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Tigers, Ruffi, blank Rails

Northwestern's Reagan Ruffi (7) runs away from a number of Spooner defenders during Friday night's game in Spooner. (Photo courtesy of Gervase Thompson)1 / 4
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Photo courtesy of Gervase Thompson4 / 4

Mike Granlund

For The Telegram

SPOONER — The Northwestern High School football team used a quick start and a dominating second half to defeat the Spooner Rails 35-0 Friday night.

The win pulls the Tigers (4-2 overall) into a tie for second place in the Heart O’ North Conference with Cumberland with 3-1 records, one game behind Bloomer (4-0).

Junior running back Reagan Ruffi had a big game for the Tigers, rushing for 203 yards and three touchdowns on 21 carries.

“Reagan had a good game, he’s a special player and his cutbacks tonight were impressive,” NHS coach Jovin Kroll said. “As a team we are improving every week and that is the goal.”

Five plays after a short Spooner punt on the first possession of the game, Ruffi scampered 24 yards for a touchdown and Isaac Nichols booted the extra point and it was 7-0 just 1:46 into the game.

After stopping Spooner again, Northwestern got the ball on its own 43 and four plays later Kade Bartelt’s 2-yard run and Nicholas kick made it 14-0 with 1:34 left in the first quarter.

After a scoreless second quarter, it took Northwestern just 52 seconds into the second half to take a 21-0 lead as Ruffi scored from 45 yards outs and Nichols booted another extra point.

Turnovers by both teams — a Bryson Mazur interception and a Tiger fumble — were followed by Bartelt returning an interception 22 yards for the score with 8:06 remaining.

Ruffi’s third touchdown, this time from the 2, completed the scoring with 6:01 remaining.

Bartelt also rushed for 36 yards and was 1-of-5 passing with a 27-yard pass to Brody Payton.

Defensively, the Tigers limited Spooner to 168 yards. Andrew Hanson led Northwestern with seven tackles. Bartelt added six tackles and Keegan Plasch, Alex Isackson and Gervase Thompson all had five. Bartelt and Mazur had interceptions.

Josh Melton led the Rails with 55 yards and quarterback Bryce Carroll was 2-of-8 passing for 16 yards.

“Spooner does a lot of different things on offense and we worked very hard on that this week,” NHS coach Jovin Kroll said. “Credit defensive coach Cody Fechtelkotter with a great game plan.

“I also thought Tyler Ronning had a terrific game; and sophomore Carson Nykanen filled in well for senior Timmy Hissa in the line.”

The Tigers host Hayward at 7 p.m. Friday at Gordon L. Nelson Field in Maple.

Northwestern........................ 14         0           7          14   —                    35

Spooner.................................... 0          0           0           0    —                    0

First Quarter

N — Reagan Ruffi 24-yard run (Isaac Nichols kick), 10:16.

N — Kade Bartelt 2-yard run (Nichols kick), 1:34.

Third Quarter

N — Ruffi, 45-yard run (Nichols kick), 2:47.

Fourth Quarter

N — Bartelt 22-yard interception return (Nichols kick), 8:06.

N — Ruffi 2-yard run (Nichols kick), 6:01.

TEAM STATS

......................................................................................... S    N

Total Plays..................................................................... 45  47

First Downs................................................................... 14  8

Rushing Yards................................................................ 269                        114

Passing........................................................................... 1-5                         2-8

Passing Yards................................................................ 27  16

Total Offense.................................................................. 296                        130

Fumbles-Lost................................................................ 1-1                         2-0

Penalties......................................................................... 2-10                       3-30

Time of Poss.................................................................. 20:45                     27:15

3rd Down........................................................................ 3-7                         4-12

4th Down........................................................................ 2-4                         2-5

INDIVIDUAL STATS

RUSHING — S, Josh Melton, 16-55; Ryan Lauterbach, 5-22; Chase Melton, 4-17. N, Regan Ruffi, 21-203; Kade Bartelt, 8-36; Trevor Janowicz, 1-8; Andrew Hanson, 8-22.

PASSING — S, Bryce Carroll, 2-8-2-16. N, Kade Bartelt, 1-5-0-27.

RECEIVING — S, Steven LaPort, 1-9; Carroll, 1-7. N, Brody Payton, 1-27.

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