BOTTINEAU, N.D — Ridgewater's Mashawn Gordon returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown and the Warriors added a second-quarter safety, but it was all Dakota State after that as the Jacks downed the Warriors 20-9 in an MCAC quarterfinals game Sunday.
Dakota State's Elijah Todd and DeRante Sanders ran for touchdowns and quarterback Jackson Argoe threw a TD pass to Quay Harvey.
Ridgewater finished the season 3-6.
Rochester 3, Ridgewater 0
Ridgewater could have secured a Region 13A home match but instead fell flat in a loss to the Yellowjackets on Saturday in Rochester.
As such, the Warriors lost a MCAC Southern Division tiebreaker with St. Cloud Technical College and open the region playoffs on Friday, again against Rochester, on the SCTC Cyclones' home court at the Whitney Center in St. Cloud.
"Unfortunately, we didn't couldn't seize opportunities when they presented themselves," said Warriors head coach Joe Sussenguth.
Top-seed SCTC plays No. 4 seed Minnesota West at 6 p.m. and the Warriors-Yellowjackets match follows. The championship is noon at Saturday at the Whitney Center.
"The parity in our division this season requires all teams to be focused, invested and prepared every single match, at home or on the road," said Sussenguth, whose team was ranked No. 3 in the final NJCAA Division III regular-season poll. "If we take a uniform invested approach to our preparation next week, we have an opportunity to do great things."
Ridgewater 19 15 21
Rochester 25 25 25
Serving (aces): Jamie Goblirsch 1, Heidi Sellmann 2, Cami Sletta 1 ... Set assists: Jessica Lemke 18, Sarah Sulflow 6 ... Hitting (kills): Sellmann 5, Katelyn Dingman 5, Brennah Bergh 2, Kiana Johnson 5, Sletta 7, Kallee Anderson 3 ... Blocking (aces): Sellmann 1, Anderson 1, Ashley Vealetzek 1 ... Digs (5 or more): Goblirsch 30, Lemke 6, Johnson 5
Serving (aces): Tara Rogers 1 ... Set assists: Maddeson Hintz 39 ... Hitting (kills): Brooke Wendland 12, Rogers 20, Mariah Steinbach 11 ... Blocking (aces): Wendland 1, Hintz 1, Jaycee Anderson 1, Steinbach 1 ... Digs: Lauren Larkoski 12, Kazlin Thompson 21
Swimming & Diving
Cards earn CLC honors
The Willmar girls swimming and diving team placed seventh at the Central Lakes Conference championships Saturday in Sartell, and five Cardinals earned All-Conference honors.
The Cardinals tied for sixth in CLC overall standings with Rocori.
Erica Schramm earned All-Conference in diving and the 200 medley relay team of Moira Revier, Edyn Saulsbury, Avery Welsch and Amanda Mathiasen also earned All-Conference honors.
Mathiasen also earned All-Conference Honorable Mention in the 50 freestyle and Revier was Honorable Mention in the 100 backstroke and 50 freestyle.
See Tuesday's Tribune for full results from Saturday's meet.
Willmar 2, Wisconsin 1
It may not have been pretty, but the Willmar WarHawks earned their first sweep of the season with a 2-1 victory against the Wisconsin Whalers Saturday night in Oregon, Wis.
With 51 seconds remaining in regulation time, Braden Shea picked up a long pass from Riley Dixon on the penalty kill and sped away before sending the puck over the shoulder of Wisconsin goaltender Brendan Earls for his fourth goal of the season.
"That's Shea and Dixon, two veterans and two leaders on this team making a play when we need them to," said Willmar head coach Chris Blaisuis. "Shea did what a captain was supposed to do; he helped keep us in it and got us a goal."
More than the goal scoring effort, it was goaltender Luke Fry who kept the WarHawks in the game despite, as Blaisuis called it, not the team's greatest defensive effort. The Columbus, Indiana native stopped 37 of the 38 shots he faced and only allowed one goal for the fifth-consecutive game. In eight games played so far this season, Fry has a goals allowed average of 1.56 and a .947 save percentage for a 6-2-0 record. He finished the weekend with 77 saves.
"We don't win this game without Luke Fry," Blaisuis said.
Willmar got the scoring started just 2:47 into the first period with a goal from Max Oelkers, his third of the season, following assists from Shea and defenseman Wyatt Toll who also assisted on Shea's game-winning goal.
Oelkers appeared to have a second goal as the seconds wound down in the first period to take a 2-0 lead but, after a long conversation between the referees, was disallowed for crossing the goalline after time expired.
Wisconsin's Nick Rogers scored his ninth goal of the season with 2:05 remaining in the game during a 4-on-4 stretch as both teams were serving time for slashing (Wisconsin's Carter Grobstick) and too many men on the ice (Willmar's Evan Burke).
The WarHawks prepared for overtime but Shea's goal 1:14 later gave the win to the visiting team.
The win moves the WarHawks to 7-4-1 on the season, just one point behind Granite City in the West Division. A 2-1 win isn't exactly what the WarHawks were looking for against the winless Whalers but Blaisuis said he's happy with where his team his at.
"We haven't had a sweep all year so to get that this weekend is big," Blaisuis said. "It's our second three-game winning streak. The guys know they have to be better but we can't discount how big having a road sweep is against anybody."
Willmar 2, Wisconsin 1
Willmar 1 0 1 — 2
Wisconsin 0 0 1 — 1
FIRST PERIOD — Willmar: Max Oelkers (Braden Shea, Wyatt Toll) 2:47
SECOND PERIOD — No scoring
THIRD PERIOD — Wisconsin: Nick Rogers (Dan Lienemann, Luke Hefty) 17:55 ... Willmar: Shea (Riley Dixon, Toll) sh 19:09
GOALIE SAVES — Willmar: Luke Fry 37 ... Wisconsin: Brendan Earls 42