Tigers lose heartbreaker in double OT at SpoonerBlocked extra-point kick is difference in game that ended 28-27 in favor of Rails
By: By Mike Granlund, For The Telegram, Superior Telegram
SPOONER — The Northwestern Tiger football team lost a thrilling game Friday night to the Spooner Rails by a 28-27 score in double overtime.
The Tigers forced overtime with 19.5 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. After each team scored a touchdown and kicked an extra point in the first overtime, Northwestern scored again in the second overtime. Unfortunatley for the Tigers, Spooner blocked the extra-point attempt, which left the score at 27-21 in favor of Northwestern.
Spooner tied the game at 27-27 when Gavin Anderson hit brother Logan Anderson on a crossing pattern from 19 yards out. The extra-point kick for the win was wide, but Northwestern was flagged for too many players on the field and Bryson Grubbs’ second chance kick was perfect, sending the Spooner fans into jubilation as their Rails improved to 3-0 overall and 1-0 in the Heart O’ North Conference.
The loss drops Northwestern to 1-2 and 0-1.
For Spooner, quarterback Anderson completed 21-of-34 passes for 277 yards, including passes to seven different receivers. The Rails only had 73 yards on the ground, with tailback Brandon Shutt gaining 66.
Peter Lindsay ended up with 74 yards passing for Northwestern, which rushed for 287 yards. Mark Pooler gained 153 yards on 33 carries, Justin Alexson added 83 yards and Lindsay got another 54. Defensively, Alexson led Northwestern in tackles with 12, and sophomore Tanner Vik led Spooner with 16.
Spooner took the opening kickoff and had an impressive eight-play, 63-yard drive capped off by a 7-yard pass from Gavin Anderson to Eric Bitney. Most of the yards came through the air as Anderson was 4-for-4 on the drive. Grubbs booted the extra point for a 7-0 lead in favor of Spooner.
Northwestern’s ball control offense then chewed up the rest of the 8:40 on the clock in the first quarter and scored on the first play of the second quarter when Pooler ran across the goal line from 1 yard out. Jordan Orme kicked the extra point to tie the game, 6-6.
On Spooner’s next drive, Northwestern’s defense stiffened, but a flea-flicker that ended up with quarterback Anderson flinging a 40-yard touchdown pass to Shutt got the Rails another score. Grubbs’ PAT made it 14-7 with 9:52 to go in the second quarter.
Neither team could score for the rest of the second quarter and all of the third as both defenses got tougher. Northwestern had two drives halted in the second half due to fumbles, and Spooner appeared to be salting away the win late in the game, forcing Northwestern to use time outs to stop the clock.
A Spooner punt with less than 2:30 to go gave Northwestern the ball at its own 30 with no time outs left. The Tigers moved across midfield, spiked the ball to stop the clock and then Lindsay threw a perfect strike to Mike Naumann in stride near the 10-yard line.
Naumann fought off two defenders and scored the touchdown, and Orme’s kick tied the game, 21-21, with 19.5 seconds to go in regulation.
In the first overtime Spooner scored on a pass play as Anderson hit Bitney from 14 yards out and Grubbs’ kick made it 21-14 Spooner.
The Tigers then gave the Rails a heavy dose of Pooler, who scored from 2 yards out. Orme again split the uprights and the teams went to another overtime tied 21-21.
This time the Tigers got first chance and Pooler made his third touchdown of the game from 1 yard out. Orme’s kick was blocked, which was followed by Spooner’s winning TD and extra point.
The Tigers host conference favorite Bloomer at 7 p.m. Friday at the Gordon L. Nelson Athletic Complex in Maple. The game may be heard on the radio on WNXR 107.3 FM and seen on the web at ifan.tv.