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Football: Goodhue grinds down K-W

Goodhue running back Mason Huemann (21) runs by the Kenyon-Wanamingo defense during the first quarter of Friday's game at Goodhue. Joe Brown / RiverTown Multimedia1 / 4
Kenyon-Wanamingo running back Tyler Ryan (22) tries to break through a tackle from Goodhue's Mitchell Schrimpf during the first quarter of Friday's game in Goodhue. Joe Brown / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 4
With Kelby O'Reilly (56) leading the way on a block, Goodhue's Mariano Bigalk looks for some running room during the first half of Friday's game against Kenyon-Wanamingo in Goodhue. Joe Brown / RiverTown Multimedia3 / 4
Kenyon-Wanamingo's Wade Steberg (70) hangs onto Goodhue's Carter Danielson during the first half of Friday's game at Goodhue. Joe Brown / RiverTown Multimedia4 / 4

GOODHUE — Every hit is coming in fast. And every hit is painful. That's the brand of football that Goodhue has made for itself.

Heading into Friday's Week 3 matchup with Kenyon-Wanamingo, the Wildcats were yet to give up a point while holding teams to a combined one completion and an average of 3.5 yards allowed per rush.

"We're pretty quick. Our line is fast, gets in there and makes plays. Cornerbacks can lock down and make plays. And linebackers find holes and make plays," said senior defensive lineman Ryan Schoenfelder.

Bringing the boom is something the Wildcats excel in. And they did that plenty of times in a 37-8 victory.

"Our defense has been lights-out. They've been strong all year," said Wildcats head coach Tony Poncelet. "Coach (Billy) Diercks has 'em ready. They're able to play fast because they know their assignments and aren't overthinking things. ... The heart of these guys, you can't measure it."

Battling through a penalty-filled first quarter, Goodhue was able to score first when quarterback Jack Gadient found Mariano Bigalk for a 29-yard touchdown pass at the 5-minute, 48-second mark.

After a punt pinned the Knights deep in their own territory, the Wildcats were awarded a safety when K-W quarterback Jack Beulke lost his footing and slipped in the end zone.

Then at 5:31 in the second, Mason Huemann scored his first touchdown on a 20-yard scamper for a 16-0 Goodhue advantage. He also had an 11-yard score midway through the third quarter.

"Our line just stepped up and made those holes nice and big for me," Huemann said. "Made my night easy."

Poncelet added, "Mason's a workhorse. Has been for three years. I'm glad he wears purple. He gets what our line gives him every down and more."

With time winding down before halftime, the Knights decided to go with the aerial attack and was the first team to finally break through the Wildcats' defense. On an eight-play, 75-yard drive, Beulke completed passes of 41 and 30 yards before finding Cole Johnson for a 24-yard touchdown strike with 1:29 before the break.

"We weren't happy about it," said Schoenfelder, who had five tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. "But, it wasn't the end of the world."

That was all the give Goodhue would allow. After halftime, Beulke (6 of 11, 124 yards) completed just one pass while throwing an interception to Sam Opsahl.

"They started blitzing a little bit more in the second half and that threw us off," said K-W head coach Jake Wieme. "(Beulke) didn't get as much time in the second half. ... When we're not running the ball well, it's hard to pass because they're adjusting."

With the passing game grounded, K-W's rushing attack was ineffective as the team had 48 yards on 32 attempts. Tyler Ryan led the Knights with 26 yards on 14 carries.

Meanwhile, the Wildcats happily pounded the ball, rushing for 283 yards. Huemann led the way with 171 yards on 22 carries. Kaleb O'Reilly followed with 48 yards and an 8-yard touchdown, and Bjorn Otterness had six carries for 46 yards. Casey Ryan added a 1-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. Huemann also finished with 10 tackles and a sack while Kaleb O'Reilly had a team-high 11 tackles.

Goodhue (3-0) heads to Hayfield next week while K-W (2-1) returns home to face Bethlehem Academy.

Joe Brown

Joe Brown is the sports editor for the Red Wing Republican Eagle. Previously, he worked at the Marshall Independent and the St. Cloud Times. For updates on local sports, follow Joe on Twitter at @RE_JBrown.

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