Redwood Valley adds another impressive win to resume with victory over JCC

If you haven’t jumped on the Redwood Valley bandwagon just yet, you might want to hop aboard.

Following a 7-0 shutout of host Jackson County Central Friday night in Jackson, the Cardinals (6-0) have now reeled off six straight victories and in the process passed the biggest test of the season with flying colors.  In the past two weeks, the Cardinals have earned impressive victories over state-ranked rivals Pipestone Area and JCC, and, barring the sun falling to the Earth, should head into the postseason with an umblemished 8-0 record and a South Central (White) District title.

In an eye-opening statistic, the Cards have handed the Arrows (5-1), Huskies (5-1) and first-game opponent Waterville-Elysian-Morriston (5-1) their only losses of the season. Redwood Valley is now ranked second in Class AA according to QRF points, ahead of Caledonia (6-0) and Barnesville (6-0) and just behind Minneapolis North (6-0). With cupcake games left against Windom Area (0-6) and Martin County West (1-5) – both at home – the Cards should wrap up the number one seed in the upcoming Section 3AA tournament and will then count down the days to another rematch with rival Pipestone Area.

Friday night’s win over Jackson County Central was a memorable one on many levels. First, it ended a 15-game losing streak to the Huskies that dated back to 2003. That year the Cards lost to JCC 18-15 in the regular season but would upset the Huskies 19-6 to claim the Section 3AAA crown and move on to state. Second, it was yet another impressive win for a team that has posted three shutouts, has wins over three state-ranked opponents and has found away to close out games in the final minutes.

As has been the case much of the season, the Cardinals got into a defensive battle against a good opponent, as neither team surpassed 155 yards of total offense. JCC would get the first opportunity to crack the scoreboard in the second quarter after an Alex Louwagie pass was intercepted and returned to the Cardinal 19-yard line. The Redwood Valley defense would come up big, however, forcing a 37-yard field goal attempt that sailed wide left. Just like the week prior against Pipestone Area, the Cards would head into the halftime break tied at zero.

Late in the third, the Cards finally were able to put together a drive into the Husky red zone as a pass interference call, a 12-yard rush from Carter Guetter and a five-yard run from Matthew Muetzel moved the ball to the Husky 18-yard line. Louwagie would then hit Muetzel on an 18-yard strike for the first score of the game. Stian Vralstad would connect on the extra point, and the Cards would lead 7-0 with just over one minute remaining in the third.

Kaleb Haase would come up with a key 4th-and-1 stop to thwart a Husky drive into Cardinal territory with just over seven minutes to play in the fourth. The Huskies then got another opportunity to get on the board, as Louwagie was intercepted by Parker Benda – his second of the game – who returned it to the Cardinals 22-yard line. Once again, the Cardinal defense stiffened and on 4th-and-2 forced an incomplete pass to turn the ball over on downs. JCC would force a punt to give itself one last chance. The Huskies would move into the Cardinal red zone one last time, but on 4th-and-7 from the 16 Carter Johnson sacked quarterback Rudy Voss to close out the win.

The Cards were 1-for-1 in red zone opportunities, while the Huskies finished 0-for-3. Haase would lead the stout Card defense with nine tackles (eight solo) and a tackle-for-loss, Corbin Wabasha added six tackles and a tackle-for-loss, Johnson added six tackles and a tackle-for-loss and Adam Bommersbach had five tackles and 1 1/2 tackles-for-loss.

On a quiet night offensively, Louwagie was 9-of-19 passing for 90 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. Cole Woodford had four receptions for 28 yards, Muetzel added two catches for 41 yards and a score and Kyle Huhnerkoch had two catches for 15 yards. Omar Arredondo finished with four carries for 25 yards, Logan Prouty added nine carries for 23 yards, Woodford added two carries for 18 yards, Bommersbach had nine carries for 14 yards and Guetter added one carry for 12 yards.

Redwood Valley 7,  Jackson County Central 0

Third Quarter RV - Muetzel 18-yard pass from Louwagie (Vralstad kick)