Prep Football: Becker's big plays bite Willmar

Top-ranked Bulldogs shut out Cardinals 17-0 in regular-season finale

102121.S.WCT.Willmar FB Streed.JPG
Willmar junior Jacob Streed wraps up Becker's Adam Jurek for a tackle during a North Central White district game on Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021 at Hodapp Field in Willmar. Joe Brown / West Central Tribune
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WILLMAR — With big plays coming from the arm of junior Ryan Bengston, top-ranked (Class AAAA) Becker capped off a perfect regular season.

The Bulldogs won their Week 8 football game against seventh-ranked Willmar 17-0 Wednesday at Hodapp Field.

The formula was simple for Cardinals head coach Jon Konold: Becker was able to convert on critical situations, namely because of Bengston's arm. And Willmar was unable to convert on those opportunities.

“We were unable to, number one, stop them on third down and number two, gave up the deep ball,” Konold said. “Outside of three or four long passes, we played well, especially against the run. But we were in the red zone three times and we couldn’t make the play.

“We couldn’t effectively throw the ball and make some plays to loosen the defense up.”


Bengston excelled on the deep ball, completing 6 of 14 passes for 208 yards and a touchdown. His completions were for 23, 39, 59, 20, 35 and 32 yards.

Willmar appeared to catch an early break when on the second play from scrimmage, the Bulldogs fumbled the ball. Defensive lineman Ethan Schwab recovered the ball at the Becker 19-yard line.

But on the ensuing drive, the Cardinals turned the ball over. And that was a recurring pattern in the first half as Willmar had four first-half drives start in Becker territory, only to come away without any points.

In the fourth quarter, the Cardinals had a 4th-and-1 at the Bulldogs’ 2-yard line. But a Michael Price run up the gut was stuffed at the line, resulting in a turnover on downs.

With Willmar struggling to throw the ball — QB Alex Schramm was 5 of 17 passing for 34 yards and an interception — the Bulldogs were able to limit the Cardinals’ ground game. Price ran for 102 yards on 19 carries and Schramm had 86 yards on 26 attempts.

“They would outnumber us in the box because we couldn’t pass the ball,” Konold said. “Once they figured out we were struggling in the passing game, they hunkered down. We got things going as the game went along and we had better drives. We just had to hit a couple things and we couldn’t do it tonight.”

Becker built a 14-0 halftime lead. The scoring started with a 2-yard TD run from Carter Callahan, who had 90 yards on 19 carries. Then Bengston’s shortest completion of the night was a 20-yard TD strike to Nicholas Berglund. Berglund was Bengston’s top target with 94 yards on three catches.

Mattix Swanson was Willmar’s top tackler with 14 total tackles. Schwab and Jacob Flannigan each had six tackles as the Cardinals finish the regular season with a 6-2 record.


Willmar finds out its playoff fate in Section 2AAAA on Thursday. The section seeds are selected by coaches’ vote and will be announced in the afternoon. The teams in 2AAAA include: Hutchinson (7-1); Willmar (6-2); Faribault (5-3); St. Peter (4-4); Jordan (5-3); and Marshall (4-4). The top two seeds will get a first-round bye.

The section quarterfinals will take place Tuesday at the top seed, followed by the semifinals on Saturday, Oct. 30 at the high seeds. The section championship will be on Friday, Nov. 5 at the high seed.

Willmar vs. Becker football Oct. 20, 2021

Becker 17, Willmar 0

Becker (8-0) 7 7 0 3 — 17
Willmar (6-2) 0 0 0 0 — 0
Scoring Plays
B – Carter Callahan 2 run (Zach Bengston kick)
B – Nicholas Berglund 20 pass from Ryan Bengston (Z. Bengston kick)
B – Z. Bengston 32 field goal


First downs: 10 … Penalties: 6-35 … Rushing (Individual and team): Carter Callahan 19-90, Landen Goebel 4-(-15), Ryan Bengston 3-(-9), Kabir Bhakta 3-(-6). 31-63 … Passing (Individual and team): R. Bengston 6-14-0 208 ... Receiving (Individual and team): Nicholas Berglund 3-94, Alexander Weiss 2-55, Goebel 1-59 … Interceptions: Goebel 1 … Fumble recoveries: None … Tackles (solo-assist): N/A … QB sacks: N/A


First downs: 12 … Penalties: 3-20 … Rushing (Individual and team): Michael Price 19-102, Alex Schramm 26-86. 46-174 … Passing (Individual and team): Schramm 5-17-1 34 ... Receiving (Individual and team): Price 2-(-2), Cade Roelofs 2-26, Sam Raitz 1-12 … Interceptions: None … Fumble recoveries: Ethan Schwab 1 … Tackles (solo-assist): Mattix Swanson 2-12, Jacob Flannigan 2-4, Cullen Gregory 0-6, Schwab 1-5 … QB sacks: None

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