Tigers open HON action tonight against Hayward
By KEN OLSON
Daily Telegram Sports Editor
The Northwestern Tigers begin Heart O' North Conference football action today when they host the Hayward Hurricanes at 7 p.m. at Gordon L. Nelson Field in Maple.
Hayward enters the contest with a 2-0 record after posting a pair of shutouts, 21-0 over Colfax and 34-0 over Phillips.
Against Colfax last week, Hayward's defense allowed just 205 total yards, including 134 on the ground.
On offense, the Hurricanes gained 293 yards and got a pair of 1-yard touchdown runs from sophomore quarterback Bryan Dixon and a 3-yard TD from Jim Thompson. Thompson also ran in three two-point conversions.
Thompson, a senior, led a well-balanced rushing attack with 91 yards on 13 carries. Dixon added 58 yard on 12 carries and Jeremy Wilson had 43 yards on 16 carries.
Dixon also completed 6-of-12 passes for 109 yards. Adam Hexium and Thompson caught three passes apiece with Hexium gaining 88 yards and Thompson 21.
After opening the season with a 21-14 loss at Ashland, the Tigers got into the win column last Friday with a 22-15 win over Cloquet at home.
Cloquet outgained Northwestern 270-221 in total yards, but the Tigers used a pair of defensive stands deep in their own territory to preserve the victory.
For the Tigers on offense, Joe Meals had a 2-yard TD run, Justin Kaiser scored from 10 yards out and Wes Ronchi scrambled for a 30-yard TD.
Kaiser finished with a team-high 60 yards on seven carries. PJ Freeman added 46 yards on 12 carries and Ronchi had 31 carries on three attempts.
In two games, Freeman has 113 yards on the ground, Kaiser 75 and Ronchi 53.
Senior quarterback Nate Thoreson was 3-of-4 passing for 50 yards. Against Ashland the senior was only 1-of-6, but the completion was a 69-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Dunphy.
One problem the Tigers had last week was converting on only 14.3 percent of third-down attempts, going 1-for-7.
Northwestern won last year's meeting 18-17 in Hayward.
Heart O' North Conference
2006 Football Standings
Hayward (2-0) 0-0
Ladysmith (2-0) 0-0
Chetek (1-0) 0-0
Northwestern (1-1) 0-0
Bloomer (1-1) 0-0
Cumberland (1-1) 0-0
Spooner (0-2) 0-0
Barron (0-2) 0-0
Friday, Sept. 8
Ladysmith at Bloomer, 7 p.m.
Chetek at Spooner, 7 p.m.
Cumberland at Barron, 7 p.m.
Hayward at Northwestern, 7 p.m.