The Northwestern Tigers opened their season, and play in the Heart O’ North Conference, with a 28-14 win Friday, Aug. 23, at Spooner.
Things didn’t look good early on for the Tigers, who fumbled on the first play from scrimmage, which led to Jackson Bassett’s 1-yard TD run. The Rails failed on the 2-point attempt, making the score 6-0 with 5:10 left in the first quarter.
The Tigers answered with three straight scores, starting with a 74-yard drive that ended with Brennen Werner’s 4-yard TD run. Isaac Nichols’ extra point gave Northwestern a 7-6 lead with 1:51 left in the opening quarter.
The Rails threatened to score more points in the first half, but were stopped four times inside the 10-yard line, once on an interception by Northwestern's Jagr Stillson.
After a scoreless second quarter, junior running back Colin Trautt scored the first of his two TDs, from 5 yards out, and Jake Brill threw a 57-yard touchdown pass to Bryson Mazur as the Tigers opened up a 21-6 third-quarter lead.
Spooner’s Thomas Kissack scored from a yard out early in the fourth quarter, but the Tigers answered again with Trautt’s 7-yard TD run with 4:39 remaining.
Isaac Nichols was 4-for-4 on extra-point kicks for the Tigers.
Nichols also led the Tigers with nine tackles, including seven solo. Werner and Titus Graden both had eight tackles and Mazur added seven.
Dayne Evanson also helped out on defense for the Tigers with five solo tackles, an interception, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
Jack Meister led the Rails with 89 yards rushing on 18 carries. Connor Childs was 9-of-19 passing for 103 yards. Noah Christianson caught four of his passes for 56 yards.
The Tigers host the Hayward Hurricanes at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30.