Homecoming III: The Game

[So, right up front, we won!!  🙂 ]

After the parade, we kept right on hiking – to the tailgate party beyond the North end zone.  We enjoyed a burger in the crisp sunshine (the crispness kept the yellow jacket menace in check) – with a side order of water and no cookie (a hint as to what’s happening to my calorie intake).  It was still two hours to game time, so we thought about a field trip to the winery for Uncle Willie’s Gut Bucket Blues Band . . . until we realized it was was still one hour to Uncle Willie.  To home and a nap.

Refreshed from a little couch time, we made it back to the high school by game time.  We thought the “wind chill” would be such that we would be unlikely to last the entire game.  Plus, our young Cardinals were playing another 0 – 3 team in St. Cloud Apollo – both teams appear to looking up at a conference loaded with good teams this year.

We had missed the only other home game so far because of a scheduling conflict, so this would be a game of first impression . . . meaning we had no idea what to expect.

[The Eagles were in formation for the National Anthem . . .]

[Played by the band in the new (to my recollection?) bleachers in the South end zone.]

[I must have been distracted during kick-off . . .]

[But I believe this was the Cardinals’ first play from scrimmage – a sweep left.]

[Appeared to be about a 5-yard gain.]

[Down the field our Cardinals continued to march . . .]

We momentarily interrupt this program to honor those who bring it to you . . . well, in the digital picture or video form:

All of which leads me to wonder whether I could get field credentials if I threw my “Press” hat into the ring?

Meanwhile, back at the game . . .

[Junior quarterback, John Vogeler (7), awaited the next play call.]

[It was a quarterback keeper.]

[And was tackled.]

[The next play was a misdirection.]

[It’s a Touchdown!  Cardinals lead 7 – 0 after the first drive of the game.  Sophomore Jake Bear scored the TD, though he is totally lost in the pile.  And it looks like we have an excellent place kicker, senior Chandler Davis.]

As good a time as any for the roster.  You can see we’re young.  And I’ve heard we have good talent coming up with the freshmen class and in this sophomore class.

[Then we kicked off after the TD.  Senior kicker, Tyler Lenarz, showed a strong leg, including a touchback.]

[Give me an “A”!]

[Give me an “L”!]

[Give me an “E”!]

[Give me an “X”!  What’s that spell?  (After all, we do send them to school to learn how to spell.)]

[As I recall, on the first play after the kick-off, the Eagles fumbled and the Cards recovered.]

[We ran a couple of plays . . .]

[And scored again!  🙂 ]

[The Eagles have a quick little scatback who hurt us with long kick returns all game.  After the 2nd Cardinal touchdown, the Eagles working with a relatively short field marched smartly for a touchdown of their own.  They have a 6’2″, 205-pound sophomore quarterback who looked very good with a strong arm.]

The first quarter was fraught with excitement.  (Always savor a little fraught in your life; too much, however, may require medication.)  At 14 – 7 it looked like it was going to be a real shoot-out.  But as you already know, there was only one more touchdown the rest of the game.

[This has to be the 2nd quarter because the Eagles are going the other way.  It’s hard to get anything by me!]

[Inquiring minds want to know – is this Nan Haggerty’s daughter or merely the school mascot?]

[Blog contributor, Al Grundei, headed to the restroom or to the field for halftime alumni introductions, whichever came first.]

At half-time, Homecoming royalty were introduced:

[Queen Shelby Iverson, Hall-of-Famer Joani Nielson, and King Kyle Blank.]

[Though we think of her as a hockey player, she’s had a terrific season in cross-country, too.]

[Sophomore attendants Justin Cumberbatch and Ellie Bergstrand.]

[I’m going to guess seniors Patrick Leary and Maggie Shay stepping out.]

[Becca Illies giggling knowing (?) I got caught by the bane of the telephoto lens – a giant head in the foreground!  😉 ]

[A giant head interrupts Shelby.]

[“Hi, Joani!”]

[Dennis Stark led the football alumni onto the field.]

[Joined by Grundei.]

[“Lookin’ good, Al!”]

[Two generations of Kluvers – everybody except Lisa!]

[Take a bow, Al.]

[The cheerleaders had to layer up a couple of times.]

[What’s it gonna do?  We’re in the 2nd half now.  We did not think we would still be at the game.  Uncle Willie awaited at the winery . . . but.  It actually was kind of a nice day sitting in the somewhat protected stands on a sunny day.  It was kind of an interesting game, despite a plethora of turnovers and penalties.  So, we stuck it out.]

[Well, I think I’ll pick it up then.]

[I’ll try to capture that.]

[Did you get it?]

[Trying to pass the Eagles back into contention.  After their first drive, however, the Cardinals’ pass defense was stellar!]

[In the 4th quarter . . .]

[Vogeler scored for the Cards . . .]

[And that wrapped up the game.]

[Celebrate . . .]

[And kick the extra point.]

[The Eagle and the Apollo fans maintained some hope to the end because the “replacement refs” took over.  We interecepted a pass, had a nice return on it, and then after the tackle we were hit with two 15-yard penalties – both were walked off to the tune of 30 yards.  Denny Kalpin, ex-Cardinal coach, said on radio after the game he had never seen back-to-back 15-yard penalties walked off on the same play.  And when Apollo was throwing long bombs at the end of the game, the Cards were hit with about four pass interference penalites – in each case our defender was behind (i.e., in position) the receiver, and when they’d both go up for the ball together, they’d call defensive pass interference.  You hate to question refs who give of their time to work high school games, but several of us the stands did voice our displeasure.  Fortunately, it wasn’t costly – I think we were called for 11 penalties in the game to their two.]

[It’s over!!  🙂  Good game team – it should provide confidance for the future.  We weren’t surprised to hear junior Aaron Steidl was named defensive player of the game, though we remembered him as a running back.  At defensive end, I think he had 11 tackles and 2 sacks.   Senior lineman Chase Duwenhoegger was named offensive player of the game, leading the blocking for the running game.]

[We missed Uncle Willie at the winery – but we did catch Lisa Lynn at SAWA.  Really, she was there! 😉 ]

[We love Lisa, but it had been a long day.  She understood when we couldn’t make it all the way through her last set.]

One last thing.  Our Tuesday morning golf league is losing competitors to snowbirdom and chilly morning weather.  We only had 12 guys this week.  We form teams by blind draw.  We noticed coming in the back 9 that our last foursome was the group below – their youngest member is 85!

[Standing, 1-r:  Dar Hentz, 87; Harry Ramaley, 85; Gordy Anderson, 91.  Sitting:  Don Hansen, 87.  Whatta group!  I think 3 of the 4 shot their age this day.  An inspiration to all.]

Next up:  Volleyball

[Liz Schultz in the Echo.]

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