A late safety off a bad snap resulted in a safety for Medford and proved to be the difference as the Raiders ended River Falls’ season with a 16-4 victory in a WIAA Division 3 Level 2 playoff game Friday night, Nov. 1, in Medford.
Medford led 7-6 at the half and 14-6 late in the third quarter before River Falls quarterback Peter Noreen found tight end Joe Stoffel in stride for a 60-yard touchdown to pull the Wildcats within two, 14-12.
Noreen handed off to Jaden Schwantz on the two-point conversion attempt and Schwantz pitched the ball back to Payton Flood, who found a wide open Noreen in the end zone to tie the score, 14-14, at the end of three.
After holding Medford to a three-and-out to start the fourth quarter, the Wildcats took over at their own 21 yard line, but on 4th-and-8 a high snap sailed over punter Stoffel’s head and he was forced to kick the ball out of the back of the end zone for a safety and a 16-14 Medford lead with just under nine minutes remaining.
River Falls forced a punt on Medford’s ensuing possession, and following an 11-yard run by Michael Krueger, the Cats had a 1st-and-10 at Medfords’ 43. But Noreen couldn’t find an open receiver on 4th-and-9 before being pushed out of bounds, and the Raiders took over with 1:52 remaining and needed just one first down to seal the win.
River Falls ends the season with a record of 8-3 while Medford improved to 11-0 and advances to the state quarterfinals to face Menomonie (10-1) in a Division 3 state quarterfinal game Friday, Nov. 8, in Menomonie.