Prep football: Cards’ comeback against Brainerd may be good sign
Willmar won its biggest game in years, 39-20, at Brainerd on Friday night. Most impressive was the way the Cardinals got it done, building a 19-point lead, then losing it before scoring three straight second-half touchdowns -- to ice the win. Wil...
Willmar won its biggest game in years, 39-20, at Brainerd on Friday night.
Most impressive was the way the Cardinals got it done, building a 19-point lead, then losing it before scoring three straight second-half touchdowns - to ice the win.
Willmar hadn’t won against the Warriors since a 14-6 win at Brainerd in 2000. That’s 11 straight losses and five straight losses at the Warriors’ Adamson Field (the teams didn’t play in 2006 and 2007).
And most of those losses weren’t close. Friday’s game that kind of feel, too, until the Cardinals ramped up their game in response to 20 straight Warriors points.
Michael Heitzman ran for 211 yards and two touchdowns and quarterback Auggie Hahn ran for 136 yards and a score, and he threw for 117 yards and three of his five completions went for TDs. Max Doering caught two of them to lead the second-half revival.
The Cardinals’ defense also limited last year’s Class AAAAA state runner-up to just 111 rushing yards and 249 total yards.
And the Cardinals might be pleased to know that the last time a Willmar team defeated Brainerd, the Cards finished 8-2 overall, had a 6-1 Central Lakes Conference record and advanced to the section semifinals.
NLS to face
Fire on Friday
New London-Spicer made a nice come back on Friday against Delano in a game between two of the state’s top-ranked teams.
NLS, ranked No. 1 in Class AAA, led most of the game against the Tigers, ranked No. 6 in Class AAAA. When Delano took a second-half lead, NLS responded with a Ethan Bohlsen-to-James Magnuson TD strike covering 53 yards early in the fourth quarter to retake the lead 28-21.
The Wildcats’ defense made the play hold, shutting out Delano the rest of the way.
But the Wildcats will need to play a more disciplined game on Friday against 2-0 Holy Family. NLS committed nine penalties for 75 yards, which, if repeated, could cause them problems against a Fire team that has defeated Litchfield 41-20 and Dassel-Cokato 34-20 to open the season.
Last year, the Wildcats had little problem against Holy Family in New London, winning 50-7.