Video: Prep football: Warriors fight off Cardinals
WILLMAR -- Lengthy road trips seem to have had no effect on the Brainerd Warriors through the years. Friday night was no exception. Locked in a 7-7 halftime tie with the Willmar Cardinals the Warriors decided they had wasted enough time. Brainerd...
WILLMAR - Lengthy road trips seem to have had no effect on the Brainerd Warriors through the years.
Friday night was no exception. Locked in a 7-7 halftime tie with the Willmar Cardinals the Warriors decided they had wasted enough time. Brainerd scored on its second and third possessions in the third quarter and added a score with 30 seconds left to thwart the Cardinals 27-13 in a North Central Red Subdistrict game at Hodapp Field.
For the second week in a row, the Warriors unleashed a battering running game behind an improving offensive line - piling up 405 of its 425 total yards on the ground. Mitchell Rahn rushed for 166 yards, Allen Jevning 135 and Chris Pederson 95.
Then the Warriors turned to their defense, which responded with two interceptions by Luke Wiskow and restricted Willmar to 222 total yards, 62 in the second half.
“We had a little talk with the kids at halftime and I think that helped,” Warriors coach Ron Stolski said. “(Willmar is) a good club. When you can throw the ball, and run it pretty well, and play fairly stout defense - it was a nice win on the road, especially when they scored the first one.
“We tied it at halftime, that’s when I got fired up a little bit. Our ground game was pretty auspicious. A lot of that credit has to go to our offensive line. It’s really coming. Defensively when you give up 13, you bend a little bit, but we got some interceptions.”
With the score 7-7 late in the third, Brainerd started near midfield and went 53 yards in nine plays. On fourth and six, running back Allen Jevning made a diving, one-handed grab of a pass from quarterback Hanson Devine for a first down. Three plays later sophomore Charlie Geraets scooted 22 yards for a score. David Saxum kicked the second of his three extra points and it was 14-7.
“What a catch by Jevning to keep that drive going,” Stolski said. “That was an incredible catch.”
Wiskow then made his mark. On Willmar’s second play after the TD, the junior defensive back intercepted at the Brainerd 40 with 1:34 left in the third. Jevning shook free for a 49-yard TD run three plays later and it was 21-7.
But the Cardinals refused to surrender. On their next series, quarterback Zach Radermacher and Max Doering connected for an 11-yard score with 9:48 remaining.
Wiskow intercepted for the second time with 5:30 remaining. Brainerd then marched 70 yards in 13 plays culminating with a 3-yard TD run by Jevning with 30 seconds to go.
“We came out a little flat right away in the first quarter but I think we rallied in the second half and came out strong,” Wiskow said. “I just happened to be in the right covers, the coaches were calling good stuff, so it was just fun to get the win.”
Following a scoreless opening quarter, the Cardinals lit up the scoreboard first on a 30-yard TD pass from Radermacher to Colten Carlson who leaped and grabbed the ball in the midst of two Warrior defenders.
“The first one they beat me over the top in the end zone,” Wiskow said. “The coaches told me to go up like a receiver and battle for it so I did that for the next two. It just happened to be me with the ball.”
Radermacher finished 15-for-22 passing for 173 yards.
The Warriors responded on the next possession with a 35-yard quarterback keeper for a TD by Chris Pederson that tied it 7-7.