Rebels earn eighth consecutive Section 7AA crown
The undefeated Moose Lake/Willow River Rebels played nearly perfect football on a cold and misty Halloween to stun the Mesabi East Giants. The final score was 62-6. The game was played at Duluth Public Schools Stadium and the Rebels claimed their eighth consecutive Section 7AA championship crown.
The Rebels had only one penalty on each side of the ball plus one for an on-side kick that failed to travel the required 10 yards. They dominated throughout the game, spreading the ball around on offense and racing for long touchdown runs while getting the Giants to cough up the ball on numerous turnovers. The Rebels hands and gloves were like gorilla glue, committing no fumbles. Moose Lake/Willow River (ML/WR) never had to punt and the reserves turned the ball over just once on downs after they were moved back from the redzone with a holding penalty.
Jon Evenson and Josh Petterson each had two rushing scores while David Moonen, Dylan Lovegreen and Bryceton Butkiewicz each scored. On the defensive side of the ball, it was JJ Saylor, Lovegreen, Hunter Halverson and Kody Gerard each notching a fumble recovery with Gerard scooping up his second scampering for a score of the season. Jeremiah Chavez and Alex Kenemore each recorded a pass interception and Ezra Szczyrbak increased his number of quarterback sacks.
The Giants kicked off to the Rebels and Lovegreen returned to the 41. Lovegreen had two middle to midfield and Moonen went middle right for a first down. Pettersen went right for five and Moonen ran the left middle for another first down. Petterson gained nothing, but followed for four on the middle left to the 29. It was Evenson on a counter for a 29-yard touchdown run. Moonen took a right pitch for the two-point conversion and ML/WR was up 8-0 at 7:40.
On the ensuing kick, it was Gerard scooping up a loose ball on one bounce and scampering 40 yards for the stunning score. Pettersen got the extra points for 16-0 at just 7:26.
Mesabi East was able to move the ball with surprising success as they recorded three first downs to the 11, but an illegal procedure hurt and no gain followed. On a weak pass, where it appeared the quarterback may have been hit, it was Chavez picking the duck clean for a turnover at 2:25.
Lovegreen ran for two and Moonen ran for a first down. A pass out to Moonen from Brad Fossum was good for six on the right side. Pettersen hit the middle left for three and Evenson ran for a first down to close out the quarter with the Rebels riding a 16-0 spread in the increasing rain.
It did not take long for the Rebels to cash in and increase the lead. From the 39, it was Evenson sprinting 61 yards and Moonen making the conversion look easy on the right side for 24-0 at only 11:47.
Charlie Adamczak made a good high kick to the 10 and Halverson was on the tackle. A run right found Kenemore there and a run middle was met by Ike Pederson and Chavez. A scramble was chased down by Adamczak. The snap was high, but the punter was able to get off a short, high one to the 41 at 9:57.
Moonen hit the middle for six and Pettersen went left for a first down. It was Moonen wasting little time to put more points on the board as he popped free on the right side and ran for a 36-yard touchdown. The two points were added on by a dive by Kenemore for 32-0 at 8:53.
Butkiewicz's kick was returned to the 31. A run right was only three against Milan Dragicevich, but a middle was a first down before Evenson stopped. A left run went nowhere against Dragicevich and Evenson and a right run was tackled by Josh Leonard. Sczcyrbak roared around and sacked the quarterback. A high, short punt rolled to the 42.
Kenemore was tripped up from behind for no gain. Lovegreen rumbled for eight yards. A pass along the right side was good to Pederson for a first down. The Giants jumped offside to hand the Rebels five yards. Moonen had a good run to the 11. It was Pettersen for the touchdown and Moonen for the conversion for 40-0 at 3:39.
Adamczak's kick was a knee down at the 21. A run right got two and another run right was a first down, but a fumble ensued and the Rebels recovered on the 33 at 2:29.
A run left by Pettersen was good for five yards and a pitch to Moonen was a first down. Pettersen went left, broke one tackle and scooted up the left sideline for a 22-yard touchdown. Lovegreen trotted in for two-points and MLWR ballooned the 48-0 at 1:26.
A run right was handled by Kenemore, but the next run was a first down with Kenemore again up. The Giants called time out and tried a fake reverse. One more time out came and Dragicevich stopped as time ran out with the Rebels taking a huge 48-0 lead to the locker room.
The Rebels kicked and the Giants immediately lost the ball on a fumble with JJ Saylor recovering on the 25.
Pettersen ran left for five and Lovegreen blasted the middle for a long first down. A Pettersen run got aided to the four. Lovegreen waltzed in for the touchdown and Moonen went right for the two and the score was 56-0 at 11:01.
Butkiewicz kicked to the 15 with a return to the 32. A middle left run was smoked by Chavez, but next was a first down as Pederson had to come up. However, on the very next attempt the ball came loose and it was yet another turnover by the Giants on the 46 at 9:45.
Pettersen carried for three left and Kenemore ran for two up the middle. Dragicevich got a first down to the 41. Adarius Hopkins hit the middle for five. Zach Schwarzbauer ran the middle for 32 and Kenemore carried for a first down to the seven. Dragicevich took it to the three. Butkiewicz got the call and made good with his short touchdown romp. The kick by Adamczak missed wide left but the Rebels had now reached a score of 62-0 at 5:28.
Butkiewicz kicked to the 10. A middle-left run was handled by Blaise and a run right was into Halverson. A middle run was a first down and a middle run was eight against the reserves. Two middle runs were tackled by Schwarzbauer. A fumble ensued and Halverson came out of the pile on the 23 at 1:27.
On the very first play from scrimmage it appeared Hopkins would go the distance, but he was caught from behind after a very long run. Butkiewicz ran left for eight and the Giants called time at :51.5. Hopkins ran for a first down on a right pitch, but Thomas Hansen got very little on a counter as the quarter closed at 62-0, with the Rebels still threatening to score more with the reserves.
With running time ticking away fast, Hopkins ran for a first down to the 22 yard line and Schwarzbauer gutted it out for six. Butkiewicz took a pitch for good yard to the 11 and a first down. Hopkins tried a pitch left, but was driven back and down plus a flag was thrown for a hold. The Rebels ended up turning it over on downs and it stayed 62-0.
Schwarzbauer covered on a pitch and the Giants had to cover a fumbled snap. A Mesabi East player escaped and made a long run all the way to the 10. Josh Butterfield stopped a run, but from 14 yards out the Giants were able to score on a pass to Ronnie Swenson from Collin Luke, but the run for two more was stopped and it stayed 62-6 with about two minutes to play.
The kick was returned by Tanner Ramirez. At 1:27 Butkiewicz ran for one first down and Schwarzbauer went up the gut for six. The Rebels kneed it out as the clock ran out.
With their eighth consecutive championship trophy lifted high in the mist with a very well-played 62-6 victory, the 10-0 Rebels advanced to play 11-0 Minneota at Chisago Lakes High School in Lindstrom at 7 p.m. Friday, November 8.