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Tigers hold off Bulldogs

Northwestern High School's Reagan Ruffi (7) gets away from Chetek-Weyerhaeuser’s Kyle Bilodeau (88) on his way to the end zone in the second quarter of the Tigers' 14-12 win Friday night in Maple. (Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com) 1 / 9
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Mike Granlund

For The Telegram

The Northwestern High School football team opened Heart O’North Conference play with a 14-12 victory over Chetek-Weyerhaeuser Friday night at Gordon L. Nelson Field in Maple.

The Tigers and Bulldogs, along with Hayward, tied for the championship last year and Chetek-Weyerhaeuser was picked to win the title this year.

Neither team could get much going in the early going as both defenses held strong and it was scoreless after one quarter.

Midway through the second quarter, when Northwestern took over on its own 31, a Kade Bartelt pass was picked off by Carter Buchman and Buchman went all the way to the Tiger 1-yard line. Unfortunately for Chetek-Weyerhaeuser, a holding penalty nullified the play and Northwestern maintained possession.

The Tigers used a solid blocking effort by the offensive line to recover and ended up with a 69-yard drive and a touchdown run of 5 yards by Regan Ruffi with 4:11 left in the half.

On the ensuing possession, Northwestern held the Bulldogs at the 35-yard line, but the punt was then muffed by the Tigers and the Bulldogs recovered with a short field at the 30.

Chetek-Weyerhaeuser took advantage and a 13-yard strike from Andrew Loy to Carter Buchman in the end zone got Chetek-Weyerhaeuser on the board with just 10 second left in the half. The extra point attempt was blocked and Northwestern led 8-6 at the intermission.

The Tigers stopped C-W on its first possession in the second half then drove for a touchdown on its first chance with the football when Bartelt ran to the corner and then dove for the pylon to score on a 4-yard touchdown play.

The extra-point kick attempt failed and it was still a one-possession game at 14-6 with 5:44 to go in the third quarter.

Northwestern later blocked a punt, but could not score.

A Carson Holsclaw punt in to the end zone gave C-W the ball at their own 20-yard line with 5:45 to play in the game.

A furious rally by the Bulldogs ended when Loy tossed a 13-yard score to Daniel Chuchwar with 2:58 to play. The TD made it 14-12 and on the extra-point try, Northwestern sophomore Isaiah Huray flushed Loy out of the pocket and sophomore Jake Brill intercepted his pass in the end zone to keep the Tigers in the lead.

Northwestern went on to run out the clock with the help from fullback Andrew Hanson and the Bulldogs never got the ball back.

NHS coach Jovin Kroll was relieved after the game.

“We needed to get by that third quarter” Kroll said. “The wind was strong from the south and I thought that was a key. Our offensive line got rolling in the second quarter and I thought we were the more physical team from then on. Our defensive backs also did a very good job. We prevented the long pass and that was our goal.”

Andrew Hanson led the Tigers in rushing with 101 yards on 25 carries. Ruffi added 86 yards on 17 carries and Bartelt had the TD run and was 3-of-5 passing for 33 yards.

Chetek’s Loy was 9-of-17 passing for 60 yards and he also ran for 62 yards.

Defensively, Alex Isakson led the Tigers with eight tackles. Andrew Hanson and Nate Ohman followed with seven each.

The Tigers (2-1 overall, 1-0 HON) play at Bloomer at 7 p.m. Friday. The Blackhawks are 3-0 and ranked in the state in Division 5.

Chetek- Weyerhaeuser (2-1, 0-1) hosts Cumberland Friday.

All Tiger football games may can be seen on the internet on ifan.tv and heard on the radio on WNXR 107.3 FM.

Chetek-Weyer..................... 0        6         0         6         —         12

Northwestern..................... 0        8         6         0         —         14

First Quarter

N — Regan Ruffi, 5-yard run (run good), 4:11.

Second Quarter

CW — Andrew Loy 13-yard pass to Carter Buchman (extra point failed), 0:10.

Third Quarter

N — Kade Bartelt 4-yard run (kick failed), 5:44.

Fourth Quarter

CW — Loy 13 yard pass to Daniel Chuchwar (pass failed), 2:58.

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING — CW, Daniel Chuchwar, 13-65; Andrew Loy, 11-57; Josh Hanson, 3-8. N, Andrew Hanson, 25-106; Reagan Ruffi, 18-94; Kade Bartelt, 6-10; Keegan Plasch, 1-5.

PASSING — CW, Loy, 9-18-71. N, Bartelt, 2-6—20.

RECEIVING — CW, Cuchwar, 3-24; Carter Buchman, 3-20; Carter Hanson, 2-24; Phil Gilbertson, 1-3. N, Ruffi, 1-14; Plasch, 1-6.

DEFENSE

Northwestern — Alex Isacson, 6 tackles; Jager Stillson, 5; Trevor Jakowicz, 5; Gervase Thompson, 5; Andrew Hanson, 4; Bryson Mazur, 3; Tyler Ronning, 3; Jake Brill, 2; Carson Holsclaw, 2; Isaiah Huray, 2; Brody Payton, 1; Bartelt, 1; Plasch, 1; Dayne Evanson, 1.

Heart O’ North Conference

Bloomer (3-0)......................................................................... 1-0

Northwestern (2-1)..................................................................... 1-0

Cumberland (2-1)................................................................... 1-0

Hayward (1-2)......................................................................... 1-0

Chetek-Weyer. (2-1)............................................................... 0-1

Ladysmith (2-1)...................................................................... 0-1

Spooner (1-2)......................................................................... 0-1

Barron (0-3)............................................................................ 0-1

Friday, Sept. 1

Cumberland 48, Ladysmith 13

Hayward 34, Barron 22

Northwestern 14, Chetek-Weyer. 12

Bloomer 32, Spooner 6

Friday, Sept. 8

Spooner at Barron

Northwestern at Bloomer

Cumberland at Chetek-Weyer.

Hayward at Ladysmith

Friday, Sept. 15

Bloomer at Cumberland

Chetek-Weyer at Ladysmith

Barron at Northwestern

Hayward at Spooner

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