Cardinals Steamroll Knights In Playoff Opener

The tone was set early in the Section 1AA Playoff opener between the Lewiston-Altura Cardinals and the Kenyon-Wanamingo Knights.

After a 3-and-out-by the Knights offense, Lewsiton-Altura’s Dusty Knutson blocked the punt, and was recovered by Calen McNally at the 25 yard line.  A few plays later, Knutson took a QB keeper into the endzone for the first score of the game.  Even if the Cardinals hadn’t scored again, that would have been enough.

However, the Cardinal offense kept going, starting to peak at the right time, just like Head Coach Brent Olson hoped they would.

Another 3-and-out for the Knights was the case on the next drive, and the ensuing punt was partially deflected by Knutson, giving the Cardinals the ball on their own 46 yard line.  3 plays later, Knutson found Mitch Bonow for a 26-yard TD strike, and a 14-0 Lewiston-Altura lead.

Knutson would find paydirt one more time to start the second quarter, scoring on another 1-yard run.

The Senior Cardinal Quarterback nearly completed a touchdown hat trick, calling his own number on the next drive, rushing 46 yards downfield, but he came up 3 yards shy of the goal.  McNally took a handoff on the next play to complete the drive, and extend the Cardinal lead to 28-0.

McNally would put an exclamation point on the first half, with a 4-yard run with 1:01 left to go in the second quarter, to send the Cardinals into the locker room with a 34-0 lead.

Lewiston-Altura would get the ball first in the second half, and Knutson’s night was over, getting some rest for the next round, rushing for 113 yards in the first half.  The Cardinals, though, were just a little off to start the third quarter.  New quarterback Marcus Weaver and McNally couldn’t complete a running play, on the second play of the quarter, and the Knights’ Logan Quam recovered the fumble at the 13-yard line.  The Knights would capitalize, as Tate Erlandson found Cole Johnson with a 1-yard touchdown pass with 10:14 to go in the third.  That would be the last of the Knights offense.

With 4:20 to go in the third, L-A’s Chris Schell recovered a fumble to extinguish a K-W drive, and it translated into more points as McNally scored on a 4-yard run just a few plays later, giving the Cardinals a 40-6 lead after 3 quarters of play.

Evan Daley recorded an interception for the Cardinals 16 seconds into the 4th quarter, to set L-A up for more points.  The Cardinal offense couldn’t complete the drive, and Daley attempted a 37-yard field goal, which sailed to the left.

3 plays later, the Cardinals would get the ball again off an interception by Cameron Egland.  L-A would give Daley another chance at a field goal, this time connecting from 35 yards out, to complete the scoring at 43-6.

The #3 Cardinals (5-4) will face #2 Triton (8-1) in the next round, on October 28 at 7pm in Dodge Center.  Triton defeated Cotter 46-0 in the first round, and had beaten L-A earlier this season, 42-14.

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