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Prep football: Schlies leads Tigers past Beavers to conference crown

The Tigers completed an undefeated season and won the Heart O' North conference with the win.

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Northwestern’s Austin Schlies (34) takes Cumberland quarterback Maddux Allen (1) for a first quarter safety Friday night, Oct. 15, 2021 in Maple. Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram

Northwestern senior Austin Schlies ran for 166 yards and three touchdowns to lift the Tigers to a 56-30 home win over Cumberland Friday in Maple.

Schlies’s touchdown runs bookended the win over the previously undefeated Beavers.

After Northwestern returned the opening kickoff to its own 34-yard line, Schlies took the handoff from quarterback Luke Sedin, broke a couple tackles and ran 64 yards to give the Tigers a 7-0 lead.

“I had two guards I had to follow — Ben Benes and Ian Smith — and they got me through there,” Schlies said. “Once I got outside I stiff-armed one kid and I just started cutting it back. Then I just kept monkeying around with them and we just ran around like backyard football.”

After a touchback on the ensuing kickoff, Cumberland quarterback Maddux Allen mishandled two consecutive snaps and was tackled in the end zone for a safety.

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The Tigers took the free kick from Cumberland and drove 41 yards for another score, capped by an 18-yard run by C.J. Thompson to take a 15-0 lead after Dawson Kriske’s first missed extra point of the season.

The Tiger defense forced a three-and-out from the high-powered Beaver offense and Sedin found Tanner Kaufman for a 46-yard score, giving Northwestern a 22-0 lead with five minutes remaining in the first quarter.

“The speed of their game was the biggest thing and it took us a while to recognize it,” Cumberland coach Corey Berghammer said.

The Beavers fought back with Maddus throwing three touchdown passes capped by a 1-yard pass from Allen to Gavin Jarchow early in the third quarter to cut the Tiger lead to just seven.

Northwestern responded with two touchdowns from Greg Ohman and another from Thompson to extend the lead to 44-22.

“We’ve been dealing with adversity all year, we’ve had a lot of things going on in our path just to get to this game,” Berghammer said. “We fought back to within a score and then we just had a little blown coverage zone on the other end and we bailed them out and let them get to that two score game again. It’s really hard to try to keep throwing punches with this team because thye’re pretty solid.”

Cumberland cut the lead back to two scores on a pass from David Olson to Edward Chafer, but Schlies had scoring runs of 47 and 33 yards to slam the door shut on the Beavers.

“They didn’t lose faith there when Cumberland tightened that game up,” Northwestern coach Jovin Kroll said. “They went back to the fundamentals we work on all year and some great players made some great plays to get this win.”

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Northwestern (9-0) will have at least one home game in the state playoffs that begin next week and will have to wait until Saturday to find out what division they will play in.

Cumberland 6-8-8-8—30

Northwestern 22-7-15-12—56

NW — Austin Schlies 64 run (Dawson Kriske kick)

NW — Safety

NW — C.J. Thompson 18 run (kick failed)

NW — Tanner Kaufman 46 pass from Luke Sedin (Kriske kick)

C — Jax Effertz 19 pass from Maddux Allen (run failed)

NW — Kaufman 19 run (Kriske kick)

C — Effertz 24 pass from Allen (Edward Chafer pass from Allen)

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C — Gavin Jarchow 1 pass from Allen (Jarchow pass from Allen)

NW — Greg Ohman 5 run (Ohman run)

NW — Thompson 11 run (Kriske kick)

C — Chafer 7 pass from David Olson (Olson pass from Allen)

NW — Schlies 47 run (run failed)

NW — Schlies 33 run (run failed)

Related Topics: FOOTBALLPREP SPORTS
Jamey Malcomb has a been high school sports reporter for the Duluth News Tribune since October 2021. He spent the previous six years covering news and sports for the Lake County News-Chronicle in Two Harbors and the Cloquet Pine Journal. He graduated from the George Washington University in 1999 with a bachelor's degree in history and literature and also holds a master's degree in secondary English education from George Mason University.
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