On a night when both offenses struggled it was the Redwood Valley Cardinals who used some key big plays to defeat visiting Martin County West 26-13 Sept. 6 at Inglis Field.
With the victory, the Cardinals (2-0) – ranked fourth in the latest Class AA poll – remain unbeaten heading into Friday night’s road contest at LeSueur-Henderson. The Giants (1-1) opened with a 32-20 win over Norwood/Young America but were throttled by Pipestone Area 38-6 in week two.
After forcing a punt from the Mavericks (1-1) on their opening possession, the Cards rode the legs of Adam Bommersbach and Carter Johnson into Maverick territory.
Sophomore Alex Lang would then hit junior Connor Josephson on a 21-yard fade pass to the right corner of the end zone for a 6-0 Cardinal lead.
Midway through the second quarter, the Cardinal special teams came up big, as a blocked punt was scooped up by sophomore Drew Lundeen and returned 26 yards for another Cardinal touchdown. Johnson would add the two-point conversion to up the lead to 14-0.
The Mavericks would answer back on their ensuing possession with a six play drive that culminated in a 23-yard touchdown strike from Wyatt Geistfeld to Derek Dunlop. Chad Maddock would block the extra point, and the two teams would eventually head into the break with the Cards leading 14-6.
In the third quarter, the Cards would take their opening possession – that included a pair of personal foul penalties on the Mavs – and drive right down the field and score. Johnson would plunge in from seven yards out to cap off the drive and increase the Cardinal lead to 20-6.
In the fourth, the Cards added again to their lead when senior Bryant Haas hooked up with Alex Lang who scampered 61-yards for a touchdown to make it 26-6.
The Mavs would add a late score, but the Cardinals would close out the night with a win in their home debut.
On a quiet night offensively, the Cards finished with 218 yards of total offense (137 through the air) compared to just 166 for the Mavs.
Haas was 8-of-13 passing for 103 yards and a score. Lang finished 6-of-6 passing for 43 yards and a touchdown, had five catches for 82 yards and a score and rushed four times for 12 yards.
Johnson led the ground game with 13 carries for 54 yards and a score and had two catches for 12 yards. Adam Bommersbach had six carries for 10 yards.
Josephson had four catches for 41 yards and a touchdown, Carter Guetter had a long touchdown reception called back due to a holding call but had two catches for 11 yards and two rushes for seven.
Luke Grannes had one carry for six yards, and Lundeen added a reception.
Geistfeld was 7-of-15 passing for 70 yards, two touchdowns and an interception to pace the Mavs.
Defensively, the Cardinals were led by junior Jaxon Lang with seven tackles (four solo). Josephson added seven tackles (four solo) and Johnson had five tackles and two tackles-for-loss. Chad Maddock chipped in with six tackles, and Maverick Goblirsch had three. Alex Lang added an interception.
Redwood Valley 26
Martin Co. West 13
First Quarter RV - Josephson 21-yard reception from A. Lang (extra point blocked)
Second Quarter RV - Lundeen 26-yard blocked punt return (Johnson 2-point run)
MCW - Dunlop 23-yard reception from Geistfeld (extra point blocked)
Third Quarter RV - Johnson 7-yard run (2-point failed)
Fourth Quarter RV - A. Lang 61-yard reception from Haas (2-point failed)
MCW - Anderson 5-yard pass from Geistfeld (extra point good)