Homecoming hopes drenched
WILLMAR -- Sartell senior running back Josh Kremer ran for three first-half touchdowns and the Sabres went on to drain Willmar's upset hopes 38-6 at Homecoming on a windy and rainy Friday night.
The Central Lakes Conference leaders led 24-0 by halftime. Kremer had 95 yards by then.
Willmar (2-2, 3-2) had only 48 total yards in the first two quarters. The Cardinals got on the board in third period. Quarterback Mark Dunham rolled and pitched as he was about to be hit and to Jeremy Schendel, who ran down the sideline for a 42-yard touchdown run.
Kremer, a senior who will likely play at the NCAA Division II level next year, got his fourth TD of the game -- 12th of the season -- early in the final frame to make it 31-6 as rain fell.
The fourth-ranked Sabres (5-0, 5-0) play a non-conference game at Bemidji next week.
Physically, the game was a bit of a mismatch. Sartell has big backs, huge tackles and 6-foot-6 tight end Tony Schmitz to lead the Sabre sweeps.
The Cardinals never backed down against the senior-dominated Sabres and the defense did get better at stopping the sweep while generally defending the pass well.
But two phases of the game that had been strong (turnover ratio and special teams) let them down in the first half: the Cardinals lost two fumbles, Dunham suffered a batted interception by Sean Tillman and the special teams gave up two long punt runbacks by Rob Voshell.
The miscues gave Sartell short field throughout the opening half.
Kremer ended up with 150 yards in 32 snaps.
The Sartell domination was total. Dunham (6-19-42-1) was held to under 100 yards passing for the first time. The rushing game did log 118 yards in 26 tries but 104 yards were post-intermission.
Willmar takes to the road the next two games to play Sauk Rapids on Friday and then Rocori the following Wednesday. The next home game is the season finale, Oct. 22, a Thursday, against St. Cloud Apollo.
Sartell 38, Willmar 6
Sartell 14 10 0 14 -- 38
Willmar 0 0 6 0 -- 6
Sar - Josh Kremer 1 run (Cole Karsky kick)
Sar - Kremer 10 run (Karsky kick)
Sar - Karsky 22 field goal
Sar - Kremer 1 run (Karsky kick)
Wil - Jeremy Schendel 42 run (Kick fail)
Sar - Kremer 1 run (Karsky kick)
Sar - Rob Voshell 45 pass from Cole Jenkins (Karsky kick)
First downs: 17 ... Rushing: 48-306 ... Passing (com-att-yds-int.): 5-19-97-0 ... Fumbles lost: 0 ... Penalties: not available
Rushing: Rob Voshell 3-31, Josh Kremer 32-155, Sean Tillman 8-48 ... Passing: Cole Jenkins 5-19-97-0 ... Receiving: not available ... Punting: not available ... Interceptions: Sean Tillman ... Fumble recoveries: Austin Guggenberger, Tony Schmitz ...
First downs: 6 ... Rushing: 26-118 ... Passing (com-att-yds-int.): 6-19-42-1 ... Fumbles lost: 2 ... Penalties: not available
Rushing: Mark Dunham 9-26, Nathaniel Swoyer 3-22, Grant Schow 8-20, Jeremy Schendel 2-46 ... Passing: Dunham 6-19-42-1 ... Receiving: Jeremy Schendel 1-12, Ryan Lawler 2-15, Blake Graves 1-4, Taylor Filipek 2-11 ... Punting: not available... Interceptions: none ... Fumble recoveries: none ... Tackles: Schendel 4, Jacob Damhof 6, Gabe Amon 10, Zach Cordes 3, Taylor Filipek 8, Matt Heitzman 1, Jake Rambow 2, Kevin Schoenberg 2, Derrick Loiselle 8, Swoyer 11, Eugene Stepan 3, Coty Milhausen 9, Andrew Chermak 3, CJ Barkley 1, Joel Hedlof 7, Cole Christopher 1, Patrick Schueller 11, Aaron Lisle 1, Jeff Duininck 2, Adam Fagerstrom 5 ... QB sacks: none