Hofacker blocks For Rielly. Photo by Jon Tanberg
Hofacker blocks For Rielly. Photo by Jon Tanberg

MONDOVI, WI - The headline might be a little misleading, but sophomore quarterback Aaron Borgerding emerged as a gamer last Friday night when he scored the game winning touchdown for the Cardinals in overtime against a surging Mondovi squad.

The win improved the Cardinals to 4-0 on the season and pushed them up the rankings from seventh to fourth this week in the state in Division 6.

But head coach Ryan Kapping knows that rankings in the fourth week of the season don’t mean a thing.

Football is a team game and there are a lot of things that can go right or wrong that make players look good or bad in a game. Missed blocks and missed tackles. Dropped passes and fumbles. And of course, penalties.

But of the four touchdowns the Cardinals scored in the 24-21 overtime win against the host Buffaloes, Borgerding had a hand in every one.

The sophomore opened the scoring in the game on a 6-yard quarterback keeper with 6:17 left in the first quarter. He followed that up with a one-yard plunge with 9:05 left in the second quarter and completed a 24-yard pass to senior Tyson Kado with 4:12 left in the first half to give the Cardinals an 18-0 lead going into the locker room at halftime. Missed field goals costs the Cardinals in the end as they weren’t able to convert any of the PAT tries.

But Mondovi wouldn’t go down without a fight. The Buffaloes and Cardinals had a defensive fight in the second half and the hosts finally broke the goose egg on the scoreboard with 5:55 left in the game on  four yard run by Nick Pelke. The two point conversion was good to cut the lead down to 18-8.

Brennan Christopherson completed a 30-yard touchdown pass to Owen Schultz and the extra point kick made it 18-15 with just under two minutes left in the game.

The Cardinals tried to hold on in the end, but Mondovi got one more shot and with just one second left on the clock in the game Raith Bauer kicked a 33-yard field goal to force the overtime.

Mondovi got a 31-yard kick through the uprights on their first possession in the overtime session to take a 21-18 lead, but the Cardinals wouldn’t be denied their chance, and of course it would be Borgerding to take the Cards home. The sophomore broke a 12-yard keeper to cross the goal line for the win, refusing to go down until making it to the end zone.

“Mondovi did a good job of playing a tough physical game, taking away our big ground game from Jaden (Nyeggen),” said Head Coach Ryan Kapping. “I thought our boys buckled down in the overtime session pretty well, but it wasn’t a pretty game by far.”

The Cardinals gained 251 yards of total offense, with 162 coming in the air, which is something completely different for one of Kapping’s teams. It’s very rare when there are more yards through the air than on the ground.

Mondovi had 349 yards of offense, with 148 through the air and 201 on the ground.

Borgerding was 8-for-11 with one touchdown for Valley while Christopherson was 12-for-27 with one touchdown.

The Cardinals also took advantage of Mondovi’s penalties (11-for-105 yards), while Valley had just three penalties for 25 yards on the game.

Pelke led all rushers with 31 carries for 173 yards while Nyeggen led the Cardinals with 22 carries for just 38 yards. Kado caught six passes from Borgerding for 122 yards to lead all receivers.

Junior Santana Schlegel led the Cardinals defense with 13 tackles in the game.

Valley will play hosts to Boyceville this Friday night for Dam Days, and the Bulldogs will be looking to throw the ball a lot, which will be another test for the Cardinals.