Rebels' defense shuts out Hilltoppers
Rebels finish regular season undefeated
The Moose Lake-Willow River Rebels football team claimed the Great Polar White Division crown as they used a staunch defense to shut out Duluth Marshall en route to a 22-0 homecoming victory in Willow River on Wednesday, October 16.
The Rebels' defense held the Hilltoppers' good option offense to a mere 60 yards and allowed only a few first downs. Jon Evenson, Dylan Lovegreen and David Moonen each had one touchdown in the game. Alex Kenemore had a pass interception and Moonen had a fumble recovery.
Marshall kicked to Josh Pettersen at the 19. Moonen went right to the 23. Lovegreen hit to the middle to the 28 and followed with a first down. Evenson was held to only 2 on the left and got just three in the middle. Moonen went right for fourth-and-21 and the Rebels punted at 8:30. Brad Fossum’s punt got a great roll to the 8 of the Hilltoppers.
A left run got just a yard against Kenemore. A left run was only 1 with Jeremiah Chavez and JJ Sayler up for third-and-6. Evenson dragged the back down in the backfield and Marshall punted. A high spiral was covered by Evenson at 45.
Pettersen got only a couple. A middle Moonen run was met for nothing. A swing pass was a loss of 2. The punt went out on the 20.
A right side run was held to 3 by Chavez. A right middle run by the quarterback was handled by Kenemore and a left side run was met by Charlie Adamczak. On fourth-and-five, Marshall punted at 2:33 and the high one went to the 43.
A Lovegreen middle mash was a loss a of 1. Moonen was able to gain 6 on a right side pitch. A pass to Evenson over the middle was incomplete. And the Rebels punted with a procedure penalty being declined.
A right run netted 6 before Chavez stopped. Ezra Szczyrbak gave chase to the left to hold it to 2, but a middle run got Marshall its first first down as the quarter closed at 0-0.
Chavez held a middle run to 1. A middle option was read by Moonen for third-and-four. A left pitch was taken care of by Evenson and crew. Marshall set to go for it, but an illegal procedure forced a punt to the 12 at 10:36.
Moonen got away from one tackler for 5. Evenson broke a tackle and ran for about 30 to the 49 at 9:37. Evenson ground to the 45 and followed for a first. Moonen was held to a yard, plus a hold moved the Rebels back to the 49. Lovegreen got very little in the middle. A pass was incomplete on the right side. A pass to Pettersen was good to the 13 at 7:47, but a fumble ensued on the next play and Marshall recovered the turnover on the 15.
A pass to the right side was incomplete. Moonen and Pettersen limited two runs to two. A right run got two and Marshall called time. The punt was an over-ender and Hunter Halverson covered at the 50 at 6:38.
A pitch right got five for Moonen. A left pitch to Pettersen had a hold flag fly. A pitch right was only two yards. A nice pass to Ike Pederson was a first, but it was negated by a hold. A pass deep down the middle was off Kody Gerard’s fingers. The punt was fumbled and the Rebels recovered as Moonen got it on the 41 at 4:34.
A pass to Pettersen on the right side was incomplete. Pettersen hit the middle for 3 and followed with a strong middle run for a first down. Evenson ran left for 3. A pitch to Moonen only got 3 on the right. A pitch to Moonen on the right made it fourth-and-two. Evenson got all of it as he busted the right middle and raced 20 yards for the TD. A pass to Gerard on the left side was too low and long, but the Rebels were up 6-0 at 1:22.
The Hilltoppers got a good return to the 50 and Moonen had to stop. A middle run netted just 2 as did another middle run. An option pitch was fumbled and the Rebels recovered but time ran out. With only 6-0 showing on the scoreboard, it was shaping up to be quite a defensive battle of wills.
The Rebels kicked off to begin the second half. A short kick went to the 35 and Lovegreen tackled on the 40. A keeper went for only one against Lovegreen and Chavez. Another option keeper was contained for 4 by Josh Leonard. A fumble was recovered by Marshall.The punt from the 46 rolled to the 10 at 10:06.
Pettersen went left to the 13. Lovegreen worked for a few. On third-and-one Lovegreen ran for a first. Moonen got only a yard. Encroachment moved it to the 32. Pettersen hit the middle for 4 and followed with a right middle run for a first. A pitch right to Moonen was held to 2. Lovegreen pounded the middle for a first. A swing pass to Gerard netted 3. Lovegreen broke through and rumbled for what appeared would be a touchdown, but the big fullback was caught from behind and the ball was popped free. However, on one hop a fortuitous bounce put it right into Moonen’s hands as he was alertly trailing on the lay and it was a 13-yard fumble recovery for a score. Moonen got the call for the 2-point run and it was good around the left side for 14-0 at 4:23.
The kick to the 30 was returned to 37 with Thomas Hansen on the stop. A middle run was handled by Hunter Herzog for only a yard. A pitch right was only a yard and a middle run was good for 3 with Lovegreen tackling. Marshall punted from the 41 at 2:22.
Halverson handled a very high spiral at the 27 and got to the 28. Moonen was captured for a loss of 1. A counter by Pettersen got 3. Evenson got just enough on the right side with a measurement for a first. Pettersen ran for 6 on the right side as the quarter ended with the Rebels up just 14-0.
Lovegreen went left but there was a hold. Moonen only got 2 to the right and third-and-eight. Fossum was sacked and the Rebels punted to the 34 at 10:25.
A pitch right went for 4 with Lovegreen and Sailer stopping. A middle run got Marshall a first at the 45. One middle run got just a yard and a second was swamped by Chavez and Evenson. A middle run went nowhere against Chavez and Moonen. The Hilltoppers attempted a fake punt by snapping it to an up-back, but that failed at 9:30 and the Rebels took over on downs as Adamczak was there.
Moonen lost one, but came right back with a run for 7 on the right side. Evenson got a big run right behind a big block by Szczyrbak for a first. Moonen and Lovegreen each got 2 and the Hilltoppers called time at 4:37. It was Lovegreen for a first to the 15. Moonen got to the 11 in the middle and ran a counter to the 6. On third-and-one, an illegal procedure made it third-and-six. It was Lovegreen bulling his way in from 11 yards out for the TD and he made it just over the line for the 2-point dive and 22-0 at 2:21.
Adamczak hit the kick good to the 20 and a real haymaker was delivered but no flag flew at the 26. Szczyrbak swamped the back in the backfield for a loss of three. A right run slipped as Kenemore came up and Marshall called time at 1:18. A deep pass down the right side was a nice pick for Kenemore.
A pitch to Moonen got six yards. The 8-0 conference champ and second-ranked Rebels, with a hard-fought homecoming victory against a good 6-2 Marshall team, kneed it out.
The number-one seeded Rebels, earning a Tuesday bye, will play the victor of the Rush City vs. Eveleth-Gilbert game at Willow River on Saturday, October 26 at 2 p.m.