 yards. The college rookie out of MACCRAY now has 19 catches for 376 yards and five touchdowns.

Ridgewater 27, Rainy River 12

Ridgewater (2-3) 7 0 12 8 -- 27

Rainy River (1-3) 0 0 6 6 -- 12

Rid- Keith Lumley 12 run (Alex Brainerd kick)

Rid - Shawn Thissen 3 pass from Aaron Minter (kick fail)

RR - Chris Bunch 6 run (kick fail)

Rid - Thissen 20 pass from Minter (run fail)

RR - Gary Cribbs 66 pass from Bunch (pass fail)

Rgw - Lumley 9 run (Sam Neubauer pass from Minter)


Team statistics

First downs: 21 ... Rushing: 60-208 ... Passing (com-att-yds-int.): 12-30-176-0 ... Fumbles lost: 2 ... Penalties: 9-60

Individual statistics

Rushing: Louie Pirrotta 21-82, Keith Lumley 12-39, Greg Johnson 9-35, Sam Neubauer 9-26, Sakda Oudom 1-0, Aaron Minter 7-(-7) .... Passing: Minter 12-30-176-0 .... Receiving: Shawn Thissen 8-132, Jason Pawelk 2-28, Steve Peppin 1-12, Oudom 1-6 .... Punting: Tony Kley 3-33.3 .... Interceptions: Tony Kley 3, Tyler Hoelscher 1 .... Fumble recoveries: Bailey, Eric Nordling .... Tackles (solo-assist): Joey Lux 1-0, Kley 4-1, Eric Nordling 1-0, Bailey 5-5, Tony Brandon 1-0, Hoelscher 1-1, Wade Cruser 3-2, Travis Borwerk 1-3, Nathan Potter 1-0, David Markgraf 1-0, Blake Hagert 6-5, Andrew Resic 1-0, Ted Giese 1, Ben Thonvold 3-3, Abe Miller 4-2, Ross Brandt 1-2 ... QB sacks: Cory Paul ½, Bailey ½, David Markgraf 1

Rainy River

Team statistics

First downs: 6 ... Rushing: 30-127 ... Passing (com-att-yds-int.): 6-16-117-4 ... Fumbles lost: 2 ... Penalties: 16-135

Individual statistics

Rushing: Bunch 14-71, Dave Love 12-20, Tom Hawkins 3-9 .... Passing: Bunch 6-16-117-4 .... Receiving: Gary Cribbs 2-74, Marcus Williams 2-14, Tony Robinson 1-35... Punting: 6-34.2

NEXT -- Ridgewatger: Saturday, home, Central Lakes College, 1:30 p.m.