In a battle of Section 3AA favorites, it was the Redwood Valley Cardinals who made a statement, crushing the visiting Pipestone Arrows 34-6 Oct. 4 at Inglis Field to pave the way for a number one seed in the upcoming Section tournament.
On a night where the Southwest Conference champion 1979 Cardinals were honored, the 2019 version played arguably its most sound game of the season en route to an easy win over the state-ranked Arrows (4-2).
Redwood Valley (5-1) – whose only loss is to unbeaten and top three ranked Class 3A school Jackson County Central – will now prepare for its final two regular season opponents (at Windom Oct. 11 and host to Blue Earth Area MEA Oct. 16) and look to get healthy heading into the postseason.
“I thought we played a very solid all around game,” Coach Matt Lundeen said. “Getting our run game going was a key part offensively, and the defense did a great job of not giving up big plays. We were able to contain their run game and also prevented any big pass plays.”
Against the Arrows, the Cardinals would strike first, as Bryant Haas hit Connor Josephson in the back left corner of the end zone for a 14-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead.
Junior Carter Johnson would then tack on a pair of rushing touchdowns (one coming on the heels of a big interception and return from Josephson) in the second quarter to increase the lead to 20-0.
The Arrows would get back in the game with a 20-yard touchdown run from Jason Steenstra, but the Cards would head into the half leading 20-6.
In the third, Haas would reclaim momentum for the Cards with a one-yard quarterback sneak, and Alex Lang would add the two-point conversion to make it 28-6.
Senior Jordan Mertens would then cap off the scoring later in the fourth with a 10-yard reception from Haas.
The Cardinals dominated offensively, racking up 413 total yards (231 rushing) and 22 first downs compared to 182 yards and 10 first downs for the Arrows.
Haas continued his strong play, going 11-of-14 for 182 yards and two scores and adding a rushing touchdown.
Carter Johnson had a nice night, racking up 156 yards (including a 48-yard scamper) and two touchdowns on the ground. Jaxon Lang had 32 yards rushing, Alex Lang added two carries for 22 yards and Adam Bommersbach had two carries for 11 yards.
Mertens hauled in eight catches for 125 yards and a score, Josephson had one catch for 14 yards and a score, Johnson had one catch for 13 yards and Alex Lang had one catch for 30 yards.
Jaxon Lang paced the defense with six tackles (four solo), Jed Hansen had eight tackles (two solo), Johnson, Maverick Goblirsch and Bommersbach all had four tackles.