Coach Matt Lundeen earns 100th career victory in overtime win over Pipestone Area
With a defensive stop in overtime the Redwood Valley Cardinals outlasted rival Pipestone Area 16-14 in an epic battle of state-ranked Class AA powerhouses Friday night at Inglis Field.
The victory – Head Coach Matt Lundeen’s 100th of his 20-year career with the Cardinals – keeps the Cards unbeaten at 5-0 heading into another tough match-up at Jackson County Central (5-0) Friday.
The win also puts the Cardinals in great position to claim the top seed in the upcoming Section 3AA tournament.
After battling into overtime tied at eight, the Cardinals took control when senior quarterback Alex Louwagie connected with Kyle Huhnerkoch on a nine-yard touchdown strike on 2nd-and-goal. Cole Woodford would add the two-point conversion run, and the Cards would lead 16-8.
The Arrows (4-1) would answer back with a 10-yard touchdown pass from Jon Tinklenberg to Braeden Rieck, but the Cardinal defense would foil the attempted two-point conversion to salt away the win. It was a gutty victory for the Cardinals who have now won the past two regular season match-ups with the Arrows and who will undoubtedly count down the days until they see them again in the Section 3AA title game.
With both the Cards and Arrows heading into the game allowing less than 6.5 ppg, one had the feeling it would be a defensive affair, and that’s how it played out for most of the game. In the first half alone, the teams combined for a remarkable nine punts, four fumbles, three interceptions and a turnover on downs. The Cardinals alone had five first-half turnovers (three interceptions) but did not allow a point, as the two teams went into the half tied at zero.
Early in the third quarter the Cards had the first big play of the game, taking advantage of an Arrow miscue to take possession at the Arrow 27-yard line. From there, Louwagie would sling it deep to Woodford for a 27-yard touchdown strike. Woodford would also score on the two-point conversion try to give the Cards an 8-0 lead.
The Arrows would answer back late in the third on a 10-play, 68 yard drive that culminated in a 16-yard touchdown pass from Jon Tinklenberg to Rieck. The two would hook up as well on the two-point try and the teams would head into the fourth quarter tied at eight.
With just under eight minutes to play and the Arrows in possession, the Cards got another huge play from Wood-ford who snatched his eighth interception of the season and returned it 39-yards to the Arrow four-yard line. Unfortunately, the Cards couldn’t punch it in for the go-ahead score. They would move the ball to the one-yard line but on fourth-and-goal a fumble turned the ball over on downs to the Arrows.
Pipestone then managed to piece together an impressive 15-play drive and moved the ball into Cardinal territory but were forced to punt with less than 30 seconds to go and we would head into overtime.
The Cardinals lost the coin flip and would go on offense first, and it didn’t look promising right away. Penalties moved the ball from the 10-yard line to the 22, but a 13-yard connection from Louwagie to Carter Guetter put the ball at the nine. On the very next play, Louwagie would hook up with Huhnerkoch for the touchdown. Woodford’s two-point conversion then proved to be the game-winner, as the Cardinal defense allowed the Arrows to score but would not give up the two-point conversion.
Statistically the Cards outgained the Arrows 281-194 and won despite committing seven turnovers and going minus-4 in turnover margin. Junior Adam Bommersbach had a solid night on the ground, racking up 103 yards on just 12 carries, while Logan Prouty added 18 carries for 45 yards. Louwagie was 9-of-19 passing for 121 yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions and added six carries for 17 yards. Woodford had four catches for 68 yards and a score, Guetter added three catches for 26 yards, Matthew Muetzel had one catch for 18 yards and Huhnerkoch one catch for nine yards and a score.
It was another strong defensive effort for the Cards led by the interior duo of Kaleb Haase and Corbin Wabasha. Haase had 10 tackles (five solo) and 2 1/2 tackles-for-loss and Wabasha added seven tackles (three solo) and a tackle-for-loss. Prouty had six tackles (three solo), Brennan Sander added three tackles, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery and Omar Arredondo had three tackles. Muetzel, Huhnerkoch and Josiah Hultquist all had tackles-for-loss and Woodford added his eighth interception of the year.
It was a big win for the Cards who will look to ride this momentum into the postseason.
Redwood Valley 16, Pipestone Area 14 (OT)
First Quarter no scoring Second Quarter no scoring Third Quarter RV - Woodford 27-yard pass from Louwagie (Woodford 2-point conversion) Pipe - Rieck 16-yard pass from Tinklenberg (Rieck pass from Tinklenberg) Overtime RV - Huhnerkoch 9-yard pass from Louwagie (Woodford 2-point run) Pipe - Rieck 10-yard pass from Tinklenberg (2-point failed)