Tigers fall in Bloomer
For The Telegram
BLOOMER — The Northwestern High School football team made the trip to Bloomer on Friday with the plan of knocking the Blackhawks from the ranks of the undefeated.
The Tigers were unable to accomplish that goal, though, as the 10th-ranked Blackhawks came away with a 30-16 victory on the Bloomer Middle School field.
Northwestern was outgained 329-214 for the game with 200 of the Tigers’ yards coming on the ground, led by Regan Ruffi carrying the ball 28 times or 148 yards, mostly in the second half.
Jake Brill filled in for an injured Kade Bartelt at quarterback and threw the only Tiger completed pass, a 14-yarder to Brody Payton.
Caleb Ruf ran for 67 yards for Bloomer, Zach Ruf added 62 yards rushing and also passed for 134 yards on six completions.
Northwestern recovered three Bloomer fumbles — one each by Tyler Ronning, Brody Payton and Nate Ohman. Tiger defensive back Jenner Graff also intercepted a pass.
On defense, the Tigers got eight tackles apiece from Ruffi, Andrew Hanson and Keegan Plasch, and seven from Alex Isakson.
After both teams punted on their first possession, the Tigers caught a break when Bloomer fumbled. Ronning came up with the recovery, but the Tigers could not get any traction and were forced to punt again.
However, a low snap resulted in a big loss as the punter downed the ball trying to get the snap.
Starting at the Tiger 26, Bloomer made Northwestern pay with a C. Ruf 19-yard touchdown run. Cousin Z. Ruf ran in the two-point conversion for an 8-0 led.
The teams then traded fumbles and also traded drives resulting in punts.
With 3:28 to go in the half, Leif Iverson scored from 16 yards out. Z. Ruff again got the two-pointer and it was 16-0.
With the next Tiger drive stopped, Bloomer got the ball back and scored when Z. Ruf threw a 57-yard touchdown pass to Paul Schumacher, making the score 22-0 with 30 seconds left in the first half.
Bloomer made it a 30-0 game with Philip Jorstad’s 5-yard run, and a two-point run, with 2:28 in the third quarter.
With the game out of hand, Northwestern got its act together and mounted a long drive that resulted in a Ruffi 9-yard touchdown run.
After Payton’s fumble recovery, Northwestern again put together a solid drive, this time ending with a Hanson touchdown. Trevor Janowicz punched in the extra points and it was 30-16 with 1:02 remaining.
“We had a poor first half,” NHS coach Jovin Kroll said. “We came alive, though, in the second half. I was glad Bloomer kept their starters in. We came back against their ones (first string), so I was glad to see that.”
Bloomer’s win leaves them 4-0 overall and 2-0 in the Heart O’ North Conference
Northwestern (2-2, 1-1) hosts the Barron Golden Bears at 7 p.m. Friday.
Northwestern............ 0 0 0 16 — 16
Bloomer................... 8 14 8 0 — 30
B — Caleb Ruf, 19-yard run (Zach Ruf run), 1:42.
B — Leif Iverson, 16-yard run (Z.. Ruf fun), 3:28.
B — Z. Ruf 57-yard pass to Paul Schumacher (pass failed); 0:30.
B — Philip Jorstad, 5-yard run (Z. Ruf run), 2:28.
N — Regan Ruffi, 9-yard run (Andrew Hanson run), 8:30.
N —Hanson TD run (Trevor Janowicz run), 1:02.
RUSHING — N, Regan Ruffi, 27-158; Andrew Hanson, 6-28; Keegan Plasch, 3-8; Kade Bartelt, 3-14; Jake Brill, 1-6; Trevor Janowicz, 1-3; Isaac Nichols, 1-5. B, Zach Ruf, 18-66; Caleb Ruf, 6-47; Leif Iverson, 4-26; Philip Jorstad, 8-33; Payton Dachel, 4-36.
PASSING — N, Kade Bartelt, 0-2-0-0; Jake Brill, 2-4-1-15. B, Z. Ruf, 5-10-1-138.
RECEIVING — N, Brody Payton, 1-15. B, Paul Schumacher, 1-57; Dachel, 1-17; Gabe naumann, 2-55; Bradley Saraur, 1-9.