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WDC gives top-ranked C-I big scare

Photo by Kandi Kelderman Wadena-Deer Creek head coach Tom VanErp and his Wolverines gave No. 1-ranked Crosby-Ironton a game Tuesday night before bowing 35-21. The Wolverines came up with five turnovers in frustrating the undefeated Rangers through four quarters.

The top-ranked Crosby-Ironton Rangers had to do a lot of stomping to put out the fire the Wolverines brought to Tuesday's Section 6AA football game.

By the time the Rangers had their 35-21 win in the bag, it was the home team that was glad to see the game ending. The Wolverines were like tinder dry grass on a on a windy day -- tough to snuff out.

"We were in a position with about seven minutes to go for the go-ahead touchdown," said WDC head coach Tom VanErp. "We were right there we just needed a couple more first downs and another score. That would have made the end of the game very interesting."

The Rangers had trouble with WDC's size and turned the ball over five times, three times on interceptions and two on fumbles. Their proclivity for shooting themselves in the foot allowed the eighth-seeded Wolverines to climb back into the game after falling behind 20-6 a the half.

"I think we out-hit them. I think we were very physical," VanErp said. "I think we pounded on them pretty good. I thought defensively we played pretty well."

Phil Kuhlmann sandwiched touchdown passes of 15 yards to Justin Edmundson and six yards to Matthew Hudrlik around a 55-yard scoring sprint by Nathan Hudrlik.

Aaron Kern put WDC's only first half touchdown up in the second quarter when he went in from the five with just 44 seconds left.

After Kern started the third quarter scoring with a six-yard run, Kuhlmann tossed his third touchdown pass of the night to Mitch Gutzmann and the 25-yard scoring aerial helped put the Rangers up 28-14.

The Wolverines cashed in again before the third quarter was out as Kern put up his third touchdown of the night on a two-yard plunge.

It took a 26-yard run by Nathan Hudrlik with just over two minutes left in the fourth quarter to give the Rangers their two-touchdown lead and seal the win.

Kern finished the game with 96 yards on 32 carries. Logan Meyer carried nine times for 30 yards. Josh Sherman caught three Kevin Tumberg passes for 26 yards. Kern caught three balls for 10 yards. Zack Kelderman caught two passes for 15 yards.

Jordan Rentz intercepted two passes for the Wolverines while Kern intercepted one. Kern and Isaac Lustila both recovered fumbles.

VanErp credited his team with doing a good job against Crosby-Ironton's veer but admitted that the Wolverines had trouble with fullback Matt Hudrlik running the trap.

"We was probably the best fullback we have seen this year," VanErp said. "If you set out to design a fullback he would probably be it."

The Wolverines entered Tuesday's game sky-high after defeating West Central Area 12-6 Oct. 21 for their first victory since 2007.

"We were really prepared for C-I," VanErp said. "I think the kids felt good about what we accomplished the last four weeks of the season."

C-I 35, WDC 21

Wadena-Deer Creek 0 6 15 0 - 21

Crosby-Ironton 6 14 8 7 - 35

WDC: Aaron Kern 5 yd run (PAT failed), Kern 6 yd run (PAT Zack Kelderman pass from Kevin Tumberg), Kern 2 yd run (PAT Kenny Sakry kick)

C-I: Justin Edmundson 15 pass from Phil Kuhlmann (PAT failed), Nathan Hudrlik 55 run (PAT failed), Matt Hudrlik 6 pass from Kuhlmann (PAT Mark Hoge pass from Kuhlmann), Mitch Gutzman 25 pass from Kuhlmann (PAT M. Hudrlik pass from Kuhlmann), Nathan Hudrlik 26 run (PAT Tyler Heinlin kick)


First Downs 20 16

Yards Rushing 256 135

Yards Passing 93 63

Total Yards 359 198

Passes 5-17 9-24

Intercepted by 2 3

Fumbles lost 2 0

Penalties 11-96 4-46