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Gopher FB takes shot at #1

Fri, Oct 12th, 2012
Posted in All Sports

By Paul Trende

When two undefeated, state ranked teams meet amidst a high school football season, it’s a hyped event. The match-up of #9 in Class AA Chatfield (5-0) versus the #1 defending state champion Caledonia (5-0) certainly was the game of the week. It turned into, maybe, the defensive game of the year.

One team barely scored its win total. The other didn’t. Chatfield controlled the 1st half, twice venturing deep into Caledonia territory. Their second drive produced a 1st and goal from the Warrior 8. A hold pushed them back. Nate Skare’s 26-yard FG was blocked. In the final seconds of the 1st half, the Gopher’s got as deep as the Warrior 18. Waning time forced another FG (41-yards), one that was just wide left. At the half, the score was 0-0. Chatfield led the total yards battle 129 to 24, the first down battle 7 to 1.

In the 2nd half, Caledonia’s offense got going. They controlled the ball for all but three plays of the 3rd quarter. To begin the 4th, the Warriors faced a big 4th and 2 from the Chatfield 6. The Goph’s ‘D’ rose up and stopped an Alex Varney run. The play, however, was the first of a sequence of snaps that proved critical. Cale’s defense subsequently forced a Gopher three and out. Zach Kasten then partially blocked the Chatfield punt, putting the Warriors back in business at the Gopher 14.

Six plays later, after (what looked to be) a fumble (Chatfield recovery) was called down-by-contact, after one Warrior TD was nullified by a penalty, and after Caledonia converted a 4th and 1 from the five, Varney plowed his way from 3 yards away. Cale took a 6-0 lead. Chatfield got three shots from there (in the final 6:04), each more desperate. The first, from the Chatfield 21, got the only Gopher 2nd half first down, but resulted in a punt. The second, from the Gopher 8 (2:00), ended after two plays (lost fumble). The third was a prayer from the Gopher 29 (0:16), an interception. In a defensive dogfight, one made even grittier due to a gusty crosswind, Caledonia prevailed 6-0.

The Warriors held Chatfield to just 39 yards in the 2nd half. Chat’s ‘D’ held Caledonia to 129 yards for the game. However, 106 came in the 2nd half, where the Warriors ran 38 plays to Chatfield’s 14 and they gained eight 1st downs to the Gopher’s one. Each team’s longest play was 13 yards. Only three offensive plays total went for over 10 yards. The squads combined for less than 300 yards of ‘O’ (Chat 168, Cale 129). Jake Neis had 17 carries for 74 yards for Chat. Ryan Pitts had 71 of his 81 yards in the 2nd half to lead Cale. The Warriors assume control of the 3-Rivers South at 6-0, 3-0. Chatfield falls to 5-1, 2-1.

More Defense

While 5-0 clubs Chatfield and Caledonia banged defensive heads, 3-2 clubs Southland and Rushford-Peterson did roughly the same thing. Not too often in football does neither offense post a score. The Trojans and Rebels, thus, accomplished a rare feat.

Each had chances. Southland’s first three drives made it inside the R-P 30, but resulted in 0 points. R-P had a 1st and goal from the S/L five, but with 0:10 to go in the half. The clock ran out after two incompletions. To begin the 2nd half, the Trojans got a 34-yard Tyler McClellan to Cole Kingsley pass, and then a 36-yard Alex Vix run to the Rebel 1-yardline. R-P fumbled the ball away on the very next play.

In the 4th quarter, Southland’s final three drives all sent the ball just outside R-P’s red zone. The first ended when, following a 20-yard completion, Kingsley stripped Alex Ruechel of the football at the R-P 21. Trojan Dalton Bellock recovered (under 5:00 to play). The second ended when Eric Courrier intercepted Rebel QB Decker Bendtsen at the R-P 29 (just over 2:00 left). Southland’s last gasp (0:34) was snuffed out when Bellock picked Bendtsen at the R-P 28. The game’s verdict was thus sealed in the 2nd quarter. Zach Boehmke’s 87-yard interception return for a TD proved the contest’s only score. R-P moved to 4 and 2 (2-1 in the South) with a 7-0 victory. Boehmke also led R-P’s ground game (8 carries, 60 yards). Kingsley caught three for 72 yards. Nick Schmitz (69 total yards) and Coty Kirtz (65 total yards) led the Rebels.

The Real Deal

Fillmore Central volleyball had a chance to produce a three-way tie atop the 3-Rivers conference. All they had to do was best the 21-0 #1 team in Class A, the Wabasha-Kellogg Falcons: obviously no small order. W-K has been dominant, losing only one of the 52 sets played (set number three to Caledonia 25-19). Teams have only gotten to 20 on them seven times. FC accomplished that feat at the W-K Vet’s tourney. They accomplished it again in game #1 of the regular season affair, but still lost 25-21.

FC got no closer in games two (25-18) and three (25-14), as the Falcons-North proved their preeminence in straight sets. Wabasha is the real deal, boasting an athletic setter in Kalyn Biever (38 assists, 18 digs, 4 kills) and multiple vertically-inclined skillful attackers headed by 5’9” Katie Cavalco (17 kills) and 5’8” Kenzie Freihammer (11 kills, 12 digs). They don’t make mistakes. The only way to beat them is to hammer the ball down their throats (emphatic kills or blocks), a tough task sometimes against a skilled offensive and defensive team. FC’s Taylor Case (14 kills, 14 digs), Leah Scheevel (10 kills, 3 blocks), and Victoria Peterson (8 kills) found hitting success. Morgan Malley had 34 assists and Chelsea Rislove 19 digs. FC’s silver lining; six of W-K’s top eight players are seniors. Eight of FC’s top nine are juniors or sophomores.



•FC 45, Kingsland 27 (FC: Dan Gatzke 23 carries, 177 yards, 4 TDs; Tyson Ristau 8 carries, 63 yards, TD; McKinnen Stone 10 carries, 54 yards, TD; Devon Block 4 carries, 53 yards; Tom Henry 38-yard TD run. K: Marshall Oeltjen 22 carries, 96 yards, TD; Jacob Rindels 16 carries, 82 yards, TD, 7 for 18 passing, 121 yards, 2 TDs; J.J. Fenske 24-yard TD reception; Quinn Larson 14-yard TD reception. Falcons led 38-0 after three. FC had 384 rushing yards. They entered having scored 19 points on the season. FC is 1-2, 2-4 overall. Kingsland is 0-3, 1-5)

•M-C 69, L/P 18 (M-C: Hunter Johnson 16 carries, 198 yards, 4 TD’s; Noah Manning 11 carries, 134 yards, TD; Donnie Lind 25-yard TD run, 33-yard TD reception from Collin O’Bieglo; Mason Henry 33-yard INT return TD; Keyser Wenthold 8 carries, 97 yards, TD; Chris Nordsving 63-yard TD run. L/P: Garrett Lester 28 carries, 109 yards, TD; Daniel Bollingberg 66-yd TD run, 20-yard TD reception from Jordan Hart. Coug’s led 42-6 at halftime. They tallied over 500 yards rushing. They are 2-3 in the SEC, 2-4 overall)

•Lanesboro 6, Grand Meadow 42 (L: Daulton Gartner 6 carries, 88 yards; Garret Boggs rushing TD; Niko Anderson left game in 2nd quarter with injury. GM: Trenton Bleifus 13 of 20 passing, 182 yards, 3 TDs; Mike Ojulu 4 receptions, 69 yards, 3 TDs; Landon Jacobson 19 carries, 190 yards, 3 TDs, 4 receptions 72 yards. Larks led 28-0 at half and 42-0 after three. Burros fall to 2-3 in the SEC, 3-3 overall)


10-01 > R-P 3, Spring Grove 2 > 23-25, 25-23, 25-20, 22-25, 15-10 (R-P: Amy Todd 33 kills, 21 digs; Emily Wade 56 assists; Kendra Crawford 34 digs; Jordyn Goree 14 kills; Mariah Mueller 18 digs. SG: Randi Mehus 15 kills, 20 digs; Nicki Ellingson 14 kills, 5 blocks; Addy Cross 35 assists; Tara Solberg 7 kills, 10 digs)


•R-P 3, St. Charles 1 > 22-25, 25-14, 25-18, 25-22 (R-P: A. Todd 23 kills, 19 digs, 4 aces, 2 blocks; Savannah Skalet 39 assists; K. Crawford 19 digs; J. Goree 7 kills)

•FC 3, Kingsland 0 > 25-21, 25-11, 25-13 (FC: T. Case 12 kills, 15 digs; M. Malley 22 assists, 15 digs, 4 kills; Sammi Bakke 6 kills, 8 digs, 3 blocks; V. Peterson 5 kills, 8 digs; Kaitlynn Aug 5 kills, 2 aces. K: Cheyenne Losey 6 kills, 2.5 blocks; Haley Colton 12 digs)

•Glenville-Emmons 0, #8 in A M-C 3 > 25-14, 25-8, 25-7 (M-C: Lydia Geving 9 aces, 5 kills; Belle Sand 7 kills, 8 digs; Christy Welscher 5 kills, 3 aces; Carly McCabe 17 assists)

•Lanesboro 0, Houston 3 > 15-25, 20-25, 10-25 (H: Vanessa Lee 6 kills, 12 assists, 2 aces, 2 blocks)


•Kingsland 0, R-P 3 > 25-22, 26-24, 25-17 (R-P: K. Crawford 18 digs including #1000 of her career; A. Todd 19 kills. K: C. Losey 15 kills, 3 blocks, 3 aces; Lizzie Tart 25 assists, 11 digs; Jessi Kaster 6 kills, 10 digs, 14-14 serving; Gabriel Drees 12 digs. The win was the Trojan’s 8th straight in 6 days. They are 5-3, 21-9 overall)

•#8 in A M-C 3, Lyle/Pacelli 0 > 25-13, 25-13, 25-21 (M-C: B. Sand 9 aces, 6 kills; L. Geving 6 kills, 4 aces; C. Welscher 10 kills; C. McCabe 24 assists. M-C is 10-0 in SEC, three games ahead of 7-3 squads SG, GM, L-O, and Houston with three left to play. They’re on the verge of another SEC title. The Cougars are 25-5 overall)

•L-A 0, Chatfield 3 > 25-13, 25-20, 25-20 (C: MaKenzie Miller 8 kills; Alex Duxbury 16 digs; Gabrielle Salisbury 13 assists; Kileigh Dudek 10 assists, 3 aces. L-A: Taylor Daley 14 digs, 5 kills)

•Lanesboro 0, Grand Meadow 3 > 8-25, 15-25, 12-25 (Burros are 1-9 in the SEC, 1-12 overall)


•Byron Invitational (Chatfield beat FC (25-17, 25-21), Goodhue (25-18, 25-17), Kenyon-Wanamingo (25-19, 20-25, 15-4) and Pine Island (25-12, 25-10) to go win Pool A. FC lost to Chatfield, beat Goodhue (25-21, 25-7), K-W (25-19, 25-23), and PI (25-19, 25-9) to go 3-1 in Pool A. Kingsland lost to Byron (13-25, 13-25), but beat Bloomington-Kennedy (18-25, 25-14, 15-10), St. Paul-South (25-17, 25-15), and Triton (25-17, 25-23) to go 3-1 in Pool B. Chatfield beat Byron (Pool B’s 4-0 team) for the championship (25-20, 26-24). FC beat Kingsland (25-10, 25-10) for 3rd place. FC is 7-2, 22-5 overall. Chatfield is 6-2, 18-7. They’re in 3rd and 4th places in the Three Rivers. Kingsland is 1-8, 7-13)

Cross Country


•Chatfield Invitational (Top five scores for both boys and girls were combined to determine a single time, a single team score. Chatfield took 1st, Kingsland 6th (of 6). Lanesboro was incomplete. On the boy’s side, Richard Swanson (K) and Christian Bance (C) finished 1-2. Erik Peterson (L) finished 4th. On the girl’s side, Kayla Woltz (C), Karen Gomez (C), and Erica Earley (K) finished 1, 2, and 3)


•Lewiston-Altura Ole Olmstead Invite (The host teams boys finished 4th (of 8 complete teams). Ryan Ruberg took 6th and Hunter Herber 18th (of 59 runners). L-A/R-P’s girls took 4th (of 7 complete teams). Bailey O’Hare and Mariah Olson finished 16th and 17th (of 49))

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