Video Slide show: Prep football: Comeback victory for Cards
WILLMAR -- The Willmar Cardinals, sparked by some heroic late-game performances, completed a 29-24 comeback victory over St. Cloud Tech on Friday night at Hodapp Field.
WILLMAR - The Willmar Cardinals, sparked by some heroic late-game performances, completed a 29-24 comeback victory over St. Cloud Tech on Friday night at Hodapp Field.
The win moves the Cards to 3-4 on the season.
“Our kids had to settle down, but we battled and played tough and it was enough to come out on top” said Willmar coach Jon Konold.
Colten Carlson caught a 38-yard touchdown pass from a scrambling Zach Radermacher on fourth down to put Willmar up by five with two and a half minutes to go, and a late fumble by the Tigers sealed the deal.
Radermacher bounced back from a four-interception performance against Moorhead, throwing for 280 yards and three touchdowns. Willmar leaned heavily on the passing game, as the Cards rushed for just 66 yards on 34 attempts.
“He’s taking better care of the football,” Konold said about his quarterback. “He led his team and played tough, and he came up huge at the end of the game.”
The Cardinals got off to a slow start, trailing 13-0 within the first 10 minutes. They were able to fight back through the air, as Max Doering and Jared Swoboda caught touchdown passes. Willmar hit the half down 21-14.
“We didn’t have great energy to start, but we managed to get into the game by halftime” said Konold.
The second-half surge was lead by the Cardinal defense, which held the Tigers to just a field goal and forced three turnovers. The Tigers managed just 74 yards on the ground.
Nate Ackerman had two interceptions and rushed for a touchdown, leading the home team with 53 rushing yards. His performance earned the praise of his coach.
“He’s a steady player who’s relentless and continually works hard,” said Konold. “He doesn’t say much but he sure makes plays.”
St. Cloud Tech’s only points in the second half came on a field goal, which put them up 24-23 with less than four minutes to go.
But the heroics of Radermacher and Carlson ended up saving the day for Willmar.
Chris Backes threw for 339 yards for the Tigers and James Kaczor piled up 185 receiving yards.
There was a bit of a scare at the end of the game, as Radermacher appeared to suffer an injury on Willmar’s final rushing play and did not serve as the team’s punter on the subsequent play. Konold says his status is still unknown.
Willmar has a chance to continue its recent strong play and even its record in the regular-season finale Thursday on the road against Sauk Rapids-Rice.
Willmar 29, St. Cloud Tech 24
St. Cloud Tech (3-4) 13 8 0 3 - 24
Willmar (3-4) 7 7 6 9 - 29
S – Brevyn Spann-Ford 5 pass from Chris Backes (Kaleb Woodman kick)
S – Spann-Ford 6 pass from Backes (kick failed)
W – Max Doering 25 pass from Zach Radermacher (Ryan Liimatta kick)
S – Devin Vouk 30 run (Backes run)
W – Jarod Swoboda 25 pass from Radermacher (Liimatta kick)
W – Nate Ackerman 2 run (kick failed)
W – Liimatta 24 field goal
S – Woodman 20 field goal
W – Colten Carlson 38 pass from Radermacher (pass failed)
St. Cloud Tech
First downs: 20 … Rushing: 21-74 … Passing (com-att-yds-int.): 32-46-339-3 … Fumbles lost: 3 … Penalties: 7-58
Rushing: Chris Backes 10-17, Vouk 7-46 … Passing: Backes 32-46-339-3 ... Receiving: Spann-Ford 11-104, James Kaczor 14-185 … Punting: NA
First downs: 12 … Rushing: 34-66 … Passing (com-att-yds-int.): 15-27-280-1 … Fumbles lost: 0 … Penalties: 12-95
Rushing: Colten Carlson 1-8, Zach Radermacher 5-(-4), Sam Kerfeld 6-21, Nate Ackerman 13-53, Levi Hauser 9-4 … Passing: Radermacher 15-27-280-1 ... Receiving: Jarod Swoboda 4-95, Carlson 2-42, Hauser 1-14, Max Doering 5-76, Jake Evans 1-9, Noah Slagter 1-43, Kerfeld 1-(-4) … Punting: Radermacher 4-140 … Interceptions: Ackerman 2, Slagter 1 … Fumble recoveries: Collin Christianson 1, Tate Hovland 1, Louis Russell 1 … Tackles (solo-assist): Christianson 1-0, Slagter 3-5, Hovland 4-4, Carlson 2-8, Tyler Johnson 2-4, Kerfeld 0-2, Breck Erickson 2-5, Ackerman 5-4, Austin Boller 2-6, Gunner Raths 1-0, Nate Lawrence 1-3, Justin Skaro 0-4, Russell 1-3, Gibran Moreno 1-0 … QB sacks: Moreno 1