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Tigers clinch HON title with homecoming win

Captains for the Northwestern High School football team, including honorary captain Josh Ohman, line up for the coin flip prior to Friday night's game against Ladysmith. Northwestern's captains are Gervase Thompson (57), Reagan Ruffi (7), Nate Ohman (68), and Justin Sedin (52). (Photo courtesy of Gervase Thompson)1 / 5
(Photo courtesy of Gervase Thompson)2 / 5
(Photo courtesy of Gervase Thompson)3 / 5
(Photo courtesy of Gervase Thompson)4 / 5
(Photo courtesy of Gervase Thompson)5 / 5

Reagan Ruffi rushed for 241 yards and five touchdowns as the Northwestern High School football team celebrated homecoming with a 56-22 win over Ladysmith Friday, Oct. 5, at Gordon L. Nelson Field in Maple.

Ruffi, who missed last week’s game with an injury, rushed for 201 yards and three TDs in the first half alone, as the Tigers led 30-14 at the intermission.

Northwestern also got touchdown runs from Trevor Janowicz, Keegan Plasch and Isaac Nichols as it improved to 8-0 overall and clinched the Heart O’ North Conference championship at 6-0.

The Tigers will attempt to finish the regular season undefeated at Barron on Friday, Oct. 12.

The last time Northwestern finished 9-0 in the regular season was in 2010. The Tigers went on to finish 11-1 after playoff wins over St. Croix Fall and Bloomer and a 14-0 loss to Baldwin-Woodville.

The Tigers struck early Friday with Ruffi scoring from 41 yards out on the third play of the game.

The Lumberjacks took an 8-6 lead a minute later on Caden DuPee’s 58-yard option pass to Tru DuPee. Peyton Roger also connected with T. DuPee on the conversion.

Janowicz scored from 11 yards out and scored the two-point conversion giving Northwestern a 15-8 lead with 5:42 left in the first quarter.

The second quarter saw a pair of Ruffi 6-yard touchdown runs and a Peyton Rogers’ 24-yard TD pass to Connor Franson for Ladysmith, which gave the Tigers a 30-14 halftime lead.

In the third quarter, Ruffi scored again from 6 yards out and caught a 9-yard TD pass from Jake Brill. Keegan Plasch’s 36-yard TD run put the game into running time with 3:06 showing.

Ladysmith’s Jacob Palumbo and Northwestern’s Nichols traded 5-yard TD runs in the fourth quarter.

The Tigers finished with 424 yards on offense with all but 9 yards coming on the ground.

Ladysmith finished with 252 yards, led by Rogers, who was 12-of-22 passing for 151 yards. Jacob Palumbo led Ladysmith on the ground with 70 yards.

TIGER TALES:  In honor of Downs Syndrome Awareness Week, Josh Ohman served as Northwestern’s honorary captain Friday night.

Ladysmith 8 6 0 8 -- 22

Northwestern 15 15 20 6 -- 56

First Quarter

N -- Reagan Ruffi 41-yard run (Isaac Nichols kick), 10:55.

L -- Caden DuPee 58-yard pass to Tru DuPee (Rogers pass to Tru DuPee), 9:58.

N -- Trevor Janowicz 11-yard run (Janowicz run), 5:42.

Second Quarter

N -- Ruffi 6-yard run (Nichols kick), 11:00.

L -- Peyton Rogers 24-yard pass to Connor Franson (run failed), 5:38.

N -- Ruffi 6-yard run (Brody Payton pass from Jake Brill), 1:11.

Third Quarter

N -- Ruffi 6-yard run (Nichols kick), 9:42.

N -- Jake Brill 9-yard pass to Ruffi (kick blocked), 7:46.

N -- Keegan Plasch 36-yard run (Nichols kick), 3:06.

Fourth Quarter

L -- Jacob Palumbo 5-yard run (Trent Vollendorf run), 6:05

N -- Nichols 5-yard run (kick failed), 1:32.

Team Stats

L N

Total Plays 54 49

Totals Yards 252 424

Passing Yards 151 9

Rushing Yards 101 415

First Downs 11 18

Fumbles/Lost 4-4 0-0

Interceptions 1 2

Penalties 3-10 6-43

Individual Stats

PASSING — L, Peyton Rogers, 12-22-2-151. N, Jake Brill, 1-4-1-9.

RUSHING — L, Jacob Palumbo, 16-70; Caden DuPee, 6-25; Trent Vollendorf, 2-8; Zach Jenness, 1-5; Dylan Abbiehl, 1-2; Carter Closs, 1-(-1); Spencer Draghi, 2-(-2). N, Reagan Ruffi, 22-241; Trevor Janowicz, 9-46; Keegan Plasch, 2-39; Bryson Mazur, 2-33; Isaiah Huray, 2-33; Isaac Nichols,2-26; Brill, 5-(-3).

RECEIVING — L, C. DuPee, 5-37; Conner Franson, 3-52; Tru DuPee, 2-56; Draghi, 1-3; Palumbo, 1-3. N, Ruffi, 1-9.

Defense — Tackles

Tigers: Gervase Thompson, 6; Brennan Werner, 5; Plasch, 4; Colin Traut, 3; Dane Evanson, 3; Sam Risley, 3; Isaiah Wiita, 3; Huray, 3; Alex Isackson, 3; Noah Swanson, 3; Mazur, 2; Jagar Stillson, 2; Nichols, 2; Jenner Graff, 2; Harrison Nelson, 2; Ruffi, 1; Janowicz, 1; Carson Holsclaw, 1; Nate Ohman, 1; Tyler Hood, 1.