The Alexandria Cardinals played long ball Saturday to hand the Bemidji Lumberjacks a 28-17 setbacks in their Homecoming Game at Citizens Field.
It lifted the Cards to 3-1 this fall and dropped Bemidji to 1-3.
Alex scored on runs of 55 and 29 yards and as 58 yard pass to come from behind, pulling out the game with a pair of final period tallies.
Bemidji also lost starting quarterback Mitch Hendricks to an injury in the third period .
In the long run, Alexandria adjusted its defense after the half to hold Bemidji to 58 yards in the final two periods after Bemidji gained 191 in the first two.
Most of that came on the ground as Bemidji found running room for Czar Woods and Evan Olson to pick up ground steadily.
But the Cards would counter Bemidji's long drives with quick strikes to get even, twice tying the score before Jon Henry's field goal on the final play of the half sent Bemidji ahead 17-19.
It held that margin into the last period, when the Cards moved 59 yards for the go ahead score and only 29 for its last tally after bottling Bemidji up deep in its own territory .
The Jacks head to winless Fergus Falls next Friday night, hoping for a better day.
For three periods, however, the Jacks gav4 Alex all it could handle. .
Czar Woods returned the opening kickoff 58 yards to the Alex 39 and Bemidji moved to the six before being set back by a penalty.
It got back only to the six where Henry's field goal try was blocked.
But the Jacks took advantage of a 17 yard punt to start again from the Cardinals 30 and this time went the distance in five plays, Woods gained 17 and nine to reach the four and Evan Olson went across from the one. Henry converted.
The lead lasted five plays.
The fifth saw fullback Mike Joerger burst through the Bemidji defense and roll 55 yards to score. Nick Schmidt's placement tied the score.
Bemidji then launched a time consuming 15-play drive that spanned the quarter with Hendricks hitting Carey Woods for the first 12 and later keeping for an 11-yard gain to the 22,
A series of short gains reached the two where Olson bulled in again for the score.
Henry made it 14-7.
It took Alex seven plays this time to get even. The last was a 58-yard aerial from Colin Erickson to Mark Whiting.
Schmidt's kick was again true for a 14-14 tie.
But with time running out, Bemidji went 59 yards on a 13-play march to reach the 12 where Henry booted a 22 yard field goal as time expired.
At the half, Bemidji had 191 yards to 164 and had run 42 plays to the Cardinals 15.
Neither team moved the ball through the third period.
The key play came to end the Jacks first series when Hendricks was hit on a keeper and fumbled for the game's only turnover. He was injured on the hit and never returned.
The Jacks defense held, however and neither team crossed midfield until the period ended.
But Alex started at its 43 in the dying moments and used six plays to go the route, scoring in the early moments of the final quarter on Erickson's 29 yard run. Schmidt made it 21-17.
With Bemidji unable to get its offense untracked, the Cards stalled at the Bemidji 30 on the next drive but got excellent field possession to start its next series after a fumble set the Jacks back to their seven yard line.
Whiting returned Olson's punt back to the 30 and Joerger bolted 14 yards to the nine. On third down, Erickson found Whiting in the end zone for the final score.
Alexandria ended with a 223-155 rushing advantage and trailed 93-92 through the air.
Joerger led the ground game with 96 yards while Parker Giroux hit 69 all, but seven in the second half.
Woods had 119 for Bemidji and Olson 38.
Erickson went 5-11 for 92 yards. Hendricks had completions for 71 yards and Mitch Brown two for 25.
Ryan Rude was the chief target with two grabs for 41. Writing's 67 on three catches led the Cards.
Brown, who has guided the unbeaten B Team this fall, will be Hendricks' replacement should he be unable to be back at the helm next Friday.
Bemidji 7 10 0 0---17
Alexandria 7 7 0 14---28
Bem-Olson, 1 yard run (Henry, kick)
Alx-Joerger, 55 yard run (Schmidt, kick)
Bem-Olson, 2 yard run (Henry, kick)
Alx-Whiting, 58 yard pas from Erickson (Schmidt, kick)
Bem-Henry, 22 FG
Alx-Erickson, 29 yard run, (Schmidt, kick)
Alx-Whiting, 9 yard pass from Erickson, (Schmidt, kick)
First downs 10 14
Yards rushing 223 155
Yards passing 92 96
Passes 5-11 8-19
Intercepted by 0 0
Fumbles, lost 0 2-1
Penalties 2-20 4-20
Punts, avg, yds. 3-37.2 4 32.7
Turnovers 0 1
Offensive plays 46 72
RUSHING: Bem-Woods 20-119; Olson 14-38; Alx-Joerger 11-96; Giroux 12-62
PASSING: Bem-Hendricks 6-11-0---71; Brown 2-8-0---25; Alx-Erickson 5-11-0---92
RECEIVING: Bem-Rude 2-41, Carey Woods 2-21;Czar Woods 1-14; Alx: Whiting 3-67, Thompson 2-15