Football: Gridders rack up 31-21 victory over FlyersThe Cardinal defense caused five Little Falls turnovers
The Cardinal football team picked up its second win of the season last Friday night with a 31-21 victory over Little Falls.
The Alexandria defense created five turnovers with four interceptions and a fumble recovery and the special teams had a blocked field goal to help lead the Cardinals to the win. Ross Thompson had two interceptions in the game and Karl Brezina led his team with 11 tackles.
The turnovers that the Cardinals were able to create helped make up for a slow start that saw Alexandria give the ball away. Little Falls scored on its first offensive play of the game on a 66-yard run to give the Flyers a 7-0 lead.
The Cardinals’ offense then fumbled on their first two possessions of the game before breaking through late in the first quarter. Colin Erickson hit Connor Illies for a long pass that set up a quarterback sneak for Erickson from five yards out for the score.
With the game tied at seven late in the first half, Thompson’s first interception of the game gave his team a chance to put some points on the board heading into the break. Erickson took advantage of the opportunity by connecting on passes to Illies and Dillon Kelly to set the Cards up inside the five-yard line. Erickson took matters into his own hands then and followed his offensive line into the end zone.
The Flyers struck first in the second half after a fumbled punt by Alexandria set up Little Falls with a first and goal situation at the three-yard line. The Flyers scored on their first play to tie the game at 14 apiece.
From there, Alexandria took over. The Cardinals scored on three of their next four possessions, two of those touchdowns coming from Matt Peterson who broke off a 62-yard score to give his team the lead for good. Charlie Warnes then capped off the scoring for his team with a 27-yard field goal to finish up a perfect night for him in the kicking game.
Little Falls scored a late touchdown in the fourth quarter, but it was too little, too late as the Flyers losing streak reached 18 games.
The Cardinals featured a balanced attack on offense with 286 yards on the ground to go along with a 155 yard passing day for Erickson. Peterson led the way rushing with 175 yards on 18 carries, while Illies was the leading receiver with 101 yards on just two catches.
It was a big win for the Cardinals as they get set to host the top team in the Central Lakes Conference tonight, Wednesday. Alexandria welcomes Fergus Falls to town for the regular-season finale. The Otters are the only undefeated team in the CLC and are coming off a 31-29 win over Brainerd this past Friday.
Alexandria 31, Little Falls 21
ALEXANDRIA LEADERS – OFFENSE – Rushing – Matt Peterson – 18-175, 2 TD’s; Colin Erickson – 17-48, 2 TD’s; Mitch Telles – 10-34; Michael Joerger – 4-15; Nathan Nelson – 4-8; Charlie Olson – 2-6; Totals – 55-286, 4TD’s; Passing – Erickson – 5-13, 155 yards, INT; Receiving – Connor Illies – 2-101; Dillon Kelly – 1-19; Nathan Nelson – 2-35
DEFENSE – Karl Brezina – 11 tackles; Dillon Kelly – 5 tackles, 1 interception, 1 pass break up; Steve Conley – 6 tackles, 1 blocked field goal; Ross Thompson – 4 tackles, 2 interceptions; Charlie Olson – 5 tackles, interception; Trevor Zolin – 7 tackles; Isaac Meyer – 5 tackles; Andrew Werk – 5 tackles, 1 pass break up; Zac Beireis – 4 tackles; Walker Giroux – 4 tackles; Nathan Nelson – 2 tackles; Lucas Betterman – 2 tackles; Josh Bettermann – 1 tackle; Spencer Wilts – 1 tackle; Craig Hedstrom – 1 tackle
SPECIAL TEAMS – Kicking – Charlie Warnes – 6 kicks, 50.7 average, 4/4 PAT’s, 1/1 field goals; Punt Returns – Dillon Kelly – 1-17; Matt Peterson – 2 returns, 16.5 yard average