WADENA -- Staples-Motley senior Kyle Bendson is not sure whether he will go out for Coach Ryan Beachy's track team this spring, but he definitely made his presence known on Beachy's football team Friday night.
Bendson rumbled for 70- and 62-yard scores to lead the Staples-Motley Cardinals to a 36-7 win against the Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines Friday night in a Northern Lakes Conference opener.
Long runs are usually not a part of Bendson's game.
"Bendson's not quite known for his speed," Beachy said. "I don't know what happened. He quit my track team. He says he retired because he's just not good enough."
"I'm undecided," Bendson said. "I was out (for track) the last two years. I'm not known for my speed. I don't know what's wrong with me tonight."
The 5-foot-8, 160-pound running back certainly seemed like a speedster, amassing 158 yards on just seven carries. The first came on the Cardinals' second play from scrimmage when Bendson took a pitch on the option and cut up the left side of the field.
"(S-M quarterback Matt) Mosack read it right and I just had to run with the excellent blocking," Bendson said.
His second score came early in the fourth quarter on a counter and sealed the game for the Cardinals. He pulled in a high snap on the extra-point try and ran it in for two, putting S-M up 29-7.
The win got S-M back on track after dropping its season opener to Long Prairie/Grey Eagle.
"Last week the boat was kind of sinking a bit," Beachy said. "We didn't need to get a new boat, we just needed to plug the leaks with our fingers a bit."
Mosack provided some pressure in the air, completing 4-of-9 passes for 102 yards, including a 34-yard strike to Landon Thompson in the second quarter to give the Cardinals a 21-0 lead at halftime.
"Mosack did a great job of passing," Beachy said. "(He needs to pick up) a couple of reads here and there, but those things will come.
"I think Mosack is a pretty decent passer when he can set up and when he has time to throw."
The Wolverines struggled to move the ball, getting inside the Cardinals' 20-yard line twice and scoring once. W-DC struck in the third quarter when Brandon Currie rumbled 51 yards to the Cardinals' two. Two plays later, Wolverines running back Peter Hayes scored from a yard out to make it 21-7 after the third quarter.
W-DC finished with 153 total yards. The team was without the services of all-conference tackle David Uselman. The senior has been on the sidelines while recovering from appendicitis.
"He probably could have gone tonight, but we wanted to make sure he was all right," W-DC head coach Ryan Kapping said.
Landon Thompson made a few key plays to thwart W-DC, recovering a fumble and later saving a touchdown when Hayes returned a kickoff 90 yards before being stopped short of the goal line by the S-M junior. The Cardinals managed to keep the Wolverines out of the end zone to preserve a 21-0 halftime lead.
"Those two plays were real critical in trying to keep some momentum," Beachy said.
S-M also captured some momentum in the second half. With W-DC driving, Beachy called a timeout and headed onto the field to provide some motivational speaking.
"I just went out and said, 'Fellas, I'm a little sick of this. Anybody on this field, if you let them score, you're running two miles on Monday,'" Beachy said. "I think they allowed four yards after that."
Staples-Motley 14 7 0 15 -- 36
Wadena-Deer Creek 0 0 7 0 -- 7
S-M -- Kyle Bendson 70 run (Javier Martinez kick) 9:11
S-M -- Kyle Detloff 4 run (Martinez kick) 1:28
S-M -- Landon Thompson 34 pass from Matt Mosack (Martinez kick) 3:51
WDC -- Peter Hayes 1 run (Mario Vehabovic kick) 8:32
S-M -- Bendson 62 run (Bendson run) 10:14
S-M -- Landon Thompson 1 run (Martinez kick) 1:58
First downs 15 7
Rushes-yards 43-314 34-138
Pass (comp-att-int-yds) 4-9-0-102 4-11-1-15
Total yards 416 153
Sacked-yards lost 0-0 3-15
Fumbles-lost 7-2 3-1
Penalties-yards lost 1-15 1-15
Rushing -- S-M: Detloff 9-31, Bendson 7-158, Landon Thompson 10-78, Mosack 12-33, Jace Thompson 4-13, Tyler Frisk 1-1; WDC: Peter Hayes 20-67, Kevin Kephart 7-(-10), Brandon Currie 4-77, Travis Pettit 3-4.
Passing (comp-att-int-yds) -- S-M: Mosack 4-9-0-102; WDC: Kephart 4-11-1-15.
Receiving -- S-M: Frisk 1-13, L. Thompson 1-34, Bendson 1-13, Adam Barnett 1-42; WDC: Kyle Polman 1-18, Currie 2-2, Seth Meier 1-10.
Overall -- S-M 1-1, WDC 0-2. Conference -- S-M 1-0, WDC 0-1. Next games -- S-M at Warroad Friday 7 p.m., Roseau at WDC Friday 7 p.m.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.