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College Football: Ridgewater wobbly, but improves to 4-0

FERGUS FALLS -- The Ridgewater Warriors' 28-6 victory at Minnesota State Fergus Falls on Saturday sets up a meeting of undefeateds this coming Saturday at Hodapp Field.

Ridgewater College will host the Minnesota West Bluejays at 6 p.m. The Jays, too, won their fourth straight on Saturday, tipping Northland 41-40.

Ridgewater and West are the only two unbeatens now in the MCAC.

Unexpectedly, mighty Rochester College sustained its first loss losing at Brainerd to Central Lakes College 31-23, jettisoning the Yellowjackets to fourth in the MCAC South.

Against the Spartans (1-3), Ridgewater fell behind 6-0 but th-en scored four straight touchdowns on runs of 3 and 6 yards by Martell Baker, 15 yards by DeAndre Henry, plus a 66-yard punt return by Kevin Parks.

The defense limited Fergus to 83 yards rushing and 43 passing.

Mickey McQuire, a freshman linebacker, had five tackles for loss plus a sack.

The Warriors logged 260 yards of offense.

But the game was ragged at times with 19 penalties and four Ridgewater turnovers.

"This was not a very good game for us," commented Ridgewater head coach Rob Baumgarn. "I was not pleased with how we prepared and it showed.

"I'm a true believer that if we practice well, we will play well. This week of practice was passive and, at times, downright terrible."

After the opening score, the Warriors' defense settled down and made the end zone off limits to the Spartans.

"We thought we just needed to show up but this was a huge game for a well-coached Fergus team if they were going to get back in the playoff race," said Baumgarn.

The Ridgewater offense did come around, too, putting together three scoring drives.

Quarterback Cody Jaeger had a 26-yard scramble in the first scoring drive.

Park's shifty punt return provided the visitors with a 14-7 halftime lead.

After a short Fergus punt, Jaeger hit Lawrence White for a 12-yard gain to set up the third TD and a 21-6 lead in the fourth quarter.

The final drive covered 85 yards in 12 plays. Martin had runs of 15, 9 and 7 yards. Jaeger dashed for 16 yards and threw to Kyle Mullen for 12 more.

Elsewhere Saturday, Mesabi Range crushed Iron Range neighbor Vermilion 47-0 and, on Thursday, Fond du Lac of Cloquet pounded Itasca 32-13.

Ridgewater 28, Fergus 6

Ridgewater(1-0, 4-0) 7 7 0 14 -- 28

Fergus Falls (0-1, 1-3) 6 0 0 0 -- 6

FF - Adam Steege 34 pass from Jordan Mold (kick fail)

Rgw - Martell Baker 3 run (Matt Malek- Zadegan kick)

Rgw - Kevin Parks 66 punt return (Malek-Zadegan kick)

Rgw - DeAndre Henry 15 run (Malek-Zadegan kick)

Rgw - Baker 6 run (Malek-Zadegan kick)

Ridgewater College

Team statistics

First downs: 9 ... Rushing: 29-137 ... Passing (com-att-yds-int.): 14-24-123-2 ... Fumbles lost: 2 ... Penalties: 11-85

Individual statistics

Rushing: Nathanial Swoyer 1-6, Cody Jaeger 4-42, Martell Baker 13-19, Tyrell Martin 7-38, DeAndre Henry 2-16, Bryant Admundson 1-15, Josue Gomuez 1-1 ... Passing: Jaeger 13-23-117-2, Wes Oswald 1-1-6-0 ... Receiving: Clint Coffey 1-6, Lawrence White 1-12, Kyle Mullen 1-23, Kevin Parks 4-47, Andrew Walstrom 1-5, Justin Frank 1-6, Tyrell Martin 1-(-1), Termainie Scott 4-25... Punting: Swoyer 7-37.5 ... Interceptions: Mitchell... Fumble recoveries: none ... Tackles (solo-assist): Yarh 0-2, Williams 3-0, C. Smith 4-5, H. Smith 2-0, McDuffie 3-2, Andrew 2-0, Justin Russ 1-1, Cambell 4-3, McGuire 6-1, Grier 4, Meine 8-3, Bolware 4-2, Mitchell 3-4, Hanson 2-0, Tabatt 2-4-x ... QB sacks: McQuire 1, McDuffie 2, Bolware 1, Shawn Paul 1, Mitchell 1, ... Tackles for loss: McGuire 5, Bolware 2, Mitchell 1

Minnesota State Fergus Falls

Team statistics

First downs: 11 ... Rushing: 45-83 ... Passing (com-att-yds-int.): 3-1843-1 ... Fumbles lost: 0 ... Penalties: 8-65

Individual statistics

Rushing: Jacob Schauer 18-56, Eric Riley 6-19, Victory Lumley 14-13, Jordan Mold 7-(-17) ... Passing: Mold 3-14-43-1, Riley 0-4-0-0... Receiving: Steege 1-34, Luke Schwarz 1-7, Schauer 1-2