Rage take 2-0 mark into Saturday’s home openerThe Rage are in first place in the Northern Elite Football League Central Division and host the Chippewa Valley Predators in their home opener at 4 p.m. Saturday at Duluth Public School Stadium.
The Lake Superior Rage have kicked off their second season, starting 2-0 with wins over the River City Rough Riders 46-41 and the Menomonie Thunderhawks 55-35.
The Rage are in first place in the Northern Elite Football League Central Division and host the Chippewa Valley Predators in their home opener at 4 p.m. Saturday at Duluth Public School Stadium.
The Rage (formerly Superior Stampede) have not played the Predators since the 2009 semifinal game. The Predators went on to win the Elite Bowl II Championship that season. Last year, the Predators lost to the St. Paul Pioneers in Elite Bowl IV. The Rage and the Predators have been the winningest two teams in the history of the NEFL.
The Rage have been on fire offensively. The 101 points scored in their first two games by far leads the NEFL. Leading the offensive output is long time quarterback David White, formerly of UM-Crookston. In a platoon with White is long time NEFL quarterback and former Chippewa Valley Predator Keldric Stokes. Stokes has won three championships as a quarterback. He played collegiately at UW-Stout.
The offense has been paced by the strong running of former St. Scholastica Saint Chris Henagin, former Minnesota Duluth Bulldog D’Andre Sherrill, and longtime standout WR/RB Hollis Dukes, Vermilion CC.
The rest of the offensive unit consists of running backs Anthony McLean, Fond du Lac CC; Justin Phipps, Duluth Central; Robert Drayton-Wily, Fond du Lac CC; and James Olson, North Dakota School of Science
The wide receivers are: Maurice Henderson, Fergus Falls CC; Zakh Visina, St. Scholastica/Duluth East; WR/K Tyler Houghton, Proctor High School; Ray Moore, UW-Whitewater; WR/K/P Ryan Rodriguez, Florida International. Tyler Houghton is also a kicker and Rodriguez is a kicker and punter.
Former Superior Spartans and North Dakota State Bison Kevin Holm is the team’s tight end and the offensive linemen are: Ken Torpen, Osseo/Fairchild; Adam Anderson, St. Scholastica; Andy McKinnon, Duluth Central; Korey Jazdzewski, UMD; Charles Fields, Langston University; Lucas Bratland, St. Paul Academy; Shannon Larson, Two Harbors High School; and Jimmy Johnson, Central Lakes CC.
The defense hasn’t had the start of the offense, but they are reloading from injury and showed improvement in the week two contest.
The Rage defense is led by former Superior Spartan and Itasca CC Viking Aaron Tody at linebacker and outside linebacker Antavius Thomas, formerly of Mesabi Range CC and UMD.
The rest of the Rage defense includes defensive linemen: Justin Brown, Northeastern State University; Josh Gosar, St. Scholastica; Josh Miron, Fond du Lac CC/St. Scholastica; Jordan Monson, UM-Crookston; Billy O’Connell, Northwestern High Schoo; Justin O’Connell, SHS; Benny Peterson, Hibbing CC; Isaiah Johnson, SHS; Jay Henderson, West Allis High School; Travis Larson, St. Scholastica; and Nils Hansen, Rib Lake.
The linebackers are Chad Laine, Cloquet; Hood McMillan, Mesabi Range CC; Tony Murray, Itasca CC; Gavin Robinson, Hibbing CC; Mike Williams, Mesabi Range CC; Bobby Brungardt, Itasca CC/UMD; Grant Hulter, Webster; ILB Phil Olson, Perham; and Zachary Stano, Solon Springs.
The defensive backs are Anthony Stewart, Fond du Lac CC; Spencer Cowins, Texas A&M Kingsville; John Davis, Merced College; Addison Griffin, SHS and St. Scholastica; Carl Ragsdale, Mesabi Range CC; Courtney Walters, Mesabi Range CC/Friends University; and Chris Wilkerson, Long Beach Poly High School.
Against Menomonie, White, Dukes, and Henagin combining for four rushing touchdowns, Sherill scored three touchdowns, all more than 50 yards each, and Rodriguez added an impressive touchdown, by hanging on to the ball on the goal line after a vicious hit.
The defensive front four were stout against the run, stopping the Thunderhawks from running the ball effectively, and ultimately forcing Menomonie to throw four interceptions.
The Rage will be hosting family day this week. All kids 13-and-under will receive free admission with a paid adult ticket.
Northern Elite Football League
Lake Superior Rage 2-0
St. Paul Pioneers 2-0
Green Bay Gladiators 2-0
Chippewa Valley Predators 1-0
Eau Claire Crush 1-1
Fox Valley Force 1-1
Kimberly Storm 1-1
Central Wis. Spartans 1-2
Minnesota Dragons 0-1
Rochester Giants 0-1
River City Rough Riders 0-2
Menomonie Thunderhawks 0-2
Saturday, May 26
Cenrtral Wis. Spartans 17, River City Rough Riders 0
Gladiators at Storm, 4 p.m.
Saturday, June 2
Predators at Rage, 4 p.m. (PSS - Duluth)
Gladiators at Force, 4 p.m. (Lawrence University)
Thunderhawks at Pioneers, 5 p.m. (Concordia University)
Dragons at Giants, 5 p.m. (Rochester Community Field)
Spartans at Crush, 6 p.m. (Carson Park)
Giants have a bye
Saturday, June 9
Crush at Rage, 4 p.m. (Duluth PSS)
Thunderhawks at Predators, 6 p.m. (Carson Park)
Spartans at Gladiators, 4 p.m. (Bayview Middle School)
Dragons at Pioneers, 5 p.m. (Concordia University)