Cardinals continue turnaround, pick up fourth win
After going 0-9 last season, the Prescott Cardinals are now 4-0 after a 25-12 win over Somerset Friday, Sept. 8, a team the Cardinals have only defeated a handful of times over the last couple decades.
"We repped for the wishbone offense, which Somerset runs, all week long," said coach Kevin Haglund. "We knew that offense like the back of our hand by the time we stepped on the field Friday night. I think we stunned them a little bit with how fast and furiously we were playing on defense."
The game started out slowly, with neither team able to put up points through the end of the first quarter. However, Prescott opened up the scoring on a nine-yard run by Joe Roosen at the 9:39 mark of the second quarter to give the Cardinals a 7-0 lead. Roosen, who had 158 yards on seven carries, broke off a 74-yard run just over five minutes later to score his second touchdown of the game and put the Cardinals up 13-0 after a failed two-point conversion attempt.
"We really have a three-headed monster in the backfield with Roosen, Derek Rundquist and Joe Schulte. There aren't a lot of teams that can take away all three of those guys, who are all really solid running backs," Haglund said. "Somerset decided they wanted to take away our fullback run game between the tackles, so we just ran things to the outside with Roosen and had a lot of success. He just took over the game because he is such a fast player and a complete mismatch. He was faster and more athletic than almost everyone on the field; no one could match his speed."
With just over two minutes left, Somerset got on the board with a 19-yard pass from quarterback Will Piletich to Garret Hecht (two-point conversion no good), to cut the lead to 13-6. However, Roosen once again took over the game with a 72-yard run for a touchdown just a few plays later (two-point conversion failed) to give the Cardinals back the 13-point lead with 1:42 left in the first half.
However, the Cardinals weren't done. Quarterback Jonah Anderson connected with Rundquist for a 50-yard touchdown after taking the ball back from the Spartans following the team's last touchdown. Prescott took a 25-6 lead into the locker room at halftime.
"Our guys left everything on the field. I really loved the entire team's effort in the game," Haglund said. "I just told the guys that we were the only ones who could beat us at that point and they went out and played solid defense the rest of the game."
Neither team scored in the second half until Somerset quarterback Bennett Baillargeon was able to complete a 36-yard touchdown pass to Preston Kern with 1:33 left in the game to bring the score to 25-12.
The Cardinals totaled 380 yards of offense in the win, with 161 coming through the air — on a 6 for 11 night for Anderson — and another 219 yards on the ground. Along with the 158 yards Roosen put up on the night, Rundquist finished with 32 yards on five attempts, while Schulte had 27 yards on 14 attempts.
The only blemish on the night for Prescot was a lost fumble, but the team was able to keep penalties to a minimum and pick up three turnovers themselves on a pair of fumbles and an interception. The team also had several players pick up tackles for a loss, including Ty Sanford, who had three tackles for a loss and four solo tackles as well. Carson Stenroos led the team with eight tackles, while Parker Nielsen had the team's interception.
"I truly feel like the only team that can beat us is us. If we don't miss tackles and keep our turnovers down, and not make a bunch of mental mistakes, I feel like we can keep winning," Haglund said. "The kids are gaining more and more confidence as the season goes along, but I keep reminding them that we only need to keep our 1-0 mindset. That means we win the next rep, the next practice and the next game. We take it all one thing at a time and just keep doing our best."
The Cardinals will travel to New Richmond for their second road game in a row on Friday, Aug. 15, before heading home for pair of games against Osceola and Baldwin-Woodville.