High School Football: WDC moves on with win over SM
Wadena-Deer Creek at Staples-Motley Tuesday, Oct. 26.
STAPLES — It wasn’t pretty, but it worked for Wadena-Deer Creek Tuesday, Oct. 26.
Known for their passing game, the Wolverines relied on their running game to beat No. 4 seeded Staples-Motley 23-12 in the opening round of the Section 6-2A playoffs.
Evan Lunde led the Wolverines on the ground with 115 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries. Payton Rondestvedt added 17 yards rushing and two touchdowns as all three of WDC’s touchdowns came on the ground.
“Evan is patient and has been a patient runner for us all year,” WDC head coach Kyle Petermeier said. “He’s been good at letting stuff open up and getting those tough yards.”
Petermeier made a point to say that despite winning on the road in the playoffs it was not the brand of football he liked seeing from his team.
“I didn't think we played well in any facet of the game,” he said. “I thought we made a lot of mental mistakes. Now it’s good we overcame that and got the win, but we can’t have those mistakes this Saturday.”
One of the mistakes was the penalties for WDC. The Wolverines had five false starts.
“Our penalties today were all mental,” Petermeier said. “We’ve got to focus at the line and know what we have to do.”
With a 23-6 lead after three quarters, WDC picked off SM quarterback Isaiah Schultz in the end zone. The Wolverine defense held the Cardinal offense to just 222 yards for the game.
However, WDC gifted the ball right back to the Cardinals when Eli Carlson picked off Rondestvedt at the Wolverine 40 yard line. The very next play Schultz found Carlson on a 40-yard touchdown pass to narrow the margin.
Carlson finished with three catches for 75 yards and a touchdown. Schultz was 12-for-27 passing for 158 yards and a touchdown to go along with leading SM in rushing with 46 yards.
“The kids played hard,” SM head coach Chris Kappler said. “We got what we got out of them. We saw effort and attitude and we played all four quarters, so I can’t be upset with that.”
WDC wasted no time after receiving the opening kickoff and put together a five-play, 81-yard touchdown drive capped off by a 17-yard touchdown run by Lunde.
Lunde compiled 33 yards rushing in the Wolverines’ opening drive, but the big play for WDC was a 37-yard throw and catch to Isaac Hamann from Rondestvedt.
Rondestvedt finished with 247 passing yards on 18-of-30 passing. Josh Dykhoff led the Wolverines with seven catches for 86 yards. Teshe Loer added five catches for 73 yards and Hamann hauled in two passes for 64 yards.
Staples-Motley responded with a first-quarter touchdown of its own. After WDC fumbled on its second drive, SM put together a 10-play, 49-yard drive capped off by a 2-yard run by Hunter Martin to make it 7-6 WDC.
Martin was the lead back for the Cardinals as they were without senior tailback and captain Sivert Klefsaas, who had missed the last six weeks of the season with a lower body injury.
“We lost some key athletes,” Kappler said. “Sivert is a kid you can’t replace. His running effort set the tone for the first four games for us and we lost Corey Hanson who was a developing wide receiver who was our fastest player on the team — it’s a tough way to go out.”
The teams exchanged punts until late in the second quarter the Wolverines had a 7-yard, 43-yard drive which resulted in a 12-yard touchdown scramble run by Rondestvedt to extend the Wolverines lead with 5:48 left in the first half.
“They adjusted well to everything we were doing,” Kappler said. “We were showing a lot of different fronts — we had some young guys in there, so we got some good experience, but they played a good game.”
After a three-and-out by SM, the Wolverines took over at their own 18 yard line with a little over four minutes left in the half. WDC marked off a 9-play, 74-yard drive that ended in a Cole Woods 26-yard field goal with 38 seconds left in the first half and the Wolverines led 17-6 at half.
The Wolverines move on to play top-seeded Osakis in the Section 6-2A Semifinals at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30.
“They are a great program and a good team,” Petermeier said of Osakis. “They are physical and we know they are going to play good football and we have to match that.”
Wadena-Deer Creek 7 10 6 0 — 23
Staples-Motley 6 0 0 6 — 12
WDC-Evan Lunde 17-yard run (Cole Woods kick) 9:41
SM-Hunter Martin 2-yard run (run failed) 3:03
WDC-Payton Rondestvedt 12-yard run (Woods kick) 5:48
WDC-Cole Woods 26-yard field goal 0:38
WDC-Rondestvedt 1-yard run (pass failed) 0:51
SM-Eli Carlson 40-yard pass from Isaiah Schultz (pass failed) 9:47
Rushes-yards: SM 21-64, WDC 35-126
Pass comp-att-int-yds: SM 12-28-1-158, WDC 18-31-1-247
Total offense: SM 49-222, WDC 66-363
Rushing: SM-Isaiah Schultz 9-46, Hunter Martin 11-18; WDC-Evan Lunde 21-115, Payton Rondestvedt 12-17
Passing: SM-Isaiah Schultz 12-27-158; WDC-Payton Rondestvedt 18-30-247
Receiving: SM-Eli Carlson 3-75, Chandler Braith 6-65, Hunter Martin 1-5; WDC-Josh Dykhoff 7-86, Teshe Loer 5-73, Isaac Hamann 2-64, Cole Woods 2-12, Evan Lunde 2-12
No. 5 Wadena-Deer Creek 23, No. 4 Staples-Motley 12
Key: A balanced attack gives the Wolverines a road playoff win over undermanned Cardinals.
Overall: SM 2-7, WDC 5-4.
Next: No. 5 Wadena-Deer Creek at No. 1 Osakis in Section 6-2A Semifinals 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30.
CONRAD ENGSTROM may be reached at 218-855-5861 or email@example.com. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/the_rad34.