Tigers hope to hand Bloomer first defeatOnly two football teams in the Heart O’ North Conference remain undefeated. Northwestern High School takes on one of them tonight when the Tigers travel to Bloomer to play the Blackhawks. “I think Bloomer is the real deal,” NHS coach Dennis Scherz said. “I would put them at the top of the conference right now.”
By: Emily Kram, The Daily Telegram
Only two football teams in the Heart O’ North Conference remain undefeated. Northwestern High School takes on one of them tonight when the Tigers travel to Bloomer to play the Blackhawks.
“I think Bloomer is the real deal,” NHS coach Dennis Scherz said. “I would put them at the top of the conference right now.”
Bloomer currently holds a 4-0 record overall and 2-0 record in the conference. Northwestern is 3-1 and 1-1, with its only loss coming in a two-point decision against Ladysmith.
Against the Blackhawks, Northwestern also expect a close match.
“I can’t believe it’s going to be a high-scoring game,” Scherz said. “Whenever Heart O’ North teams meet, it’s usually a defensive battle.”
If tonight’s match follows the pattern of the last two years, the game will be very close. The last two games have been decided by a single touchdown with Bloomer winning both times. The Blackhawks topped NHS 27-20 in 2006 and scored the only points of the game in 1 7-0 win in 2007.
On a new field with a more optimistic attitude, the Tigers are hoping to change that trend this season, but Scherz knows Bloomer will come ready to play.
“It’s going to be interesting because they have a lot of ways to score quickly, and so do we,” Scherz said.
Senior running back Jordan Koehler has been the Blackhawks’ leading rusher this year. He picked up 79 yards against Chetek in Bloomer’s 28-21 win last week. Fellow senior Trevor Morning was a standout in the game, scoring two touchdowns and averaging almost 18 yards receiving. He also had 91 yards on 8 carries to lead the Blackhawks.
Koehler and Morning will be the main targets for senior quarterback Jon Barlow. Barlow threw for 158 yards and one touchdown against Chetek, but he was also picked off twice during the game.
The Tigers, according to Scherz, will stick with what they know. In other words, the NHS will run the ball relentlessly.
Bloomer certainly has a more varied offensive attack than the Tigers, but the results were similar for both teams last week. The Blackhawks had 411 total yards against Chetek, and NHS accumulated 431 yards against Spooner. The difference between the teams arises in how those yards were gained.
The Blackhawks rushed for 253 yards and threw for 158. By contrast only 31 of the Tigers’ yards came from passing, while 400 were earned on the ground.
With evenly matched offensive production, defense will likely determine tonight’s winner. Both teams were held to less than 200 yards in their last match-up, with the Tigers allowing Bloomer 153 yards of total offense.
“If we can do that again, I think we have a good chance,” Scherz said.