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Homecoming soaker: Storm improve to 4-0

BY TOM FENTON
STAFF WRITER


It was a soggy yet successful homecoming Friday for the Sauk Rapids-Rice football team.

A persistent and soaking rain damped the field but did not wash away the enthusiasm of a large crowd at Sauk Rapids-Rice Middle School Stadium Friday night who witnessed a 22-12 Storm victory over Cambridge-Isanti. The win improved SRR to 4-0 and proved that statistics do not tell the whole story of a football game.

On a night when big plays were next to impossible, the Storm took advantage of early opportunities and relied on their defense to stay unbeaten despite eye-opening deficiencies on the stat sheet.

The numbers are glaring and would suggest a SRR win incredibly unlikely. A Bluejackets team that relies on a strong running game outgained SRR 315-120 and had a 21-8 advantage on first downs.

However, the numbers are only part of the story.

The Storm were afforded the luxury of not having to do anything fancy on offense thanks to Mason Rudolph’s 50-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to open the game. Andrew Harren, who had 204 receiving yards in last week’s win over Alexandria, had only one catch – a 28-yard touchdown reception from Keegan Patterson in the second quarter.

When Deagan Gondeck returned a C-I fumble for a touchdown minutes later for a 22-0 lead, SRR simply had to limit mistakes the rest of the way. The Bluejackets controlled the ball most of the second half, getting a rushing touchdown in each of the final two quarters and ran 77 plays for the game compared to 37 for the Storm.

Defensively, SRR forced four turnovers. Travis Biery had a team-leading 15 tackles, including a quarterback sack. Shaun Walrath added 13 tackles and Max Loesch had seven.

The Storm will try to make it five in a row when they travel to Bemidji Friday, Sept. 30. The Lumberjacks are 0-4 and are coming off a 19-7 loss to Brainerd. Their losses include a 41-38 setback to Alexandria and a 35-27 loss to a strong Moorhead team.

C-I        0          0          6          6 – 12
SRR      8          14        0          0 – 22



First quarter: SRR – Rudolph 50 kick return (two-point conversion successful). Second quarter: SRR – Harren 28 pass from Patterson (two-point conversion successful); SRR – Gondeck 59 fumble return (run failed). Third quarter: CI – 13 run (run failed). Fourth quarter: CI – 5 run (run failed).

SRR stats:
Rushing: Broden Flakne 19-56, Walrath 5-22. Passing: Patterson 3-8-1 43. Receiving: Harren 1-28, Loesch 2-15. Tackles (solo-assists): Walrath 10-3 (1 tackle for loss), Biery 6-9 (1 sacks, 3 tackles for loss), Loesch 5-2, Ethan Kutzorik 5-0, Harren 4-1, Robish 3-4, Ethan Anderson 3-1, Rudolph 3-1, Patterson 1-0, Ethan Martin 1-3, Gondeck 1-4, Xavier Thurston 1-2, Bradyn Kost 1-1, Flakne -1, Waxweiler 0-1.

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PHOTO BY TOM FENTON

The Sauk Rapids-Rice defense forced four turnovers in a 22-12 victory over Cambridge-Isanti on Homecoming Friday night at Sauk Rapids-Rice Middle School stadium. The Storm improved to 4-0 with the victory.