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Area Football: W-DC breaks 19-year losing streak

STAPLES--The year was 1998 and current Wadena-Deer Creek activities director Norm Gallant was on the coaching staff. W-DC defeated Roseau 34-0 for its last playoff victory. The following round, the Wolverines fell to Perham, which was then coache...

Staples-Motley head football coach Travis Vanoverbeke talks to his players Tuesday before the start of the second half against the Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines in Staples. Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch Gallery
Staples-Motley head football coach Travis Vanoverbeke talks to his players Tuesday before the start of the second half against the Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines in Staples. Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch Gallery

STAPLES-The year was 1998 and current Wadena-Deer Creek activities director Norm Gallant was on the coaching staff.

W-DC defeated Roseau 34-0 for its last playoff victory. The following round, the Wolverines fell to Perham, which was then coached by Howie Kangas.

Kangas now coaches W-DC and he helped the Wolverines break a 19-year playoff drought with a 42-20 victory over No. 3 Staples-Motley in Tuesday's Section 6-2A quarterfinals.

W-DC quarterback Jake Dykhoff threw for four touchdowns and rushed for two more as the Wolverines outgained S-M 456 yards to 380. Four Cardinal interceptions and a fumble deflated any momentum S-M would generate as they cut into W-DC's halftime lead early in the third quarter to make it 22-20 W-DC.

"Coach told me it's been about 20 years since we've won a playoff game so this is huge," said Dykhoff. "We had confidence. The last two weeks we've been playing really well. Our offense has been clicking. Defense is not giving up as many big plays and it's been a heck of a last three weeks."

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Dykhoff and the Wolverines answered on their next possession as the senior quarterback burst through the line of scrimmage for a 25-yard TD run. After holding S-M on fourth and 14 at the Wolverine 35, W-DC used six plays to score again as Dykhoff hit a juggling Max Phillips in the end zone for a 9-yard TD pass and a 36-20 third-quarter lead.

S-M's next possession ended on an interception by W-DC's Matt Goeden. Four plays later, Dykhoff hit Preston Warren for a 71-yard touchdown pass to put the game on ice.

---   ---   ---   ---   ---

W-DC 42, Staples-Motley 20

  • Key: Jake Dykhoff threw for four touchdowns and rushed for two more
  • Overall: SM 3-6, WDC 3-6
  • Next: No. 6 Wadena-Deer Creek at No. 2 West Central in Section 6-2A semifinals 7 p.m. Saturday

 ---   ---   ---   ---   ---

It was the third scoring connection between Warren and Dykhoff. The two opened the scoring on W-DC's second possession with a 7-yard TD strike.

"My receivers were amazing," Dykhoff said. "They're quick and they have good hands. That's all I have to say. I just put the ball in the air and they catch it.

"The last pass was just a fade and I have no other options than to just throw it to Preston and I did. That was a big sigh of relief. It was just boom. We got it. We got this. This is great."

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The Cardinals answered on their next possession with an 18-yard TD pass from Josh Lombard to Griffin Webster.

Dykhoff hit Warren with a 17-yard TD pass to open the second quarter and Cade Kapphahn recovered an S-M fumble on the Cardinals' next possession to set up Dykhoff's 5-yard TD run for a 20-8 edge.

Lombard hit Jordon Carlson from 13 yards out to end the first-half scoring.

"Our defensive game plan was to jam up their receivers and bump-and-run their receivers and there were moments when we simply did not do that," said Cardinals head coach Travis VanOverbeke. "That's what killed us. They caught us on those particular plays and it's unfortunate.

"We're a young football team, though. We graduate seven seniors. We'll learn from this and we'll grow."

Dykhoff finished with 132 yards rushing and 200 yards passing. Goeden rushed for 136 yards and Warren caught five balls for 135 yards.

Dalton Holmberg led S-M's rushing attack with 91 yards. Lombard threw for 215 yards, but four interceptions proved costly.

"I know our execution wasn't up to par and it deviated from the game plan a little bit," VanOverbeke said. "When you do that, you're kind of shooting yourself in the foot and that's what occurred to us tonight.

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"Wadena is playing football a little higher than a sixth seed, though. I have to give them credit. I respect what they're doing. They have a good program that's growing. They're on the upswing."

Despite being the lesser seed, W-DC defeated S-M 37-19 just two weeks ago, but it was the Cardinals who ended the Wolverines' season last year with a 46-0 blowout in the Section 6-2A quarterfinals.

 

Wadena-Deer Creek 8 14 14 6-42

Staples-Motley 8 6 6 0-20

 

First quarter

WDC-Preston Warren 7 pass from Jake Dykhoff (Matt Goeden run) 7:22

SM-Griffin Webster 18 pass from Josh Lombard (Dalton Holmberg run) 5:12

 

Second quarter

WDC-Warren 17 pass from Lombard (run failed) 10:33

WDC-Dykhoff 5 run (Warren pass from Dykhoff) 5:44

SM-Jordon Carlson 13 pass from Lombard (run failed) 4:02

 

Third quarter

SM-Holmberg 6 run (run failed) 10:08

WDC-Dykhoff 25 run (kick failed) 6:36

WDC-Max Phillips 9 pass from Dykhoff (Dykhoff run) 52.9

 

Fourth quarter

WDC-Warren 71 pass from Dykhoff (kick failed) 10:09

 

Team statistics

Rushes-yards: SM 31-165, WDC 44-256

Pass comp-att-int-yds: SM 16-42-4-215, WDC 11-17-1-200

Total offense: SM 73-380, WDC 61-456

 

Individual leaders

Rushing: SM-Dalton Holmberg 11-91, Cade Schmidt 10-64, Josh Lombard 10-10; WDC-Jake Dykhoff 18-132, Matt Goeden 22-136, Max Phillips 3-(-6), Cade Kapphahn 1-(-6)

Passing: SM- Lombard 16-42-215; WDC-Dykhoff 11-17-200

Receiving: SM-Cade Schmidt 3-25, Mason Nyhus 5-76, Griffin Webster 4-43, Jordon Carlson 3-61, Matt Fisher 1-11; WDC- Warren 5-135, Max Phillips 3-13, Goeden 2-44, Ryan Anderson 1-8

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