By Coach Jeremy Nordick
Last Friday night the Warriors took on the Wadena Deer-Creek Wolverines in Sebeka. The determined Warriors came out with a gritty 37-28 victory over a very inspired WDC football team.
In the 1st Quarter, UNC runningback Kirby Hrdlicka intercepted a Dykhoff pass for a 28 yard pick 6 . James Clark pass to Brandon Miller followed and the Warriors were on the board. The Wolverines were quick to answer. After a WDC interception, the Wolverines had great field position and Jake Dykhoff took a bootleg in from 5 yards for their first score. Dykhoff then followed with the two point run to tie it up. The Warriors then responded with a 27 yard strike from James Clark to Mason Dailey for a touchdown. Hrdlicka took it from there on the conversion and Warriors jumped back out in front 16-8. In the second quarter Dykhoff struck again with a 24 yard TD pass to Wegscheid. I thought our defensive back was in great position, but Dykhoff made a great throw that we just couldn’t get to. The conversion failed and Warriors still had a 16-14 lead.
The Warriors then found the endzone again on a 2 yard touchdown run by Hrdlicka, and James Clark booted the extra point for a 23-14 lead. A resilient WDC came back with a 13 yard slant pass from Dykhoff to Spencer, and a Dykhoff run brought the score to 23-22. Warriors still holding the lead. In the third Quarter, converted fullback from receiver Caleb Puttonen muscled his way in to the endzone for a 9 yard TD run, and Hrdlicka followed with the conversion run. That brought the score to 31-22. The Warriors then were able to get a stop and move the ball again. Hrdlicka found the endzone for a two yard run cleared out by his Hogs up front. The pass fell short and the Warriors moved the lead to 39-22. The Wolverines then came again with a 66 yard TD pass to Warren. That put the score at 37-28 Warriors, and that was the end of the scoring for the night.
It was a great win for the Warriors on Friday night! I thought Wadena came in with a great gameplan and played very inspired football for 48 minutes. We had to scrap and battle for every last yard throughout the ball game. We knew going in that the Wolverines had some very gifted, explosive athletes. They have a ton of potential for big plays and it showed. They’re going to be very competitive all year and will surprise and challenge teams.
I give our kids a lot of credit for fighting through a ton of adversity throughout the game. We had a few guys that we had to pull from the game due to injury. We had to move some younger kids in, as well as have guys play different positions. I thought our staff and players did an outstanding job of making the adjustments on the fly. There were definitely some standout, individual performances… but an overall gutsy team effort got us the win.
This week we need to heal up quickly..Some guys, if not all guys need to spend some time in the ice tub and get ready for a huge homecoming week game. Staples-Motley and the Warriors are tied for first on top of the Midwest Blue District. I expect a very physical game. It is UNC/Menahga’s homecoming, so it should make for a great football atmosphere.