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Football: Lots of Cardinals take home awards

The Alexandria football had a successful season and recently handed out its yearly honors.

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Alexandria senior Jordan Nicholson, 60, leads a group of Cardinals onto the field before the Section 8-5A playoff opener against St. Cloud Tech on Oct. 25, 2022. Nicholson finished the season on the academic all-state team and won Alexandria's Pound the Rock award at season's end.
Eric Morken / Alexandria Echo Press
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The 2022 football season has ended for the Alexandria football team and it recently handed out its awards for the season.

The team handed out 11 awards, including the most valuable player and the offensive player of the year, which were both awarded to senior Kelly Johnson.

Johnson led the team in receiving with 79 receptions for 889 yards and eight touchdowns. He also had two fumble recoveries and 36 tackles on defense. He also had 349 kick return yards, 187 punt return yards and one punt return touchdown.

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Alexandria senior receiver Kelly Johnson lowers his shoulder into the Brainerd defense after making a catch on Sept. 30, 2022. Johnson finished the 2022 season as the team's offensive MVP and overall player of the year.
Eric Morken / Alexandria Echo Press

He, along with senior Jordan Nicholson, senior Ashton Sayre, senior Jaxon Schoenrock, junior Sawyer Rumohr, junior Brayden Staples, sophomore Daniel Jackson and sophomore Chase Thompson, were named to the North Central Red All-District team.

Rumohr won the team’s defensive player of the year award and the most valuable defensive lineman award. He had 57 tackles and three sacks this season, along with one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

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Johnson, Thompson and Bryr Homelvig were named to the All-Section 8-5A team, while Rumohr, Sayre and Schoenrock were honorable mentions.

Thompson completed 61.5 percent of his passes (205/334) for 2,261 yards for 21 touchdowns. He also rushed for 38 yards and one touchdown. Thompson nearly had a 2-to-1 touchdown to interception ratio as finished the season with 11 interceptions.

Athey finished the season with 44 tackles, one interception, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

Staples were fourth on the team in tackles with 62 and he also racked up a sack, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

The player of the year on special teams was awarded to Daniel Jackson, who kicked the third longest field goal (52 yards) in MSHSL history in a game against Brainerd on Sept. 30. Jackson was recently one of 75 kickers to compete in the 2022 Kicking World Showcase (invite only).

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Alexandria sophomore kicker Daniel Jackson follows through on a made 25-yard field goal in the first half as Brainerd’s Brandon Stark gets a hand up coming around the edge. Boone Branson, 15, got the hold down for Alexandria. Jackson added a 52-yard field goal in the third quarter that gave the Cardinals a 6-0 lead at the time. Johnson was named the team's special teams player of the year at the end of the season.
Eric Morken / Alexandria Echo Press

The most valuable offensive lineman award went to Gavryn Fernholz, who was all-district honorable mention. Homelvig, along with junior Jacob Lanoux, senior Hunter Athey, and junior Walker Hennen were all-district honorable mentions as well.

Hennen finished the season with a team-high 293 rushing yards on 105 carries and four touchdowns. He also hauled in 18 receptions for 148 yards and he had 282 yards on kick returns. He also had 12 tackles on defense.

Junior Andrew Flaten was second on the team in rushing with 214 yards on 52 carries and scored twice.

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Homelvig was second on the team in tackles with 102 and he had one interception.

Lanoux won Alexandria’s most valuable defensive back award this season after he led the team in tackles with 110 and he had one interception and one forced fumble. Schoenrock won the team’s most valuable offensive back of the year award as he finished the season with 51 receptions for 557 yards and 6 touchdowns, all of which were second-best amongst receivers.

Sophomore Mason Gorghuber finished third on the team this season in receiving yards. He caught 21 passes for 301 yards and four touchdowns. Junior Kadyn Weber had 23 receptions for 262 yards and a touchdown.

Sayre, who is now committed to play college football at Minnesota State-Moorhead next fall, won Alexandria’s most improved player award. Sayre had 67 tackles this season (a team-high eight for loss), three sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

Rounding out the team awards for the Cardinals, the Pound the Rock award went to senior Jordan Nicholson and the Cardinal Football Legacy award went to senior Ashton Schlosser.

The Cardinals got off to a 1-4 start to the season but won the last two of three regular season games and defeated St. Cloud Tech in the first round of the playoffs before falling to Moorhead.

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Alexandria junior defensive end Sawyer Rumohr gets a hand up to try to disrupt the Connor Harens pass on Oct. 25, 2022. Rumohr was named Alexandria's defensive MVP at the end of the 2022 season
Eric Morken / Alexandria Echo Press

The Cardinals have won at least one playoff game in the last three seasons and in the last four out of six seasons.

Alexandria finished the season with a 3.42 GPA and earned all-state gold academic standing.

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Nicholson finished the season on the academic all-state team. On the field, he had 39 tackles, and he forced one fumble.

Alexandria is set to graduate 14 seniors this spring and will have a similar size of senior class next season, as it has 15 juniors currently.

The team captains for the 2023 season are Hennen, Rumohr, Lanoux and current junior Evan Moore.

Sam Stuve covers a variety of sports in the Douglas County area. He also is assigned to do some news stories as well.
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