WILLMAR — After getting shut out against Becker, Willmar was ready to dominate in the opening round of the Section 8AAAA.

And dominate it did.

The fourth-seeded Cardinals jumped out to a 42-0 first-half lead, eventually leaving Hodapp Field a 56-14 winner over fifth-seeded Little Falls.

“They were ready to get back on the field with the short turnaround and right the ship, so to speak,” said Willmar head football coach Jon Konold. “We got a good defensive stand to start and we went down and scored. From then on, the kids were like, we’re ready to go. They went off from there.”

Junior Alex Schramm, the Cardinals’ fleet-footed quarterback, had three of his four touchdown runs in the first quarter, from 34, 34 and 43 yards out. Schramm finished with a team-high 140 rushing yards on six carries. He also hit Brandt Sunder on a bubble screen that the junior wideout broke loose for a 45-yard touchdown reception.

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Sophomore signal-caller Jacob Streed also had a trio of scores, with touchdown runs of 5 and 25 yards along with a 12-yard TD pass to Xavier Wickliff in the third.

“Alex is a very dynamic kid back there running the football. He may have broken four or five tackles on those runs,” Konold said. “We have to get him in situations where we can play to his strengths.

Little Falls' running back Noah Bontjes is tackled by Willmar players in a game Tuesday evening at Hodapp Field in Willmar.

Erica Dischino / West Central Tribune 
Little Falls' running back Noah Bontjes is tackled by Willmar players in a game Tuesday evening at Hodapp Field in Willmar. Erica Dischino / West Central Tribune 

“Jacob executed the offense well. He made good reads in the passing game and ran the ball very well. Our offensive line continues to open holes for our backs and pass protect very well.”

Willmar’s pass defense got sacks from Joe Price, Kaden Streed, Tyler Ludwig and Taggert Reynolds and had interceptions from Sunder and LaBlue Moo.

“We put them in obvious passing situations and our (defensive backs) were able to play the ball and make some plays,” Konold said.

The Cardinals are scheduled to play top-seeded Rocori at 5 p.m. Saturday in Cold Spring. The Spartans, who beat Willmar 16-14 back on Oct. 23, had a first-round bye.

In the other half of the 8AAAA bracket, No. 2 Grand Rapids is scheduled to host No. 3 Detroit Lakes at 5 p.m. Saturday. The scheduled section final is Nov. 27 at Alexandria.

Willmar 56,

Little Falls 14

Little Falls (1-4) 0 8 0 6 — 14
Willmar (4-2) 21 21 7 7 — 56
Scoring Plays
W– Alex Schramm 34 run (LaBlue Moo kick)
W – Schramm 34 run (Moo kick)
W – Schramm 43 run (Moo kick)
W – Jacob Streed 5 run (Moo kick)
W – Brandt Sunder 45 pass from Schramm (Moo kick)
W – Schramm 16 run (Moo kick)
LF – Devin Czech 5 pass from Austin Neu (Czech pass from Neu)
W – Xavier Wickliff 12 pass from Streed (Moo kick)
W – Streed 25 run (Moo kick)
LF – Robby Kuchinski-Helgeson 2 run (kick blocked)

Little Falls

First downs: 9 … Penalties: 5-50 … Rushing (Individual and team): Austin Neu 4-1, Louis Sobiech 1-5, Matthew Filippi 6-11, Gunnar Gustafson 1-(-6), Noah Bontjes 3-(-7), Brayden Biermaier 1-(-2), Robby Kuchinski-Helgeson 8-43. 24-45 … Passing (Individual and team): Austin Neu 16-28-131-2, Dane Couture 0-1-0-0. 16-29-131-2 ... Receiving (Individual and team): Sobiech 5-86, Devin Czech 11-79, … Interceptions: None … Fumble recoveries: None … Tackles (solo-assist): N/A … QB sacks: None

Willmar

First downs: 11 … Penalties: 2-15 … Rushing (Individual and team): Michael Price 12-62, Alex Schramm 6-140, Jacob Streed 8-47, Luke Trochlil 4-21, Jaxxon Sjoberg 3-(-7). 32-263 … Passing (Individual and team): Schramm 2-5-70-0, J. Streed 1-4-12-0. 3-9-82-0 ... Receiving (Individual and team): Brandt Sunder 1-45, Xavier Wickliff 1-12, Michael Mohr 1-25 … Interceptions: LaBlue Moo 1, Sunder 1 … Fumble recoveries: None … Tackles (solo-assist): N/A … QB sacks: Joe Price 1, Kaden Streed 1, Tyler Ludwig 1, Taggert Reynolds 1