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Tigers march toward another HON crown

Northwestern High School’s Reagan Ruffi (7), Kade Bartelt (11) and Tyler Ronning (69) lead the Tigers to the field before their game last week with Hayward. The Tigers host Cumberland tonight. (Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com)

With a WIAA playoff berth already secured, the Northwestern High School football team now has its sights set on a third straight Heart O’ North Conference title.

The Tigers officially clinched a playoff berth with last week’s 35-7 win over Hayward.

Northwestern (5-2 overall) is 4-1 in the HON, along with Bloomer (6-1).

Cumberland (4-3) is a game back at 3-2.

The Beavers stumbled last week in a 62-20 loss to Spooner.

“Cumberland presents a unique challenge for us as few if any teams in the state throw as well or as often as they do,” NHS coach Jovin Kroll said. “We need to continue to push ourselves to improve; the results of the last three weeks have been exceptional, but the work the guys have done to pull back to even in the conference race all goes for naught if we fail to do our job this week.”

Cumberland quarterback Kobe Berghammer is second in the state with 2,308 yards passing. He has completed 164-of-243 passes, including 27 touchdowns and four interceptions.

Last week alone, Berghammer was 20-of-31 for 248 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.

Berghammer’s main target was Max Narges, who caught six passes for 109 yards and a touchdown. Reid Olson also caught six passes for 67 yards.

Cumberland only rushed the ball seven times for 60 yards, including 45 by Olson.

Berghammer also lead Cumberland on defense with 53 tackles (24 solo) and four interceptions.

The Tigers will counter with an offense that does most of its damage on the ground.

Reagan Ruffi leads Northwestern with 974 yards and 12 touchdowns on 137 carries. The junior turned in a huge game last week, rushing for 266 yards and four touchdowns on 30 carries.

Andrew Hanson is next with 372 yards on the season, and quarterback Kade Bartelt has 129 yards. Both have scored five touchdowns.

Bartelt has also completed 14-of-36 passes for 229 yards and two touchdowns.

Tonight’s homecoming game will be carried live on the radio at WNXR107.3 FM and on the web at ifan.tv.

“We have homecoming, parent’s night and our ‘Play for Pink’ game all scheduled for the same night, so remembering that winning the game is the number one priority is a constant point we emphasized this week at practice,” Kroll said.

 

Heart O’ North Conference

2017 Football Standings

Bloomer (6-1)......................................... 4-1

Northwestern (5-2)..................................... 4-1

Cumberland (4-3)................................... 3-2

Spooner (4-3)......................................... 3-2

Chetek-Weyer. (5-2).............................. 3-2

Hayward (2-5)........................................ 2-3

Ladysmith (3-4)..................................... 1-4

Barron (0-7)............................................ 0-5

Friday, Oct. 6

Chetek-Weyer at Barron, 7 p.m.

Bloomer at Hayward, 7 p.m.

Cumberland at Northwestern, 7 p.m.

Ladysmith at Spooner, 7 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 13

Barron at Bloomer, 7 p.m.

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

Hayward at Cumberland, 7 p.m.

Northwestern at Ladysmith, 7 p.m.

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