MLWR football season ends early

The Moose Lake-Willow River Rebels fell to the Aitkin Gobblers in their October 30 homecoming game. Due to COVID-19 cases this was the final game of the football season for the Rebels. 


  Coronavirus has forced Moose Lake Willow River’s football season to end. All MLWR football coaches, players, and managers are required to quarantine until November 14. The game with Pine City, on November 5, has been cancelled and the game with Mora on November 12 will be cancelled.  

The next game would be a playoff game on November 17. The coaches and players would only have one day to condition and practice. Because this would not be safe for the MLWR players, the coaching decision is to end the Rebel season at this point. The Rebels finished the 2020 football season with three wins and one loss and were ranked fifth in Section Class AA.

Final Game

Moose Lake Willow River football team took on Aitkin for the Gobblers 2020 homecoming game at Veteran’s Field on Friday, October 30. The Aitkin Color Guard started the evening with a presentation of the Nation’s Flag. The Concordia College (Moorhead, Minn.) Freshmen Quartet sang the National Anthem. 

The Rebels had a total of 322 passing and rushing yards compared to Aitkin’s 175. Both teams were charged with three penalties for 20 yards each. Rebels had 17 first downs to Aitkin’s 10. But the Rebels’ squad came out on the short end losing 36-20. 

Logan Orvedahl led the offensive with 99 rushing yards and Jackson Thompson was right behind him with 83 yards. Defensively, Jackson Thompson took over with six tackles and six assists. Ethan Burton had four tackles and four assists. Landin Kurhajetz was right in there with three solos and two assists. Adam Olson and Myca Helfman were able to get to the Gobbler quarterback for two sacks. Brady Watrin was the main target of quarterback Mason Olson’s passes. The score seesawed back and forth between the Rebels and Gobblers.  

To start the game, Craig Ashton kicked off to Thompson, who got it to the 32-yard line. Thompson carried it the next four times for another first down. Mason Olson ran a keeper and on third down was intercepted by Owen Miller. Aitkin had nine yards to go on fourth down and had to punt. Orvedahl ran 50 yards for the first score of the game. Carter Johnson was stopped on the two-point conversion. Sam Kenezivich kicked off to Aitkin’s Owen Miller who went 85 yards for six. Two-point conversion failed and the first quarter ended tied 6-6.  

Rebels had the ball to start the second quarter. It was second down and seven yards to go on the ten-yard line and Thompson took the pigskin into the end zone for six more. Adam Olson ran it in for the two-point conversion. Rebels led 14 to 6. MLWR got the ball back after Aikin was four and out, second down and four to go on the 36-yard line, Mason Olson threw an interception. Aitkin’s quarterback, Caiden Kjelstrom, took it six-yards for the touchdown and Miller got in the end zone for two, to tie the score, 14-14. With only 14.1 seconds left until half-time, Kjelstrom threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Joey Simonson. Two-point conversion failed. Aitkin led 20-14 at the end of the first half.  

The third quarter started with Rebels going four and out, and Mason Olson punting. Aitkin didn’t move down the field so Rebels’ ball. Rebels got a couple first downs. Rebels had second down and six to go on the 45-yard line, with 6:57 left in the third quarter, Adam Olson scampered 55-yards into the end zone for six more. The announcer stated that the game was all knotted up at 20-20. There was 2:47 left in the third quarter, Kjelstrom threw a 20-yard pass into the end zone for six. Aitkin took the lead 26-20. With a minute until the fourth quarter, Carter Johnson caught Mason Olson’s pass.  

In the fourth quarter, the Rebels got a couple first downs and then the ball was intercepted in the middle of the field. Brodie Hoffman stopped Austin Price on the 26-yard line and Kurhajetz stopped Miller on the 25-yard line. Price got the ball to the 2-yard line and took it in for the touchdown. A pass to Simonson for the two-point conversion was good. There was only 1:49 left in the game when Rebels got the ball back. Olson passed a couple times to Kurhajetz and Watrin and then was sacked for a loss of 5. Aitkin won their homecoming game 36-20.   

The Rebels are still first in Section 7AA QRF Standings but in the District NE (Blue) Conference standings: Mora is first (3-0), followed by Aitkin (2-1), MLWR (2-1), Esko (1-2), Pine City (1-2), and Crosby-Ironton (0-3).

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