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

By Al Rose
Moose Lake Star Gazette 

Rebels shut out Bombers


Al Rose

Moose Lake/Willow River Rebel Bryceton Butkiewicz runs through the middle in the game against Barnum September 1 in Willow River. Butkiewicz ran for two touchdowns and passed for one.

The Class AA Rebels had three long TD runs totaling 189 yards plus two short TD runs of five and six yards and a 15 yard TD pass and they added four extra points to roll to a 40-0 shut out over the Class A Barnum Bombers in the 2016 football opener in Willow River on Thursday, September 1.

Senior running back Isaac Riihiluoma had two long TD runs, one short TD run and he ran for one two point conversion. Riihiluoma totaled 154 yards rushing. Senior running back Bryceton Butkiewicz had one long TD run, one short TD run and threw a TD pass to sophomore running back Anakin Oswald. Butkiewicz totaled 163 yards rushing. Sophomore Danny Lilya popped out and down from his wheelchair to hold and senior Nick Wegge kicked and they went 2-for-4 on PAT attempts.

Neither team looked all that sharp as there was a total of 20 penalties for a total of 125 penalty yards. The Rebels had 13 penalties for 80 yards including one hold to negate what would have been a long TD run by sophomore running back Trent Juhl. Barnum had significantly less problems with penalties as the Bombers had seven penalties for 45 yards.

Moose Lake-Willow River had nine first downs. The Bombers managed to get five first downs against the Rebels stiff defense that allowed the Bombers to cross midfield only three times..

The Rebels first score was a seven-play methodical drive that started at 7:28 of the first quarter from the MLWR 20 yard line and ended with Butkiewicz going through the middle for a seven yard TD. Riihiluoma popped the middle for the two point conversion for 8-0 at 4:13.

MLWR's next touchdown was a one-play shocker with Riihiluoma sprinting 54 yards. Although the handoff from junior quarterback Ian Coil to Butkiewicz was muffed and Butkiewicz was stopped short, the Rebels took a 14-0 lead at 2:19.

The Rebels were not able to score again until just before halftime. Starting from the 30 yard line, MLWR went to the two minute drill and mounted an eight-play drive with only 1:17 remaining. With just 17 ticks left on the clock before the break, the Rebels were able to cash in with Butkiewicz taking a shotgun snap and passing a 15 yard dart of a TD pass in the middle to Oswald. Lilya scooted down to position himself to hold for an attempted extra point attempt by Wegge. The snap sailed high and Wegge tried to run left, but came up short for 20-0.

MLWR's next drive would begin after a pass interception by Butkiewicz that was returned to the 48 yard line, but moved back to the 37 due to a personal foul on the Rebels at 8:32. Eight plays later that drive culminated with Riihiluoma going through the right middle for a five yard TD. This time the snap to Lilya was low and Barnum covered it up, but MLWR was up 26-0 at 4:45.

The next touchdown came on just two plays with the Rebels taking over after a Barnum punt to 35 yard line. A long pass from Butkiewicz to Rihilluoma was broken up. Butkiewicz worked from the shot gun again and tucked and ran for a 65 yard TD. The hold by Lilya and the kick by Wegge was good for 33-0 at 2:27.

The game's final score came on the heels of a MLWR illegal procedure and sent the game into running time. Riihiluouma took off from the 30 yard line for a 70 yard dash down the right sideline. Lilya and Wegge connected for the second time in the game for 40-0 at 10:06.

The Rebels leading defenders, with tackles and assists combined, were senior linemen Sam Coil and sophomore Aidan Szczyrbak with 12 each. Senior linebacker Joe Weidendorf had a combined eight, junior linebacker Dilon Louzek had six and junior defensive end Dakota Fredrick had five.

Some of Barnum's top defensive performers included junior linebacker Quinn Casey, sophomore lineman Sam Goodwin, junior defensive back Logan McNulty, defensive lineman Nathan Moor, sophomore defensive back Tyler Nynus, senior defensive back Reese Park, junior linebacker Noah Parker, senior defensive lineman Trevon Rilea, junior defensive lineman Colton Zambory and senior linebacker Colton Ziegler.

Quarterback Nynas and running backs Casey and Ziegler by far handled the lion's share of Barnum's offensive work.

Following the customary handshakes at midfield the Rebels gathered in their own end zone and yet again hoisted the Little Brown Jug on high. Three of the last four "Jug" games have been shut outs. The Rebels are 11-0 against the Bombers under head coach Dave Louzek and 21-5 since the co-op formed in 1984. The last time Barnum won the Little Brown Jug was in 1998.

MLWR plays the Class AA Spectrum Stingers in Willow River on Friday, September. 9 at 7 p.m.


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