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Jason Miller , Published October 27 2012

Cavalier upends Wyndmere-Lidgerwood in 9-man playoffs

WYNDMERE, N.D. – Cavalier junior quarterback Ryan Chrest says he learned to run with such patience from his dad, a former player.

Chrest routinely found big holes Saturday, often waiting for plays to develop behind his offensive line, as the Tornadoes defeated Wyndmere-Lidgerwood 46-32 in a North Dakota 9-man state quarterfinal football game.

“He’s such a heady kid,” said Cavalier head coach Sandy Laxdal. “He just sees things so well.”

Chrest rushed for 190 yards on 20 carries and scored twice in his team’s victory.

“He’s a freak,” said Wyndmere-Lidgerwood head coach Scott Strenge of Chrest’s ability to slip tackles.

Laxdal credited his team’s offensive line as a big reason his team won as well. Behind a strong push up front, the Tornadoes piled up 436 yards rushing.

“I think, up front, we got into them, and moved them,” Laxdal said.

The Tornadoes hit on a 48-yard run to open the game, then fumbled the ball away on the next play deep in Warbirds territory. Two plays later, Wyndmere-Lidgerwood’s Luis Vasquez was stripped of the ball around his own 5 and Cavalier’s Ryley Cleem jumped on the ball in the end zone for the game’s first score. After a 2-point conversion, the Tornadoes led 8-0. They never trailed the rest of the game.

“We knew we had to score a lot of points,” said Laxdal, whose team has scored at least 40 points in all of its games this season.

Cavalier’s Austin Bigwood scored on a 10-yard pass from Chrest early in the second quarter to put his team up 16-0.

Wyndmere-Lidgerwood answered with a deep-play passing offense led by Vasquez, who racked up 241 yards receiving and four touchdowns. The Warbirds pulled to within six late in the third quarter after scoring on a 59-yard run on a direct snap to senior Jeff Illies.

But Cavalier (9-1) pulled away with a nine-play, 63-yard drive in the fourth quarter to go back up two scores and put the game out of reach.

Warbirds quarterback Seth Harles finished 15-for-23 with 336 yards passing and four touchdowns.

But the combination of Chrest and running backs Jarret Johnson and Brock Robbins proved to be too much for Wyndmere-Lidgerwood to overcome. Johnson rushed for 157 yards and Robbins added 85.

“We got the ball into our playmakers’ hands,” Laxdal said.

The Tornadoes were bounced from the state football playoffs last year by Wyndmere-Lidgerwood. Next up is a semifinal matchup at Sheyenne-New Rockford, the only team to hand Cavalier a loss this season. Chrest said that’s the team his squad wants to face.

“It’s kind of a revenge tour,” Chrest said.

The Warbirds season ends with a 9-2 overall record.

“I just thought we got beat by a better team,” Strenge said. “They were the better team today.”

C 8 16 8 14–46

WL 0 12 14 6–32

C–R. Cleem fumble recovery in end zone (Chrest run)

C–Bigwood 10 pass from Chrest (Chrest run)

WL–Vasquez 71 pass from Harles (pass failed)

C–Chrest 35 run (Chrest run)

WL–Vasquez 37 pass from Harles (pass failed)

WL–Vasquez 39 pass from Harles (pass failed)

C–Chrest 34 run (Chrest run)

WL–J. Illies 59 run (J. Illies pass from Harles)

C–J. Johnson 7 run (Chrest run)

C–B. Robbins 1 run (run failed)

WL–Vasquez 7 pass from Harles (pass failed)


RUSHING: C, J. Johnson 23-157, Chrest 20-190, B. Robbins 14-85, R. Cleem 1-4. WL, Vasquez 9-27, J. Illies 5-70, Harles 7-(minus-2), Frank 1-6.

PASSING: C, Chrest 3-5-1-62 yards. WL, Harles15-23-0-336, Vasquez 1-3-0-25.

RECEIVING: C, B. Robbins 1-15, Bigwood 1-10, R. Cleem 1-37. WL, Vasquez 8-241, Manikowski 1-25, Frank 2-7, J. Illies 4-54, Clark 1-20.

Forum reporter Jason Miller can be reached at (701) 241-5549