Tigers end season with 28-16 lossThe Bloomer Blackhawks prevailed again Friday with a 28-16 victory over the Northwestern High School football team in a level one playoff game in Bloomer.
By: By Mike Granlund, For The Superior Telegram, Superior Telegram
BLOOMER — The Northwestern Tigers entered the WIAA Division 4 football playoffs Friday against the same foe that they finished the regular season with as they traveled to Bloomer to take on the Blackhawks. Unfortunately for the Tigers, the result was similar as Bloomer quelled a second-half rally by the Tigers to win 28-16.
The game began much the same as the previous week’s 23-0 Bloomer win as the Blackhawks took the opening kickoff and mounted a 93-yard drive, culminated by a 5-yard touchdown run by Dustin Clark. Matt Salm booted the extra point and it was 7-0 Bloomer four minutes into the game.
After the two Heart O’ North Conference teams exchanged punts, Northwestern put on a drive that got the Tigers to Bloomer’s 8-yard line. On fourth down the Tigers elected to attempt a field goal and Jordan Orme kicked the pigskin through the uprights for a 25-yard field goal to pull the Tigers within 7-3 late in the first quarter.
After exchanging possessions twice more, Bloomer’s Salm got behind the Tiger defense for a 43-yard touchdown pass from Travis Mullen. The extra-point kick made it 14-3 with 3:43 left in the half.
The Tigers got the ball to start the second half but couldn’t mount a drive, and Bloomer responded with a 67-yard drive and a 4-yard Colton Seibel touchdown run. With 7:55 left in the third quarter it was 21-3 for the host Blackhawks.
On the ensuing possession, the Tigers’ Nick Murray sped by a fallen Bloomer defender and hauled in a long pass from Peter Lindsay. Murray caught the ball as he was stumbling, but regained his footing as he was in stride for a 64-yard scoring play. Orme’s PAT made it 21-10 and the Northwestern team and fans were fired up. Bloomer doused that enthusiasm a couple minutes into the fourth quarter as Lucas Hilger went 3 yards for another score.
Northwestern answered with a touchdown drive that was highlighted by a Tanner Follis 43-yard reception on a pass from Lindsay. Mark Pooler plunged across the goal line from the 1-yard line for his 12th touchdown of his senior season, but it was too little, too late as the 28-16 score turned out to be the final.
Northwestern’s leading rusher Nathan Sikorski had 41 yards to end his senior season with 1,008 yards rushing. Peter Lindsay was 4-of-14 passing on the night for 119 yards.
Seibel lead the Blackhawks with 115 yards rushing. Bloomer’s 6-foot-6 quarterback Mullen ended up 9-of-15 through the air for 154 yards. Clark and Salm each caught three passes.
Northwestern’s defense sacked Mullen five times, and Justin Miesbauer led the Tigers in tackles. Bloomer had one interception and one fumble recovery.
Northwestern ended its season 6-3 with 16 seniors playing their final game. Those seniors include Lindsay, Murray, Pooler, Follis, Miesbauer, Sikorski, Brody Pellman, Grant Pearson, Johnny Parkins, Micah Olson, Duncan Magerl, Cory Swanson, Zach Giles, Kato Ask, Luke Schultz and Luke Johnson.
Bloomer also moves to 6-3 and advances to Level 2 action at 7 p.m. Friday at Somerset for a rematch of the opening game of the season. Somerset won that game 28-14 and on Friday advanced with a 27-0 win over Gale-Ettrick-Trempeleau.
The winner of Friday’s game will play the winner of the Barron-St. Croix Central contest. SCC, the No. 7 seed, advanced after upsetting No. 2 Northland Pines 34-20.
Northwestern 3 0 7 6 — 16
Bloomer 7 7 7 7 — 28
Rushing yards 94 115
Completions-att. 4-13 9-15
Passing yards 119 154
TDs-int. 1-1 1-0
Total offense 213 269
Punts 6 7