DURAND, WI - Goal number one was to qualify for the WIAA playoffs, DONE!

The Spring Valley football team qualified for the playoffs with a 19-12 win over Durand in a defensive battle here last week to run their record to 6-0, 4-0 in conference play, and and a number four ranking in division six in the state.

“Qualifying for the playoffs is our goal every year,” said Head Coach Ryan Kapping. “We focus on our games one week at a time, so our next goal is just next week’s game.”

The Cardinals got some solid defensive stands throughout the game, including a couple of goal line stands to keep the Panthers, who had been undefeated in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference as well, out of the end zone.

“We really played a better game in the second half,” Kapping said. “We buckled down offensively as well as defensively and got some good stops.”

Durand opened the scoring with 3:13 left in the first half when Josh Biesterveld pounded his way into the end zone from the seven yard line. Biesterveld was stopped short of the goal line on the two point try leaving the score 6-0 for Durand going into halftime.

Valley opened things up in the third quarter when sophomore quarterback Aaron Borgerding snaked his way into the end zone just more than three minutes into the second half. The extra point kick made it 7-6 for the Cardinals.

Borgerding hit paydirt again with just two minutes left in the third quarter on a one-yard keeper to put the Cardinals up 13-6.

The Cardinals had the bend, but do not break, moment of the game late in the fourth quarter when they were able to stop Durand at the three yard line on fourth and goal. Soon after that, Valley shifted a few players around and broke the game open.

“Jeff (Thompson, the offensive coordinator) made a great call. We moved Kenny Fesenmaier to tight end and sealed the edge,” Kapping said. Sealing the edge gave senior Tyson Kado an edge to get around on an end run, he took the edge and raced 95 yards for the touchdown that put the game out of reach with just two minutes left in the game. Durand got one more score, but with just one second left in the game and putting the final score at 19-12.

The Panthers gained more yards on offense than Valley did, 317 to 293, but the Cardinals limited Durand’s vaunted running game to 206 total yards with speedy Biesterveld gaining only 100 yards on 22 carries. Kado led the Cardinal ground game with 116 yards on just eight carries. Nyeggen had 19 carries for 64 yards and Borgerding had 60 yards from 17 carries. Borgerding was also 4-of-9 passing for 53 yards while Durnad’s TJ Tulip was 6-of-11 for 111 yards with one touchdown (a 34-yard score with one second left in the game) and one interception.

The Cardinals are now 6-0 and ranked fourth in Division Six heading into their final non-conference game of the season with Altoona. Following that game, Valley will have a showdown with Elk Mound, who is also undefeated in the D-SC. The regular season wraps up with a home game against Glenwood City. But Kapping is not looking any further than Altoona this week.