Payton Rondestvedt is a man of few words so he let his feet do the talking.

The freshman quarterback for the Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines used a quarterback sneak on second and goal of overtime to secure a 24-18 Midwest Subdistrict Blue victory over rival Staples-Motley Friday, Oct. 12.

“Yeah, when you have Steven Thomas there as a good deception it works out nice,” Rondestvedt said. “It’s awesome.”

After a holding call on a W-DC’s first play of the overtime set them back to the 20, Rondestvedt hit Max Phillips on a 16-yard gain. That set up the QB sneak, which worked for a 10-yard gain.

Colby Schertler hauls in the pass.
Colby Schertler hauls in the pass.

S-M was unable to find the end zone on their possession of the extra frame. They drove it to the 2 to set up a third and goal play, but W-DC’s defense stiffened and denied the Cardinals points.

“It was lack of execution,” S-M head coach Chris Kappler said. “Attitude and effort struggled. Our observation was that we would run a good play and then the next play it was like a different team was out there. Attitude and effort is what we’ve been talking about the last two weeks and we just have to continue to find it and continue to figure out how to play our game and be successful.

“Next week is going to be a big challenge and we’re going to move right into it and keep on push it.”

Steven Thomas finds room to run.
Steven Thomas finds room to run.

Rondestvedt finished with two touchdowns and 18 yards on six carries. He was 3-of-5 passing for 56 yards. W-DC’s Colby Schertler tallied 89 yards on 21 carries as W-DC accumulated 245 yards of offense.

The Wolverines opened the game with a 21-play, 79-yard drive that was capped off with Schertler’s 7-yard TD run. W-DC converted on four fourth downs to eat up all but 45 seconds of the first quarter.

“Our plan was to pound the ball up the middle and gain some yards,” Rondestvedt said.

S-M answered seven plays later when Cade Schmidt scored on a 5-yard run. S-M’s drive was shortened thanks to two 15-yard personal foul penalties.

W-DC broke the early tie late in the second when Schertler scored on a 6-yard run. This drive needed just eight plays, but covered 76 yards with Schertler’s 33-yard reception from Rondestvedt highlighting things.

The Cardinals rebounded with an 11-play, 53-yard drive to open the second half. Schmidt scored his second touchdown from a yard out to knot the score at 12-12.

“It’s one thing I’m proud of with our kids,’ Kappler said. “I don’t feel like we ever quit. I feel like our kids kept driving. I like their attitude. I like what we’re doing. We just have to be consistent. It’s up and down right now so we have to continue to push to be consistent every drive, ever play.”

S-M then stymied the Wolverines on their own 26, but two plays later W-DC’s Cade Kapphahn picked off Max Strickland to give W-DC the ball back at the S-M 25.

Six plays later Rondestvedt handed the Wolverines an 18-12 lead with 8:20 left in the fourth quarter.

“It was intense out there,” Rondestvedt said.

Again, the Cardinals answered. This time Schmidt scored from 3-yards out to send the game into overtime. Schmidt finished with 101 yards on 25 carries and the three scores. Strickland threw for 94 yards on 9-of-16 passing and Josh Lombard caught four of those passes for 55 yards.

W-DC’s last two scores in regulation both came after Cardinals turnovers.

W-DC clipped the Cardinals twice last season, beating S-M 37-19 in the regular season and then topping it 42-20 in the quarterfinals of the Section 6-2A playoffs.


Wadena-Deer Creek 6 6 0 6 6 -- 24

Staples-Motley         0 6 6 6 0 -- 18


First quarter

WDC-Colby Scherltler 7 run (run failed) 44.8

Second quarter

SM-Cade Schmidt 5 run (run failed) 9:22

WDC-Schertler 6 run (pass failed) 46.3

Third quarter

SM-Schmidt 1 run (run failed) 5:49

Fourth quarter

WDC-Payton Rondestvedt 1 run (run failed) 8:20

SM-Schmidt 3 run (run failed) 5:45


Team statistics

Rushes-yards: SM 31-121, WDC 51-189

Pass comp-att-int-yds: SM 9-16-1-94, WDC 3-5-56

Total offense: SM 47-215, WDC 56-245


Individual leaders

Rushing: SM-Kade Schmidt 25-101, Max Strickland 3-6, Jordon Carlson 2-22, team 1-(-8);  WDC-Cade Kapphahn 13-42, Steven Thomas 12-37, Payton Rondestvedt 6-18, Colby Schertler 20-89

Passing: SM-Strickland 9-16-94; WDC-Rondestvedt 3-5-56

Receiving: SM-Josh Lombard 4-55, Scout Strickland 2-22, Carlson 2-19, Schmidt 1-(-2); WDC-Max Phillips 3-29, Schertler 1-33