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Tigers travel to Osceola

The Northwestern Tigers travel to Osceola today to face the team that handed them two of their three losses last season.

The Chieftains defeated Northwestern 48-0 in the regular season last year and 52-12 in the second round of the WIAA Division 4 football playoffs en route to a state championship.

“I know that the message here is going to be that it’s a new team,” said David Crail, head coach of the Tigers. “What happened last year doesn’t matter, and I can almost guarantee that that’s the same message they’re going to get down there.

“I have a tremendous amount of respect for their coach and for their program and the way that they do things. Obviously they’re the defending state champions, and we need to prepare for a battle.”

Osceola opened the season last week with a 30-0 victory over Arcadia.

The Chieftains returned two fumbles for touchdowns, and senior Tanner Johnson ran the ball in twice.

Junior Brett Carlson, taking over at quarterback this season, kicked a 21-yard field goal and was 3-of-4 on extra-point attempts. He also threw for 83 yards.

On the ground, senior Diego Lowney led Osceola with 50 yards rushing. Johnson was next with 48 yards.

All-Region running back Ethan Ellingsworth — who ran for 267 yards and scored five touchdowns against the Tigers in the playoffs last year — left the game with an injury in the first quarter and did not return.

Northwestern, likewise, played three quarters in its season opener without All-Region lineman Alex Tecker.

The Tigers defeated Ashland 13-6 Friday, but Crail said there was room for improvement.

“We left four interceptions on the field in the first half,” he said. “But at the same time — I’m looking at it from an optimistic perspective — our guys were in the right spot. Those are things that we’ll keep working on in practice.”

Against Ashland, the Tigers allowed 251 yards and had four sacks and eight tackles for a loss.

Today’s game begins at 7 p.m. at Osceola.

Heart O’ North Conference

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

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

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

Chetek-Weyerhaeuser (1-0).............................. 0-0

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

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

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

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

Friday, Aug. 19

Amery 49, Barron

Chetek-Weyerhaeuser 21, Elk Mound 6

Grantsburg 37,Cumberland 14

Hayward 40, Lakeland 7

Unity 27, Ladysmith 20

Northwestern 13, Ashland 6

Ellsworth 47, Spooner 0

Bloomer 30, Somerset 20

Friday, Aug. 26

All games at 7 p.m.

Hayward at Ashland

Spooner at Baldwin-Woodville

Durand at Barron

Cameron at Cumberland

Flambeau at Ladysmith

Bloomer at Lakeland

Northwestern at Osceola

Westwood (Mich.) at Chetek-Weyerhaeuser

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