Wolverines bow to Royals in regular season finale
Tony Gadacz hit paydirt on two second half runs Wednesday night to help the Royalton Royals defeat Wadena-Deer Creek's Wolverines 28-20.
The Royals took a 14-6 lead into the halftime break. Cade Stang opened the scoring when he scored from 6 yards out on the first play of the second quarter. The Royals jumped further ahead on a 21-yard touchdown pass from Brady Moulzouf to Luke Wentland.
The Wolverines scored with only nine seconds left in the first half when Blaine Cooper went in from the six.
WDC tied the game at 14-all in the third quarter as Evan VanErp ran one in from the five and then hit Cooper with the conversion pass.
Gadacz sank WDC's comeback hopes with touchdown runs of 2 and 10 yards in the second half. His tie-breaking touchdown was set up by a 30-yard gainer on fourth and long pass play.
"It was fourth and a mile," WDC Head Coach Howie Kangas said. "There wasn't anything we could do. Give them credit for making the play."
The loss closed out WDC's regular season record at 2-6. The Wolverines will be on the road Tuesday for a Section 6AA play-
off game. Kangas speculated Wednesday morning the host team of Tuesday's game will be Holdingford or Pierz.
Kangas credited his club with another hard-fought game.
"We've performed remarkably well, despite our situation," Kangas said. "We're a very knicked up team, but our kids keep playing hard."
VanErp rushed 16 times for 121 yards in the loss.
Royalton 0 14 7 7 -- 28
WDC 6 14 12 0 -- 20
Royalton: Cade Stang 6 yd run (PAT Luke Wentland kick), Wentland 21 yd pass from Brady Moulzouf (Wentland kick), Tony Gadacz 2 yd run (PAT Wentland kick), Gadacz 10 yd run (PAT Wentland kick)
WDC: Blaine Cooper 6 yd run (PAT failed), VanErp 5 yd run (PAT Cooper pass from VanErp), VanErp 16 yd run (PAT failed)
Yards Rushing 262 180
Yards Passing 91 71
Total Yards 353 251
Passes 6-9 6-18
Intercepted by 0 0
USA 48, WDC 6
Mitch Lange ran in three first half touchdowns in propelling Upsala-Swanville Area to a one-sided victory over the Wolverines.
Lange picked up 159 yards on 33 carries and scored on runs of 1, 1 and 3 yards.
The Patriots dominated the total yardage battle 442-77. In addition to Lange's big night, the Pats saw Eric Frieler hit Trent Dinius with a 29-yard aerial and connect with Garrett Wolf for a 38-yard touchdown. Fieler also ran nine times for 49 yards. Brock Cichon logged 39 yards on five carries and scored on a 24-yard run.
The Patriots saw their shutout bid go astray late in the fourth quarter when freshman Andrew VanErp dazzled them with an 84-yard kickoff return.
Mike Paavola had 14 solo tackles and two assists in the game. Jacob Krause came up with six solo stops and four assists. Blaine Cooper was credited six solo tackles and two assists.
The victory boosted USA's season mark to 6-1. The Pats are in a four-way tie for first place in their section with Holdingford, Pierz and Crosby-Ironton.
WDC 0 0 0 6 - 6
USA 14 15 12 7 - 48
WDC: Andrew VanErp 84 yd kickoff return (PAT failed)
USA: Mitch Lange 1 yd run (PAT Brock Cichon kick), Tren Dinius 29 yd pass from Eric Fieler (PAT Cichon kick), Lange 1 yd run (PAT failed), Lange 3 yd run (PAT Nick Fieler kick), Safety- Avery Smieja tackled Evan VanErp in end zone, Garrett Wolf 38 yd pass from E. Fieler (PAT failed), Cichon 24 yd run (PAT failed), Tyler Evans 3 yd run (PAT Justin Cichon kick)
Yards Rushing 24 302
Yards Passing 53 140
Total Yards 77 442
Passes 10-21 8-13
Intercepted by 0 1
Fumbles lost 1 1