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Mounders have to settle for second place after loss to Cardinals

ELK MOUND — Everyone knew the scenario when the Elk Mound football team prepared to host the Spring Valley Cardinals in the final regular season game of the season Oct. 16. After a tough one point loss last week to Durand, the Mounders had one conference loss while the Cardianls entered the stadium undefeated. A win for the Mounders would have made them conference co-champions but another loss would leave them with a 4-2 record in conference play and in a three way tie for second place. The Cardinals decided they didn’t feel like sharing however, as they took control from the start enroute to a 35-0 win over the Mounders.

Spring Valley beat the Mounders at their own game so to speak, as they started the game with a 12 play drive by running right up the middle before Jacob Reilly scored from four yards out. The kick failed but it was 6-0 for the Cardinals with 7:05 on the clock. Elk Mound responded quite well however, as Tyler Sahm took the ball on the first play from scrimmage for a 60 yard gain and the Mounders ended up getting the ball inside the five yard line. But  they were unsuccessful running up the middle and they were stopped on the one on fourth down.

After shutting down the Cardinals on their next possession which included a sack on the quarterback by Hunter Johnson, the Mounders coughed the ball up themselves and gave it back to Spring Valley. It was no harm-no foul as they held the Cardinals again to end the quarter.

The Cardinals had too many weapons to deal with as Logan Newton found a seam and burst through for a 78 yard score three minutes into the second stanza and three minutes later Jed Schlegel scored on a two yard run for a 20-0 halftime lead.

Spring Valley displayed a pretty good passing game as their final two touchdowns, which came in the third quarter, were a result of quarterback Logan Borgerding connecting with Newton from 66 yards out and with Seth Schlegel from 41 yards out. The Mounders had a chance to score themselves in the second half but were stopped yet again on a fourth and goal.

“We just could not punch it in on two fourth down plays and that failure to convert really hurt us,” coach Dave Lew said. “Spring Valley has a really good team and they have more than one playmaker. They are also very well coached and should do well in the playoffs,” he added.

A bright spot for the Mounders was the running of Sahm and Ben Mack as they combined for 249 rushing yards including 196 for Sahm. (Elk Mound running back Noah Zurbuchen, the leading rusher for the team, was injured a week ago and will be laid up for quite a while).Quarterback Dane Lew attempted just one pass in the game and it fell incomplete.

The second season for Elk Mound begins this week in a WIAA first round playoff game in Bloomer against the always big and bruising Blackhawks.

“We are very excited to be going to Bloomer for our first playoff game since the 2012 season,” Lew said.This is also Lew’s first trip to the playoffs since taking over the team in 2013.