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Luverne rallies to top Redwood Valley

Ben Stoterau
Connor Josephson looks for running room during the Cards earlier battle with Blue Earth Area.  Redwood Valley lost 34-28 in overtime Friday night in Luverne.

A brilliant first half went for naught, as Luverne rallied in the second half to edge Redwood Valley 34-28 in overtime Nov. 6 in Luverne.

Redwood Valley (3-2) entered the game with its only loss coming to powerhouse Blue Earth Area (5-0) and an impressive 28-14 win over JCC.

Luverne – who was hooking up with Redwood Valley for the first time in seven years – also had only one loss (to Blue Earth Area) and had rattled off three shutouts in its three victories.

Playing on the road in a tough environment, Redwood Valley came out smokin’ scoring a pair of first quarter touchdowns to go up 14-0.

Junior Alex Lang would account for both scores on short touchdown runs (2, 6 yards) and would convert a two-point attempt to Connor Josephson and Redwood Valley was in control.

Luverne would stop the bleeding with a one-yard touchdown run from Ashton Sandbulte in the second quarter, but the Cards would take a 21-6 lead into the half when Isaac Louwagie hit Lang on an 18-yard touchdown strike late in the second quarter.

On a night when each team suffered the ill effects of turnovers, Luverne would creep back into the game in the third quarter, as Sandbulte blasted in from one yard out. Cade Wenninger would convert the two-point attempt, and Redwood Valley’s lead would shrink to 21-14 heading into the fourth quarter.

In a wild final 12 minutes of regulation, Luverne would tie things up on a 26-yard run from Bailey Cowell only to watch Redwood Valley senior Carter Johnson put the visitor’s back on top with a 30-yard scamper.

With time becoming a factor, Luverne would eventually tie the score at 28, as Cowell plunged in from three yards out to make it 28-28 at the end of regulation.

In the overtime, Redwood Valley could not convert on its offensive possession, and Luverne would put the game to bed on a 2-yard run from LaShad Smith.

It was a disappointing loss for Redwood Valley which did enough to win the game but just couldn’t make enough plays in the end.

Redwood Valley racked up an impressive 401 yards of total offense (compared to 320 for Luverne), including 254 on the ground and had 23 first downs against a Luverne defense that had pitched three prior shutouts.

Alex Lang would finish 11-of-26 passing for 116 yards and added 19 carries for 79 yards and two receptions for 36 yards and two scores.

Johnson carried the rock 11 times for 77 yards and a touchdown, Drew Lundeen had seven carries for 70 yards and three catches for 29 yards and Carter Peterson had three catches for 27 yards.

Connor Josephson had four catches for 48 yards, Jaxon Lang added four carries for 16 yards, Carson Woodford had three carries for 11 yards and Evan Cooper had one catch for seven yards.

Louwagie was 2-of-3 passing for 36 yards and a score and had one carry for one yard.

Jaxon Lang had a big game to pace the defense finishing with eight tackles (five solo), a tackle-for-loss, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.

Johnson finished with 10 tackles (seven solo), Maverick Goblirsch added nine tackles (six solo) and a tackle-for-loss, Josephson had eight tackles (six solo) and a pass defensed and Woodford added seven tackles (five solo), a tackle-for-loss and a pass defensed.

Peterson had five tackles (two solo) and an interception, Alex Lang added three tackles, a fumble recovery and an interception, Lundeen had five tackles (three solo), Sam Jeffrey and Lane Evans both had three tackles and Andrew Stephens picked up two tackles and a fumble recovery.

Redwood Valley was in action Nov. 11 night against Martin County West in its regular season finale and will now turn its attention to the Section 3AA playoffs.

The Section 3AA seeding could be interesting with Lake Crystal-Welcome Memorial (4-1) and Tracy/Milroy-Balaton (3-2) playing much easier schedules than the likes of the Cards and Pipestone Area (0-4).

The Arrows and LCWM met up Nov.11 in both teams’ regular season finale.

The Section 3AA playoffs are slated to begin Nov. 21 at an undetermined time and location.