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

By Al Rose
Moose Lake Star Gazette 

Rebels make it 10 in a row


Al Rose

The Moose Lake/Willow River Rebels hold up their hands signifying 10 in a row Section 7AA titles following their 22-6 victory over the Eveleth-Gilbert Golden Bears October 22 in Esko.

The Moose Lake/Willow River Rebels made it 10 consecutive Section 7AA titles with a convincing 22-6 win over the Eveleth-Gilbert Golden Bears in the championship game played in Esko on Thursday, October 22. The Rebels were victorious over a team that had been allowing only 6.8 points coming into the game. MLWR advances to the state quarterfinals with a record of 8-3 while the Golden Bears' season ended at 8-2.

Thomas Hansen had two touchdowns and two conversion runs for the Rebels. Bryceton Butkiewicz, who came into the game with 1,059 yards rushing, led the Rebels on the ground with 157 yards and had MLWR's other touchdown.

The Golden Bears were led by Max Roberts' 198 yards, but the scatback was intercepted four times and fumbled once.

The Rebels had no turnovers while Eveleth-Gilbert suffered five turnovers with MLWR turning two of those turnovers into points.

MLWR had 11 first downs while the Golden Bears had nine first downs. The Rebels had four penalties while Eveleth-Gilbert had three penalties.

The Rebels were unable to sustain a drive on their first possession and punted from the 28.

Eveleth-Gilberrt started from the 41 and eventually scored on a rather flukish play. Roberts went to about the 10, but fumbled into the end zone. It appeared MLWR would recover, but as three Rebels pounced on and clawed for the ball it came free and Copper Dosan dove on it for the peculiar touchdown. The extra point kick was blocked by Wyatt Lampel, but the Golden Bears were up 6-0 at 6:59 on a five-play drive that covered 59 yards.

The Rebels responded with a 61-yard 13-play drive that ended with Hansen going from one yard out on the left middle. Hansen ran right and just barely made it inside the pylon for 8-6 at 2:30.

On the third play of the second quarter Roberts threw into double coverage and Butkiewicz came away with a tipped pass interception on the Rebels' seven-yard line at 10:28, but the Rebels were not able to sustain a drive.

From the 39 the Golden Bears were to work down to within distance and eventually attempted a 33-yard field goal. The boot was high with plenty of leg, but it was just wide and the Rebels kept the 8-6 lead at 5:01.

Neither team was able to score and it stayed 8-6, Rebels, at halftime.

The Golden Bears got the ball and were driving, but Hansen intercepted a Roberts pass on the 30 at 7:11.

The Rebels put together a drive and facing 4th and 5, Butkiewicz appeared he would be stopped short, but came up with quick thinking and creativity on a left pitch as he spotted Sam Coil and got the ball to the big lineman who was trailing on the play for a first down. Hansen popped the middle and was free for a 10-yard TD. Hansen added the conversion on the middle right for 16-6 to finish the 70-yard 14-play drive at 1:13.

After just two plays Roberts fumbled and Butkiewicz recovered on the 30 with 31 seconds left in the quarter.

The Rebels were not able to sustain a drive and punted. The Golden Bears were also forced to punt.

MLWR went on a quick four-play 82-yard drive that culminated with Butkiewicz getting around the left side and racing 48 yards for a TD. Although Lampel was stacked up on the conversion attempt, the Rebels were up 22-6 at 5:00.

Eveleth-Gilbert was able to get a couple of first downs, but the drive abruptly ended with Butkiewicz getting his second interception at the five-yard line and returning it to the 18 at 2:17.

MLWR was unable to cash in on the turnover and was forced to punt. The game closed with a couple of exclamation points as Luke Branson got a quarterback sack and Tanner Ramirez got a pass interception.

Dilon Louzek led the defense with eight tackles and one assist. Joe Weidendorf had seven solos and two assists. Hansen had five solos and a pass interception. Butkiewicz had three solo stops, one fumble recovery and two interceptions. Craig Nelson had three solos and two assists. Coil had three solos and one assist. Rex Janke had two solos and two assists. Lampel had three solos and blocked an extra point kick attempt. Branson had two solos and one quarterback sack.

The Rebels play United North Central with a record of 8-2 at noon on Saturday, October 31, at Brainerd High School.


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