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RCW joins in on sack dance

Last week we noted several individual players from various area football teams that had an unusual amount of sacks.

Apparently, Renville County West players felt a little left out. The Jaguars amassed 12 sacks last Friday against Fulda in a 14-7 mild upset in a Little Sioux Conference game in Fulda.

RCW had only 19 players in uniform for the game because of injuries and low numbers at the onset of the season. And many of the players are on the field most of the time, including special teams, making the number of sacks against Fulda even more impressive.

"Our kids hit harder (against Fulda) than they have all season," said RCW coach Tim Tanner. "It was very encouraging. They were certainly tired after the game, but the 'W' was all worth it for the entire team"

Nate Wensauer, a 6-4, 225-pound senior defensive end, registered five sacks on the night. He entered the game with only one in the first three games. Travis Holm, a 5-11, 175-pound senior middle linebacker, had his first four sacks of the season. And Evan Engstrom, a 6-3, 240-pound defensive tackle, had three sacks, giving him four for the season.

"We had Travis blitzing quite a bit," said Tanner. "His other job was to shadow the quarterback anywhere he went. When he blitzed, (Fulda) was either in zero- or one-back protection and he either got the sack or pressed the quarterback to the outside where Nate was. When the quarterback felt he couldn't get outside, he would try to step up in the pocket and this is where Evan got his chances."

On offense, the trio play next to one another on the line. Holm is the center, Wensauer is at right guard and Engstrom at right tackle.

"I don't think they took one play off all night, which is pretty common for most of our starters," assessed Tanner. "Hopefully, it showed our kids that if you line up in the right spot and do your job, good things can come from that."

Twelve good things, to be exact.

LQPV's Hoium finds four ways to score points

Ryan Hoium, a 5-8, 165-pound senior running back for Lac qui Parle Valley, scored touchdowns three different ways and also scored on a conversion run last Friday in the Eagles' 40-26 win over Paynesville. He scored on an 80-yard punt return in the first quarter, a 22-yard pass reception in the second quarter and a 50-yard kickoff return in the fourth quarter. In all, he finished with 13 carries for 40 yards and a two-point conversion, three receptions for 44 yards and a touchdown, two kickoff returns for 85 yards and a score, three punt returns for 102 yards and a touchdown and he also punted five times for 144 yards. All that, and he started at free safety and was involved in several tackles, according to head coach Mark Bjornjeld.

On the punt return, Hoium started out left and then came back across the field down the right sideline for the touchdown.

"He made several nice cuts," said Bjornjeld. "He does an outstanding job on making the first person miss and he has good speed to get to the outside."

On the kickoff return, Paynesville was attempting an onside kick and the ball bounced up and Hoium caught it in the air and outraced the Bulldogs to the end zone. On the conversion run in the fourth quarter, the snap was bad and Hoium, who holds for extra points, picked up the loose ball and ran it in.

With one second remaining in the first half, LQPV quarterback Chase Keimig got the snap and scrambled around. Just as two Paynesville players were about to bring him down, Keimig got the pass away and completed it to Hoium, who ran into the end zone.

"He had a great game," said Bjornjeld.

MACCRAY tennis team Southwest champions again

The MACCRAY Wolverines (13-4) won the Southwest Conference tennis title for the third straight year last week, finishing the six-team loop with a third straight 5-0 record.

"The players have really been improving fast this year," said MACCRAY coach Jon Howard.

Redwood Valley finished second in the conference this season at 4-1, followed by Marshall, Pipestone and Luverne, all at 2-3, and Worthington at 0-5.

The individual conference tournament is Thursday in Luverne.