Falcons recover, hold off Greyhounds

RRC stops NUC three-yards shy of a win, takes down Greyhounds 30-22

NEW ULM — New Ulm Cathedral’s late-game heroics came up 3 yards and a 2-point conversion shy of tying the game Friday night as a fumbled snap was recovered by Red Rock Central to help the Falcons hang on for a 30-22 win in a Nine-Man South District, West Subdistrict football game at Johnson Field.

With the Greyhounds driving and down 30-22, a facemask called on RRC set the Greyhounds up at the RRC 20 with 34 seconds left. Rylan Koopmann then took the ball 17 yards down to the RRC 3-yard line before a spike by quarterback Jevan Wilfahrt stopped the clock at 23 seconds.

The Greyhounds, having done this a few times already earlier in the game, put Jake Finstad behind center in a wildcat formation, leaving Wilfahrt out wide to draw attention. But with the field getting wetter late in the night, the second-and-goal snap to Finstad slipped out of his hands and was recovered by RRC, allowing the Falcons to kneel the game to its final.

“We ran the shotgun down the field, and then the idea was Jevan, obviously, put him out at receiver, he’s going to get a lot of attention over there,” Cathedral head coach Denny Lux said. “And we’ve been practicing the wildcat with Jake, we had a couple blockers set up on that side, but that’s just how it goes.

“But it was a great football game, I think both teams can walk away and know that they’ve got a future in this league. And hats off to Red Rock, they played with a lot of emotion and that kind of took us a little bit in that first quarter. Our guys kind of thought that things were going to go a little bit better for them and they didn’t, and I think we gave up a few plays early, just emotionally.”

RRC was without its top running back in Carter Therkilsen, who was ruled out as a game-time decision. But the Falcons made up for it in many ways, led by quarterback Isaac Simonson’s 15-for-20 night.

Simonson threw for 220 yards and three touchdowns with one interception.

“We’ve been waiting for that Isaac to show up,” RRC head coach Isaac Jenniges said. “That’s the guy that was one of the leading passers in the district last year, he did lots of good things for us down the stretch, so it was important to get him going tonight. I thought Quintyn Vold did a great job picking up the slack on a couple of nice, long touchdown catches and some of that kind of stuff. It was good to see that.”

Vold finished the game with seven catches for 165 yards and two TDs.

Also for RRC, Jayden Lang had five catches for 38 yards, while Abe Stavnes had 21 carries for 38 yards and a TD and Jake Jackson had a TD reception.

For Cathedral, Josh Bentler had 30 carries for 170 yards, a TD and two 2-point conversions. Koopman had six carries for 40 yards also, while Wilfahrt had 10 carries for 65 yards and two TDs.

Defensively, Joe Gillis was in on 16 tackles to lead the Greyhounds, while Landon Klawitter had 11 tackles and Brock Carlson had eight.

RRC started with a long drive that took more than six minutes off the clock and ended on a 3-yard TD pass to Jake Jackson. RRC then forced a Cathedral three-and-out to take over again.

RRC’s next drive took 10 plays to end in the end zone, this time a 16-yard TD reception by Vold.

Bentler got the Greyhounds on the board with a 15-yard TD run and 2-point conversion run with 3:36 left in the first half to have Cathedral down 14-8.

With RRC looking to score again quickly before the half, a deep ball was intercepted by Koopmann, giving the Greyhounds a shot to add points to the board before the half in the final minute. Finstad then found Wilfahrt down the sideline for a 43-yard TD pass, but a holding call wiped out the play.

The following play was another Finstad-to-Wilfahrt look, but Lang intercepted that attempt and took the Falcons into halftime with a 14-8 lead.

The Greyhounds took a 16-14 lead with 6:40 left in the third quarter after a QB sneak by Wilfahrt and a 2-point conversion run by Bentler. The lead was brief, however, as the Falcons took the next drive down the field and into the end zone on a 3-yard TD run by Stavnes. During that drive, Simonson completed a 33-yard pass to Vold on third down.

Early in the fourth, Simonson found Vold again down the left sideline for a 62-yard score. Lang’s 2-point conversion catch made it 30-16 for RRC.

Cathedral then got one more score, a 4-yard TD run by Wilfahrt, with 5:44 left in the game.

“Top to bottom, we had some underclassmen, some guys that stepped up in big spots,” Jenniges said. “Our nose tackle, right guard got sick in school today, he wasn’t here, Blake Paplow. So, we filled in at those spots tonight and it was great to see the entire group step up and get a huge section win.”

RRC (2-1) hosts Westbrook-Walnut Grove on Friday, while Cathedral (2-1) travels to Morgan to take on Cedar Mountain on Friday.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

Today's breaking news and more in your inbox
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $4.38/week.

Subscribe Today