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Prep football: What a rush! Willmar wins big again

Forum News Service photo by Eric Morken Willmar Junior running back Michael Heitzman left a few defenders on the ground as he broke off a run during the first half of the Cardinals’ 55-21 win over Alexandria in a Central Lakes Conference game Saturday in Alexandria.

ALEXANDRIA — Junior running back Michael Heitzman and quarterback Augustine Hahn combined for six rushing touchdowns in the game and Hahn threw for another as the duo made life miserable for the Alexandria defense Saturday afternoon in a 55-21 victory at the Alex homecoming.

Heitzman scored his team’s first three touchdowns on runs of 7, 9 and 1 yard before Hahn got in on the action with a rushing touchdown from inside the 10 that made it 27-0 at the half.

Willmar totaled 554 yards; much of Alex’s 198 yards came against Willmar’s second team defense.

“It’s definitely not fun, that’s for sure,” Alexandria senior captain Parker Bowden said. “Giving up 55 points,that just can’t happen if you expect to win a game.”

Willmar (4-1) came into the game averaging 35 points per game. The 55 points was a season high. Hahn ran for two more scores in the second half covering 11 and almost 50 yards before he connected with Tyler Pendill on a 14-yard touchdown that made it 48-7. The Willmar starters watched from there as they dropped Alexandria to 0-5 and moved to 4-1 themselves.

“We knew Willmar had very good athletes at their skill positions,” Alexandria head coach Mike Empting said. “I have to watch the video, but it looked like a lot of times on their running game, that we had guys at the point of attack, and I thought we were going to have them corralled for a loss and it ended up being a 10-yard gain. They just made really good plays.”

Heitzman is listed at just 5-foot-6 and 165 pounds, but he played with a combination of strength and elusiveness that caused Alexandria fits. Couple that with Hahn’s big day on the ground (10-101) and his ability to throw to guys like 6-foot-6 Adam Nibaur (4-42) and 6-foot-5 Austin Grove (6-92) and it made for a long day on defense for the home Cardinals.

“Michael, he’s really good,” Bowden said. “One man can’t bring him down. You got to bring the whole house. Their quarterback, he can throw too, so they have a good balance. It keeps you on your toes.”

Alexandria (0-5) struggled equally on the offensive side of the ball. The Cardinals’ only touchdown through three quarters came on special teams when junior lineman Mitch Maday scooped up a fumble on a Willmar punt return and took it to the end zone to make it a 34-7 game.

Alexandria had to patch together their offensive line after being without their starting center and starting right tackle because of injury. Willmar took advantage of that and pressured QB John Vogeler all afternoon. They also bottled up the Alexandria running game as the Cardinals struggled to move the ball against the Willmar first-string defense.

“I thought in previous games he’s had a little bit more time to throw the ball,” Empting said of Vogeler. “Today, it just seemed like he barely had time. We were in shotgun and even just in three-step drops he would barely get set and he had company. We struggled to get it going on the ground,  too.”

Willmar welcomes Apollo on Friday for homecoming. The Eagles, Willmar and St. Cloud Tech are each 2-0 in the CLC-South with three south division opponents left for each. 

Willmar 55, Alexandria 21

Willmar (2-0, 4-1)              13  14  21 7— 55

Alexandria (0-2, 0-5)        0  0  7  14 — 21

W – Michael Heitzman 6 run (run fail)

W – Heitzman 9 run (Max Trochlil kick)

W – Heitzman 1 run (Trochlil kick)

W – Auggie Hahn 9 run (Trochlil kick)

A – Brady Christianson 25 fumble return (Dan Kuhn kick)

W – Hahn 45 run (Trochlil kick)

A – Tyler Pendill 14 pass from Hahn (Trochlil kick)

A – Mitch Peck 38 run (Kuhn kick)

W – Sam Kerfeld 78 pass Zach Radermacher (Trochlil kick)

A – Jaron Roste 5 run (Kuhn kick)


First downs: 23 … Rushing: 44-252 … Passing (com-att-yds-int.): 17-29-302-0 … Fumbles lost: 2 … Penalties: 6-40

Rushing: Hahn 10-101, Heitzman 20-82, Radermacher 3-4, Sam Kerfeld 8-49, Nate Ackerman 3-17 … Passing: Hahn 16-26-225-0, Radermacher 1-3-78-0 ... Receiving: Nick Coquyt 2-20, Chris Cunningham 2-19, Hunter Mottinger 1-8, Adam Nibaur 4-42, Kerfeld 1-78, Pendill 2-25, Travis Deegan 1-18, Austin Grove 6-92 … Punting: Radermacher 2-10.5 … Interceptions: Coquyt 1 … Tackles (solo-assist): Coquyt 2-0, Cunningham 3-0, Colten Carlson 2-1, Vaughn Johnson 4-3, Jacob Croonquist 3-1, Cole Hagen 1-2, Leon Richards 2-1, Buzzy Tollefson 2-2, Nick Lothert 2-0, Travis Deegan 2-0, Cole Gau 2-0 … QB sacks: Johnson 4, Joey Lee 1, Tollefson 1 … Tackles-for-loss: Richards 1, Lee 1, Carlson 2, Tyler Stegeman 1 


First downs: 15 … Rushing: 43-108 … Passing (com-att-yds-int.): 14-24-90-1 … Fumbles lost: 0 … Penalties: 7-90

Rushing: John Voegler 18-(-14), Jason Roste 6-41, Jacob Vukelich 3-5, Mitchell Peck 15-82 … Passing: Voegler 14-24-90-1 ... Receiving: Parker Bowden 4-8, David Krivanek 6-40

Eric Morken

Eric Morken is the sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.

(320) 763-1229