Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Al Rose
Moose Lake Star Gazette 

Rebels start season with win

In big win, Moose Lake/Willow River beats Barnum 56-0 Monday


Dan Lingle

In the first game of the season, the Moose Lake/Willow River Rebels win 56-0 over the Barnum Bombers Monday in Barnum. The game was originally scheduled for Saturday, but was rescheduled to Monday due to storms. Pictured, Rebel Thomas Hansen finds an opening and runs the ball.

After a powerful thunderstorm with heavy rain and lightning prevented the game scheduled for Saturday, August 22, between host Barnum Bombers and the Moose Lake/Willow River Rebels, the opening game of the 2015 football season was played in Barnum on Monday, August 24.

The Rebels ran rampant over the Bombers to win 56-0 and keep possession of the prized piece of pottery known as the Little Brown Jug. MLWR racked up around 15 first downs compared to about two for Barnum with one of those on a nice run by Bombers quarterback Hunter Lake. The Bombers suffered four lost fumbles that were recovered by Rebels Max Kenney, Anakin Oswald, Bryceton Butkiewicz and Aidan Szczyrbak. Tanner Ramirez had a pass interception for MLWR.

MLWR got three touchdowns each from juniors Butkiewicz and Isaac Riihiluoma. One of Butkiewicz's scores came on a beautiful bomb from junior quarterback Connor Radel and Riihiluoma was the recipient of a short pass from Radel who had quite a successful debut completing short and long throws with touch, accuracy and strength, including the two touchdown passes. Junior Wyatt Lampel and sophomore Colton Little each had a touchdown and senior defensive end Craig Nelson had a 12-yard sack for a safety. Senior Thomas Hansen and sophomore Dilon Louzek each added a two point conversion.

The Rebels' top three tacklers were junior Joe Weidendorf with seven stops, Louzek with six tackles and Nelson with four, including his sack for a safety.

The top two running backs for Barnum were freshman Jake Nynus with 26 yards and junior Logan McNulty with 10 yards rushing. It was not for lack of effort for the defense on a long and difficult night. Against a clearly superior AA team with about three times as many numbers, the Bombers had 51 tackles. The leaders on defense were senior Richie Parzy with six solos and three assists, McNulty with six solos and two assists and junior Colton Ziegler with two solos and two assists.

The Rebels' first touchdown came at 6:37 of the first quarter as Riihiluoma went around the right side from four yards out. The two-point conversion attempt by junior Lampel was stopped by the Bombers for 6-0.

MLWR's next score was at 2:22 with Butkiewicz following his blockers and fighting off tacklers to get to the end zone on a seven-yard run. The pass to Butkiewicz failed for 12-0 as time ran down.

MLWR struck on the very first play of the second quarter with Radel launching a perfect pass to hit Butkiewicz in stride for a 49-yard TD. With Lampel seeming to have gone right through the middle, a holding flag moved the Rebels back to the 12-yard line. Radel took care of business with a pass out to the right side to senior Hansen for 20-0 at 11:50.

The Rebels' defense would register a quick score as Nelson raced around unabated and flung Lake for a safety for 22-0 at 9:59.

MLWR soon had the ball back in their possession and worked it to the six-yard line where a nicely executed and disguised crossing pattern was flicked to Riihiluoma. The kick by Lampel was blocked by the Bombers but the Rebels had ballooned the lead to 28-0 at 8:54.

Barnum fell victim to a fumble with Kenney recovering at 8:05 on the 44. MLWR turned the turnover into points with Lampel busting in from two yards out. Riihiluoma scooted around the left side for 36-0 at 6:14.

The Rebels' defense would again get the ball back for the offense as Butkiewicz recovered on the 47 at 5:16. Riihiluoma found a big hole on a counter and raced 34 yards for the score. With Lampel's kick missing it was 42-0 at 3:24.

It was soon another big play by MLWR's defense as Ramirez intercepted a pass on the 36 at 7:55. Again the Rebels would capitalize and cash in for points. From the 12, it was Butkiewicz patiently waiting for blockers and going in on the left middle. Although Lampel missed another kick, it was 48-0 at 7:20.

Barnum got a good play on defense as junior linebacker Ziegler crushed Hansen to cause a fumble with ninth-grader Tyler Nynus recovering on the 48 at 3:44.

A Rebel reserve back fumbled and it was recovered by Barnum on the 49 at 2:25. MLWR got the ball back but went three-and-out and punted for the first time in the game and had it blocked.

Barnum had a faulty exchange and the Rebels recovered as the third quarter closed.

The fourth frame went by fast as it was played in running time according to the Mercy Rule. The Rebel reserves mounted a drive. On 3rd-and-1, a pitch to Little was good through the middle and Louzek added the two-point for 56-0 at 6:22 to close out the scoring.


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