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Football: Hudson, River Falls clinch playoff berths

River Falls is going to the WIAA playoffs for the first time in a decade while Hudson will make its third straight postseason appearance after both teams posted Big Rivers Conference road victories Friday night, Sept. 28.

The Raiders defeated Rice Lake, 34-18 and River Falls beat Chippewa Falls, 34-21, to stay tied for first place in the BRC with Menomonie, all at 4-1 in conference play (6-1 overall).

Logan Graetz threw three touchdown passes and Seth Kohel ran for two scores in the Wildcat’s playoff-clinching victory at Chippewa Falls.

The Cardinals capitalized on a River Falls turnover on the first possession of the game and drove 95-yards to take a 7-0 lead. The Wildcats answered with a 17-yard touchdown run by Kohel to tie the score before the Cardinals struck again to go up 13-7 early in the second quarter.

Kohel scored from 9-yards out with a minute remaining in the half and Luke Nelson tacked on the extra point to give the Wildcats the lead, 14-13.

Graetz found Jared Creen for a 13-yard touchdown to open up a 21-13 lead but the Cardinals wouldn’t go away and tied the score with a touchdown and two-point conversion with 33 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

All the scoring in the fourth quarter belonged to River Falls as Graetz threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to Nate Rixmann, then found Joe Stoffel in the back of the end zone for a 27-yard touchdown to make the final 34-21.

Hudson scored 20 points in the second quarter to pull away from Rice Lake, 34-18, at Pug Lund Field. The Warriors took a 12-7 lead early in the quarter but the Raiders got touchdown runs of 5 and 4 yards from Cole Danielson and an 8-yard touchdown pass from Keyser Helterbrand to Jacob Daulton to open up a 27-18 halftime lead.

Torin Phillips iced the win when he picked off a pass and returned it 20-yards for a touchdown for the only scoring of the second half.

Hudson will host Eau Claire Memorial (2-3, 3-4) in its homecoming game Friday, Oct. 5, while River Falls will travel to Superior (2-3, 4-3).

Bob Burrows

Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.

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