The second-ranked Moose Lake-Willow River Rebels football team led just 16-8 at halftime, but systematically wore down the Pine City Dragons and went on to drop them by a lopsided 43-8 in Willow River on Friday, September 13. Junior running back David Moonen rushed for 192 yards and three touchdowns to lead the 3-0 Rebels as MLWR increased its regular season winning streak to 57 games and its home field streak to 42. Josh Pettersen added 154 rushing yards and a touchdown.
The kick was short and Dylan Lovegreen took it to the 30. Two Moonen runs netted a first down. Two Pettersen got another first. A left pitch was held to 2. A deep pass to Kody Gerard was just a yard out of his reach. On 3rd-and-8 a pass to Ike Pederson was nearly picked off and the Rebels' Brad Fossum punted at 9:23.
The punt rolled to the 15. A pitch to Dragon Dewy Carr was tackled by and a pitch right made it 3rd-and-3. A big hit in the backfield was delivered by Lovegreen and Ezra Szczyrbak and the Dragons punted to the 46 at 7:08.
Pettersen ran across midfield for a gain of 8 and Lovegreen followed for a first to the 42. Two Lovegreen runs made it 3rd-and-2. Moonen hit the middle for a first at 5:03. Moonen ran for 7 and Lovegreen plowed to the 20 for a first. A pass to Pederson was incomplete on the right side. Moonen ran a counter to the 14. A nice pass found Gerard almost all alone on the left side for a touchdown and Lovegreen added the two-point conversion run for 8-0 at 3:09.
Rebel Charlie Adamczak kicked a high hopper to the 32. The Rebels encroached. A left run was handled by Pettersen and Pederson. Dragon Connor Clark was tripped up by Jon Evenson for only a few with help from Adamczak. On 4th and a half yard, the Rebels encroached to hand the Dragons a first down. A big run up the middle had to be stopped by Evenson for a first at :22.5. A run was hammered by Rebel Brett Hawkins after four yards as the quarter ended with the Rebels up 8-0.
Third-and-nine found the Dragons calling time at 11:10. A halfback pass got a first for Carr at the 7. Two Carr runs netted five yards with Adamczak and Szczyrbak stopping on the second play. An offside on MLWR put the Dragons to within a foot of pay-dirt. A quick pass out to Carr from Dragon Mitchell Hansmann was a TD and the two combined over the middle for the two-point pass to knot it up at 8-8 at 9:18.
Rebel Thomas Hansen returned the kick from the 15 to the 31 on the left side, but a hit to the head moved the Rebels back to the 13. Three Moonen runs were good for a first at 7:41. Pettersen went for a few left. Encroachment and a Lovegreen run were good for first at 6:36, but an illegal procedure moved the Rebels back to the 39. A middle run went for 7. Fossum had Pederson all alone on the deep left route, but it was overthrown. A pass to the right flat was good for a first at 5:18. Moonen took a right pitch for 4. Pettersen broke free on a counter for long yard to the 15. Lovegreen was stacked up. Pettersen went left for 3. Fossum scrambled and attempted a pass to Gerard, but it was incomplete and the Dragons took over on downs at 2:51.
Two middle runs were at first at 2:07. A pass over the middle was nearly picked off by J.J. Sayler. A middle run was held to a yard by Pettersen. On 3rd-and-9, the Rebels called time at 1:28. A backward pitch that appeared to be partially tipped by Szczyrbak’s fingers was a fumble, but the Dragons were able to cover the live ball. A bad snap resulted in the Rebels covering the pigskin near Pine City’s own 5. Moonen went right to within about four feet of the goal and it was Moonen getting the call to take it in the left middle for 14-6. Moonen was the second man through for two-point and 16-8 at :36.6.
Adamczak’s kick went out of bounds at the 25 and the Dragons elected to have him rekick. Carr got a good return, but it was Rebel Adarius Hopkins on the stop at the 32. Pine City decided to knee it out and go to the half trailing by only 16-8.
Adamczak’s deep kick to the 15 was returned to the 36 with Moonen stopping. Hansen and Pettersen allowed only a yard. On a pass, Evenson and Adamczak chased the quarterback for just another yard. A quick out pass to the right side was handled by Evenson for only another yard. The punt to the 30 was returned to the 34 at 9:33.
Moonen hit the middle for two or three and Pettersen was up the middle for a first. Lovegreen blasted the middle to near midfield and 2nd-and-5. Lovegreen went to the 47 for 3rd-and-one. Moonen took a pitch right for a first at 7:09. A pass to Pettersen was 2nd-and-1. Fossum looked to pass, but kept and got a big run to the 15. Moonen took it to 10 and Lovegreen worked to the 6. Pettersen got called and the TD from six yards out and Lovegreen added the two-point run for 24-8 at 4:36.
Carr got a good 24-yard run back with Gerard tackling at the 45. A pitch left was tackled by Pettersen for 3-and-6. A fumble ensued and Bryce Butkiewicz came up with it at 3:41.
Fossum set to pass, but kept and ran to the 29 for a first. Pettersen got nothing on the right side. Moonen kept churning for seven and Lovegreen followed for a first. Pettersen went left for seven. Fossum kept right and was just inside the pylon for the 13-yard TD scamper as Pederson threw a good block. The kick was blocked for 30-8 near the one minute mark.
The kick rolled to the 34. With a new quarterback, it was Hawkins and Jeremiah Chavez tackling and 2nd-and-11, a middle run went nowhere and a pass on the right side was incomplete. A low punt snap was bobbled as the fourth frame began all the way back to the 24.
A run left was a first at 11:20. Pettersen ran a left pitch for 2. Moonen made a great cut to the 15-yard line at 10:10, but there was a personal foul on MLWR back to the 26. Lovegreen got nothing in the middle, but it was Moonen with three great cuts and a 27-yard score. The kick was partially blocked for 36-8 at 8:12.
Butkiewicz booted to Clark at the 18 and made the stop on the 40. An illegal procedure moved the Dragons backwards. A middle left run was stuffed by Rebel Josh Leonard. A slant was good with Hawkins and Hopkins tackling for a first on the 47 at 6:53. A middle run went for four, with Moonen stopping. A screen was complete and a personal foul on MLWR moved it to the 13. Hopkins came through with a big interception on the 4 at 5:44.
Lovegreen ran for yard, but it was Pettersen breaking outside for a long run to the 41. Alex Kenemore took a pitch for a first and Moonen hit the middle to the 27. A pass to Pederson was flagged for an illegal man down field. Moonen sprang free with a TD run. The PAT was good by Adamczak for 43-8 at 3:22.
A good squib kick by Butkiewicz was recovered by the Dragons on the 36. Rebel Milan Dragicevich tackled on a run. A pitch left was good for a first. An option lost a couple with Butkiewicz and Adamczak up. A fumbled snap ended the game at 43-8 as the second ranked Rebels had worn down the Dragons and won big.
The Rebels are at Eveleth to play the Eveleth-Gilbert Golden Bears at 7 p.m. on Friday, September 20.