UPDATED: Evergreens shut out by Cameron

The Evergreens breezed to an easy win in their opening game of the season, but on Friday, the Northwood-Solon Springs football team faced a challenging opponent -- the Cameron Comets.

The Evergreens breezed to an easy win in their opening game of the season, but on Friday, the Northwood-Solon Springs football team faced a challenging opponent -- the Cameron Comets.

In their first game of the season, the Comets clashed with the Chetek Bulldogs in a non-conference game. Chetek, which plays a division above Cameron in the WIAA playoffs, held the Comets scoreless for the 17-0 win.

Northwood-Solon Springs, meanwhile, defeated Siren, 44-0 in its season opener.

Cameron turned the tables Friday night, as the Evergreens were on the losing end of a 35-0 shutout at Minong. The loss drops the Evergreens to 1-1 for the season.

"They've got a real established program that has strength in numbers and strong kids," Evergreens coach Jason Fox said of Cameron. "They obviously utilize the weight room."


The loss was a disappointment for the Northwood-Solon Springs players, but Fox hopes they will also learn from the experience. Cameron, a Large Lakeland Conference team, is one of the better opponents the Evergreens are scheduled to play this year.

"It's good to put things in perspective for us. That's the sort of team we'll see in the playoffs if we make it, so we've got a lot of work to do," Fox said.

Cameron running back Joe Spanel dealt most of the damage to the Evergreens Friday. The senior ran for three of the Comets' five touchdowns.

Northwood-Solon Springs contained Cameron's running game in the first quarter, but Spanel ran the ball in twice in the second to give the Comets a 14-0 lead at the half.

Despite being down, the Evergreens showed some life as the first half came to a close. With about two minutes left to halftime, Northwood faked a punt at the 44 yard line on fourth and eight and converted for the first down. Two plays later, the Evergreens ran another trick play, with running back Gerrod Richard completing a pass to quarterback Phil Larson about 20 yards downfield. The Evergreens set up for a field goal with two seconds left, but the kick came up short.

"Gerrod Richard, our fullback, actually used to be a quarterback for us, so he's got an arm," Fox said. "He definitely carried the team tonight. He's a hard hitter and he just doesn't give up. He runs the ball real hard and he got a lot of yards on his own tonight."

In the third quarter, Spanel again got things going for Cameron. After punting on their first series, the Comets came out strong when they got the ball back. Taking over near midfield, it took less than a minute for Spanel to break away from defenders and reach the end zone again for the 20-0 lead.

With 4:34 left in the third quarter, Cameron's Tanner Linsmeyer lobbed a pass to Andrew Beranek in the end zone, and the two-point conversion made it 28-0 for the Comets. Cameron finished off its scoring with a quick touchdown by Ryan Crotteau a minute and a half into the fourth quarter.


For the night, Josh Malone finished with 41 yards rushing and Richard had 45 yards for the Evergreens.

"Towards the end it got a little rough, but that's to be expected," Fox said. "We were a little outmatched and outnumbered. We don't have a lot of depth right now."

The Comets had 46 players on their roster compared to 33 for Northwood-Solon Springs. Of those players, only nine Evergreens are juniors or seniors. Twenty Cameron players are in 12th or 11th grade.

"We've got a lot of season yet to go, so we've got to heal up in a hurry," Fox said. "We've got a couple banged up already."

The Evergreens open their Small Lakeland Conference season Sept. 11 with a 7 p.m. game at Frederic.

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