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Warriors back on winning track

Ridgewater wide receiver Pat White (3) heads across the field before cutting to the end zone for his second touchdown of the first quarter Saturday in Willmar. Tribune photo by Rand Middleton1 / 2
Ridgewater receiver James Lucas, left, gains 31 yards before he's stopped Eric Wentworth of Fergus Falls in the second quarter at Hodapp Field Saturday. Tribune photo by Rand Middleton2 / 2

WILLMAR -- Homecoming ignited a spark missing all season in Ridgewater College football.

The pre-game festivities and a big crowd, for junior college, seemed to wake a slumbering team that had sleepwalked through four straight losses to a 32-3 win over Fergus Falls 32-3 on Saturday evening at Hodapp Field.

"That crowd really gave us confidence," said defensive end Joe Doubler, who returned from a two-game injury. "It boosts your ego."

The Warrior offense, which seemed to have no self-concept until last night, came to life with quarterback Jackson Illies passing for three first-half touchdowns on 6 of 8 for 141 yards.

Two throws went to wide receiver Pat White, a 6-1, 190-pound senior from Augusta, Ga., on scoring plays covering 47 and 54 yards.

The first pass caught White in full stride down the stadium sideline; on the second White made a twisting grad over his head at the Fergus 40 before weaving his way to the end zone for a 12-0 first- quarter lead.

It was the first TD here for the freshman, who said he had 30 touchdowns at Cross Creek High his senior year.

"He was head up on a linebacker," said Illies. "I'll take White on a linebacker any day. He's so explosive and runs good routes."

Illies later found Justin Brown in the back of the end zone for the third score of the half. The one-yard TD was set up by a 31-yard hookup with James Lucas to the Spartans' two.

Eric Orth ran five yards to score in the third and Brown busted a punt return 70 yards for the final marker.

The defense registered seven sacks, two each by Craig Gartner and Phil Herkenhoff. Anthony Adams, a 5-7 cornerback, had a goal line interception.

Herkenhoff, a sophomore from Melrose, said the breakout was prompted by a productive week of practice.

"The coaches got on us at the start," he said. "That had a lot to do with it. We came to play and played harder than we have been."

Fergus dropped to 0-1 and 1-5; Ridgewater (2-4) starts 1-0 in the South Division and will play at Minnesota West in Worthington on Saturday.

Ridgewater 32, Fergus Falls 3

Ridgewater 0 3 0 0 -- 3

Fergus Falls 12 8 6 6 -- 26

Ridge - Pat White 47 yards pass from Jackson Illies (kick fail)

Rudge - White 54 pass from Illies (kick fail)

Ridge - Justin Brown 1 pass from Illies (Patrick Cincinatus pass from Illies)

FF - Porfirio Diaz 41 field goal

Ridge - Eric Orth 5 run (kick blocked)

Ridge - Brown 70 punt return (kick blocked)

Fergus Falls

Team statistics

First downs: 9 ... Rushing: 46-47 ... Passing (com-att-yds-int.): 5-14-55-1 ... Fumbles lost: 0 ... Penalties: 5-65

Individual statistics

Rushing: Ray Gardner 12-27, Jake Hutt 6-20, Irie Collins 6-20, Jeremy Umlauf 1-3, Trent Graves 20-(-18), Zach Ried 1-(-5) ... Passing: Trent Graves 5-14-55-1 ... Receiving: Ries 2-17, Gardner 1-16, Chris Peterson 1-12, Aaroh Link 1-10 ... Punting: not available ... Interceptions: none ... Fumble recoveries: none


Team statistics

First downs: 12 ... Rushing: 42-160 ... Passing (com-att-yds-int.): 8-14-174-0 ... Fumbles lost: 0 ... Penalties: 3-15

Individual statistics

Rushing: Patrick Cincinatus 8-19, Eric Orth 9-47, Antoine Smoot 4-11, Jackson Illies 6-(-3), Jordan Shoulders 3-20, Donovan James 10-60 ... Passing: Illies 8-12-174-0, Shoulders 0-2-0-0 ... Receiving: Shane Black 3-29, Pat White 3-112, Justin Brown 1-1, James Lucas 1-31 ... Punting: Justin Wennerberg 6-36.5 ... Interceptions: Anthony Adams 1 ... Fumble recoveries: none ... Tackles (solo-assist): Phil Herkenhoff 6-4, Tyler Blomme 3-3, Brennan Hagert 3-0, Joe Doubler 3-2, Mickell Brown 3-2, Kris Belfrey 2-1, Craig Gartner 6-3, Adams 2-0, Wennerberg 2-2, Elliot Ingram 2-1, Dwayne Lowe 2-1, Jarell Washington 3-3, Andrew Rauen 2-1, Zach Posterick 2-0, Ottibum Wilson 6-4, Joe Carter 2-0, Ander Kullhem 1-1, Dominic Jones 2-0, Alex Herrea 1-0, M'Angleo Harris 3-1, Andrew Miller 2-0, Jared Klever 1-0, Josh Davis 1-0, Jake Volk 2-0 ... QB sacks: Herkenhoff 1, Doubler 1, Brown 1, Garner 2, Wennerberg 1, Miller 1

Rand Middleton
Tribune photographer/videographer. Began working in radio and at weekly newspaper in Munising, Michigan, in 1972. Started parttime at West Central Daily Tribune Sept. 1974. Fulltime news/sports beginning Feb. 1979. Married to Tribune news clerk Donna (Miller) Middleton, formerly of Kerkhoven. 2 grown children. 
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