Week 5 Football Roundup: Cards remain undefeated, RF wins nailbiter, Panthers lose starting QB

By Joe Peine
Posted 9/21/23

The Spring Valley Cardinals remained undefeated on Friday as they beat the Clear Lake Warriors 42-15 in Clear Lake.

The Cardinals came out swinging as they drove down the field and let …

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Week 5 Football Roundup: Cards remain undefeated, RF wins nailbiter, Panthers lose starting QB


The Spring Valley Cardinals remained undefeated on Friday as they beat the Clear Lake Warriors 42-15 in Clear Lake.

The Cardinals came out swinging as they drove down the field and let quarterback Wyatt Goveronski use his legs to get them on the board. Clear Lake answered right back to tie it up, but that’s when running back Diego Schmitt did what he does so often and broke off a 53-yard run to regain the lead.

Spring Valley tacked on two more scores in the second quarter and two more in the 3rd, three were via the legs of Schmitt and the other one was by Swiss Army Knife player Cade Stasiek who is listed as Quarterback/Defensive Back/Running Back/Place Kicker/Punt Returner on the Cardinals’ depth chart. About the only thing Stasiek doesn’t do is draw up the plays.

The Warriors added on a meaningless touchdown at the end to bring the point differential down to 27 on the night, but it was still another blowout win for the Cardinals.

In a season where everything is going Spring Valley’s way, Schmitt went interstellar Friday night going off for 241 yards rushing and four scores on just 18 carries. Schmitt now has 736 yards rushing, nine touchdowns and zero fumbles in just five games this season, averaging almost 150 yards per game on the ground. He’s also second on the team in total tackles with 25.

Altogether, the Cardinals racked up 376 yards rushing and converted 4 of 5 on 3rd downs and 1-1 on 4th. The Spring Valley defense did its job as well, holding the Warriors to 3-10 on 3rd downs, 2-3 on 4th and only 155 yards of total offense.

Head Coach Ryan Kapping said this was one of the cleanest games the Cardinals have played all year.

“We came out and started well, which I didn't think we had done yet this season, so it was nice to play well from the opening kickoff,” Kapping said. “Overall, we were fairly sharp on both sides of the ball, but we did have some mistakes that we will need to clean up going forward.  Turtle Lake has an outstanding dual threat QB that we will need to be well prepared for this week.”  

The Cardinals will try to stay perfect when they return home to play the 3-2 Turtle Lake Lakers this Friday at 7 p.m.

River Falls

The River Falls Wildcats won a nailbiter on Friday as they beat the Eau Claire Memorial Old Abes by a score of 28-27 in Eau Claire.

The Wildcats were hot to start the game, scoring three unanswered touchdowns and a 2-point conversion in the first and second quarters, all of which were via the legs of running back Jonah Severson. The Old Abes scored on a 41-yard strike before the half to reduce their deficit to 22-6 after their missed extra point.

The Abes scored again coming out of the half, which was the only score in the third quarter. However, they missed the extra point again, and it remained 22-12.

A bold, and ultimately foolish call by the Old Abes ended up being the difference in this one.  

The fourth quarter began with another Severson rushing touchdown which increased the Wildcats’ lead to 28-12, but the Old Abes came roaring back. In quick succession they scored a touchdown, secured the 2-point conversion and forced a River Falls punt in what had become a one score game at 28-20.

In the waning minutes of the game, the Abes once again pushed their way downfield and scored a second fourth-quarter touchdown to bring the score within a single point at 27-28. That’s when things got weird because instead of taking the extra point, tying it up and going to overtime, they decided to go for it all with a 2-point attempt. It failed, and the Wildcats held on for the victory.

The player of the game in this one is obviously Severson who put up video game numbers rushing for 331 yards and four scores on an absurd 47 carries. He now has 820 yards rushing and 14 touchdowns on 150 attempts this season against zero fumbles.

With this, River Falls’ record improves to 3-2. They will look to keep things rolling this week as they travel to Superior to play the Spartans on Friday night. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.


The Ellsworth Panthers suffered a tough luck loss on Friday when they traveled to Somerset to play the Spartans, losing by the skin of their teeth in overtime with a final score of 28-30.

The main story line for this game was the loss of Ellsworth quarterback Griffin Blomberg to an injury on the first offensive play of the game (Aaron Rodgers anybody?) and the ascension of sophomore backup quarterback Jack Stoltenburg who performed admirably in his absence. Stoltenburg led Ellsworth the distance and then some in this game against the Spartans; he and the Panthers forced the victor to be settled in extras.

This game was like two boxers exchanging punches as Ellsworth and Somerset went back and forth on scoring all night with the winner ultimately being determined by success in the 2-point conversion battle.

Somerset got out to a quick lead scoring on a short pass into the end zone and following it up with a successful 2-point conversion attempt. Ellsworth answered back scoring on an interception that was returned for a touchdown; however, their 2-point attempt failed leaving the score at 6-8 at the end of the first quarter.

The Panthers struck first in the second though, running in a touchdown and completing the 2-point attempt to take the lead 14-8. The Spartans came back and scored on another short pass with a second successful 2-point attempt before the half to retake the lead, 16-14.

The third quarter was much the same, each team scored, and the difference was in the 2-point attempts with Ellsworth completing theirs and the Spartans falling short. This brought the score to a dead heat at 22 going into the fourth quarter, and it was a tie that would last until time expired in regulation forcing the game to go into overtime.

For those of you who don’t know, in overtime each team is guaranteed a possession, so the first one to blink, loses.

Somerset got the ball first, pushed down field and scored, completing the 2-point conversion attempt and taking the lead 30-22. The Panthers knew their backs were against the wall, so, with no room for failure, Ellsworth rallied and stormed right back going the length of the field and scoring on a 4-yard run to bring the tie in sight. With the game on the line, and no more chances, they ultimately fell just short, losing their second game in a row with a final score of 30-28.

The Panthers played a very balanced, strong game of football behind Stoltenburg with 185 yards passing and 144 yards rushing. Their defense also played well, holding the Spartans to just 3-11 on 3rd downs and 0-1 on 4th.

Head Coach Rob Heller was very pleased with how Stoltenburg and the rest of the team dealt with coming off a big loss last week and then losing their starting quarterback before the game really even got started.

“I was very impressed with how the guys bounced back after a tough game in Baldwin and dealt with a lot of adversity. We need to solidify some things on the defensive side of the ball and be ready to go for a very physical and well coached Rice Lake squad that will be coming in this Friday,” Heller said. “We’re hoping to take another step forward offensively and play disciplined defense this week, so we can get our train back on the tracks and start the second half of the season with a W.”

The belief is that Blomberg will be back in time for this week’s game.

“Griff is banged up, but he will battle through the injury,” Heller said. “He just tweaked his knee a bit. We expect him to play Friday.”

Still, this will be a situation that the 3-2 Panthers will monitor as they prepare to host the surging 4-1 Rice Lake Warriors this Friday who have won three in a row, are tied for first place and lead the conference in point differential. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.

Spring Valley Cardinals vs Clear Lake Warriors, RF Wildcats vs Eau Claire Memorial Old Abes, Ellsworth Panthers vs. Somerset Spartans, football, MBC, Pierce County, Wisconsin