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Cards pick up first win over Grand Rapids

The Alexandria football team came out on top in a battle of winless teams Friday with a 34-3 victory over Grand Rapids at Citizens Field.

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The Cardinals were able to score many different ways and held Grand Rapids to just a field goal. After the Cardinals picked up their first win, head coach Mike Empting was happy to see the players rewarded for their work this season.

“These guys have been working super hard all season long. It’s nice to finally have it pay off for them,” Empting said. “That’s the biggest thing for me.”

Quarterback John Vogeler was 7-14 passing for 148 yards with one interception and one touchdown. He also rushed 11 times for 46 yards and a touchdown.

Running back Mitch Peck had 16 carries for 77 yards and two touchdowns. David Krivanek led the Cardinals’ receivers in the game with two receptions for 75 yards and a touchdown.

Parker Bowden also scored on an 87-yard kickoff return in the second quarter.

The Alexandria defense held Grand Rapids to just a field goal in the game. Empting appreciated the energy they played with all night.

“I thought defensively our kids played really well,” he said. “We tackled well, we hustled to the ball and we had a lot of energy.”

The players were also relieved to pick up the first win of the season. They were vocal in their celebration after the game.

“It was a much needed win,” Vogeler said. “We’re all, as you can see, pretty pumped about it.”

The Cardinals still have a few things to clean up offensively, but they were happy with the performance to put up more than 30 points for the first time this season.

“We still had our little quirks offensively, where we kind of beat ourselves. We were able to dig our way out of it a little better tonight,” Empting said. “Overall, we put 34 points up. We get a special teams touchdown as well. Defensively, we give up three team points. It’s a good team win.”

Peck was appreciative of the offensive line in the game after he was able to punch two touchdowns into the end zone in the second half.

“The line did a really good job,” Peck said. “There were huge holes both times.”

Vogeler was also appreciative of the offensive line on Friday. They gave him enough time in the pocket to throw for 148 yards with a touchdown.

“The line did a great job for me to get the ball out,” Vogeler said. “Without them I can’t make those types of throws. This is a team win, so I’m pretty happy.”

The Cardinals are now 1-5 this season with the win, and Grand Rapids fell to 0-6. Alexandria next plays 5-1 Bemidji on the road this Friday.

GAME STATISTICS

ALEXANDRIA 34, GRAND RAPIDS 3

ALEXANDRIA OFFENSE – PASSING – John Vogeler – 7-14, 148 yards, 1 touchdown; Jaron Roste – 1-2, 3 yards; RECEIVING – Mitch Peck – 1-26; Riley Hvezda – 1-5; David Krivanek – 2-75, 1 TD; Parker Bowden – 1-34; Travis Krueger – 1-8; RUSHING – Vogeler – 11-46, 1 TD; Peck – 16-77, 2 TD; Roste – 5-19; Jacob Drew – 1-3

ALEXANDRIA DEFENSE – Parker Bowden – 1 assist, 4 solo; Ben Kluver – 6 assist, 3 solo; Joe Gorghuber – 1 assist, 2 solo, 2 fumble recovers; Riley Hvezda – 2 assist, 2 solo, 1 pass intercept; Brody Erdman – 1 solo; Michael Helgeson – 2 assist; Sam Helgeson – 1 assist, 2 solo; Jeremiah Burnham – 2 assist, 2 solo; Aaron Steidl – 2 assist, 7 solo; Landon Anderson – 1 solo; Parker Revering – 4 assist, 4 solo, 1 fumble recover; Nick Partington – 3 assist, 1 solo; Jordan Karger – 1 assist, 1 solo, 1 fumble recover; Chris Leary – 2 assist, 1 solo; Alex Schmidt – 1 solo; Mitch Maday – 2 assist, 2 solo; Aarin Willander – 1 assist, 1 solo

Blaze Fugina

Blaze Fugina is the sports editor of the Woodbury and South Washington County Bulletin newspapers. Previously, Blaze worked as a sports editor for the Pierce County Herald and a sports reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in May of 2011. You can follow Blaze on Twitter at @BlazeFugina.

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