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Tigers lose a close one

Northwestern High School quarterback Kade Bartelt (11) takes a snap during the Tigers' season-opening win at Ashland. (Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com)

Mike Granlund

For the Telegram

MAPLE — The Northwestern High School football team gave the powerful Osceola Chieftains a major scare Friday night in Maple before falling 23-14.

Osceola came into the game ranked No. 2 in the state in Division 4. They were state champions in 2015 and ended the 2016 regular season at No. 1 before being upset in the playoffs.

During that span Northwestern lost three times to Osceola, each time by wide margins.

Friday was different, though, as Northwestern jumped out to an early 14-0 lead.

Keegan Plasch returned the opening kickoff 44 yards to the Osceola 41 and quarterback Kade Bartelt capped off a six-play drive with a 23-yard pass to halfback Regan Ruffi.

Sophomore Isaac Nichols booted the point after and the Tigers led 7-0.

After an Osceola three-and-out, Bartelt engineered a 74-yard drive, highlighted by a 25-yard Bartelt run, and finished off with a 5-yard Bartelt touchdown run. Nichols kicked the PAT and Northwestern led 14-0 with 11:18 to go in the second quarter.

Osceola answered this time with a 62-yard drive culminating with a 1-yard quarterback sneak by Brett Carlson.

Osceola got the ball back with 2:33 left in the half. A 45-yard pass up the middle from B. Carlson to 6-foot-6 Haakon Carlson got the Chieftains into the red zone to set up a Carlson-to-Carlson 4-yard touchdown pass. B. Carlson kicked both extra points and the score was tied 14-14 with 20 seconds to go in the half.

Osceola got the ball first in the second half and on the first play fumbled.

The Tigers had a great opportunity from the 25, but could not get much going, settling for a 30-yard field-goal attempt, which failed.

After stopping Osceola, Northwestern was also stopped and forced to punt. The snap went into the end zone, where punter Regan Ruffi recovered it, resulting in a safety for Osceola and a 16-14 lead with 4:11 left in the third.

The free kick from the 20 gave Osceola good field position and it drove for an insurance score with B. Carlson getting his second touchdown on another sneak. His PAT with 10 minutes remaining made it 23-14, which turned out to be the final score.

Northwestern had 173 yards for the game. Andrew Hanson ran for 37 yards; Bartelt added 36; Ruffi had 31; and Plasch, 28. Plasch also caught three passes for 23 yards and Ruffi caught a 23-yard touchdown pass.

On defense for the Tigers, Alex Isakson had 11 tackles and two fumble recoveries. Plasch added eight tackles.

Jack Feldt led Osceola with 71 yards rushing and H. Carlson caught four passes for 62 yards.

“Osceola is a great team and we gave them a good game,” NHS coach Jovin Kroll said. “Our young guys are getting better every practice and every game, and that’s what we want.

“With all the emotion and effort put onto this game, it really didn’t mean that much. Next week we begin conference play with Chetek. They will be tough.”

Northwestern (1-1) hosts Chetek-Weyerhaeuser at 7 p.m. Friday at Gordon L. Nelson Field.

Chetek, which was picked by wissports.net to win the HON this year, is 2-0 with wins over Elk Mound (20-6) and St. Croix Falls (26-15).

 

Osceola................. 0.... 14     2      7     —      23

Northwestern......... 7..... 7     0      0     —      14

INDIVIDUAL STATS

RUSHING—Osceola, Jack Feldt, 14-71; Michael Koehler, 8-31; Reid Jones, 6-28; Brett Carlson, 10-24. Northwestern, Kade Bartelt, 10-49; Andrew Hanson, 8-37; Reagan Ruffi, 12-35; Keegan Plasch, 6-28.

PASSING—Osceola, B. Carlson, 5-10-0—77. Northwestern, Bartelt, 4-10-1—44.

RECEIVING—Osceola, Haakon Carlson, 6-62; Tray Scott, 1-15. Northwestern, Plasch, 3-21; Ruffi, 1-23.

Heart O’ North Conference

2016 Final Standings

Bloomer (2-0)........................................ 0-0

Chetek-Weyer. (2-0).............................. 0-0

Ladysmith (2-0)..................................... 0-0

Northwestern (1-1)..................................... 0-0

Spooner (1-1)........................................ 0-0

Cumberland (1-1).................................. 0-0

Hayward (0-2)........................................ 0-0

Barron (0-2)........................................... 0-0

Thursday, Aug. 24

Ladysmith 26, Lake Holcombe/Cornell 6

Friday, Aug. 25

Bloomer 43, Lakeland 14

Cumberland 42, Cameron 6

Durand 70, Barron 14

Osceola 23, Northwestern 14

Baldwin-Woodville 26, Spooner 16

Ashland 22, Hayward 14

Chetek-Weyer. 26, St. Croix Falls 15

Friday, Sept. 1

Ladysmith at Cumberland, 7 p.m.

Barron at Hayward, 7 p.m.

Chetek-Weyer. at Northwestern, 7 p.m.

Bloomer at Spooner, 7 p.m.

Large Lakeland – 8-man

Thursday, Aug. 24

Bruce 64, Clayton 16

Friday, Aug. 25

Luck 42, Northwood 26

Prairie Farm 40, New Auburn 22

Lincoln 28, Siren 24

Thursday, Aug. 31

Bruce at Luck

Alma Center Lincoln at N’wood, 6 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 1

Siren at Clayton

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