By Dewhouse 

Rebels defeat rival Eskomos 22-14


September 27, 2018

Jennifer Szczyrbak

Adam Dragicevich scoring a two point conversion to put the Rebels back in the lead in the first half. Final score: 22-14

The Moose Lake Willow River Rebels football team has beaten Esko 12 out of the last 13 years, the only loss was last season (2017). Friday, September 21, the Rebels traveled to Esko's turf and defeated them 22-14.

The game started with a kick to the Rebels that went out of bounds at the Esko 35 yard line. Eli Werner, Trent Juhl and Blake Juhl combined to bring it down to Esko's 22 yard line. They got a five yard penalty and couldn't get a first down.

Esko took over and quarterback Mason Vinje handed off to running back Preston Lowe for a first down. Vinje ran a keeper for a six yard gain. On fourth down, Esko punted to the 25 yard marker.

Trent Juhl rushed for a first down to the 39 yard line. Quarterback Mason Olson completed a 14 yard pass to Brady Watrin. Werner and Trent Juhl got it to the Esko 41. Olson completed a 41 yard touchdown pass to Watrin with 1:03 left in the first quarter. Rebels were called for false start and the pass for the two-point conversion fell to the ground.

Trent and Blake Juhl got the ball down to Esko's 10 yard line, but the Rebels failed to convert on fourth and one. Esko took over on downs from their own ten yard line. On the first play of the drive, Watrin intercepted the pass which was intended for Esko receiver, Eli Blue.

After running a few plays and not gaining many yards, Dylan Vinje intercepted the Rebels pass. On the following play, Esko's running back, Luke Wagemaker, broke free for an 80 yard touchdown run with 7:56 left in the first half. The extra point by Kristy DeMuth bounced off the upright. Score tied at 6-6.

MLWR turned the ball back to Esko on downs. Esko took the ball down field to about the 27 yard line and senior Mason Vinje passed to his brother Dylan Vinje in the end zone. Rebel corner, Ben Dewey, had good position on Dylan and leaped up for a big interception towards the end of the first half.

Rebels took the ball to about the 40 yard line. Esko called their second timeout with 1:02 left in the half. With five seconds left on the clock and Rebels ball, Esko calls their third timeout. Rebels let the clock run out.

Third quarter, Adam Dragicevich kicked it to the 25 yard line. On Eskomos fourth down, the ball dropped on the snap and rolled around. The punter picked it up and got the kick off. MLWR got the ball down to the three yard line and Trent ran it in for six and also ran it in for two more. Rebels in front 14-6.

With 4:54 left in the third quarter, Esko's Reid Davidson, took it in for a two yard run and touchdown. Lowe ran for the two points to tie the score at 14-14.

The Rebels got the ball back and ran down to the one yard line. Trent took it in for six and Dragicevich caught the pass for a two point conversion. Rebels were up 22-14.

In the fourth quarter, Esko's M.Vinje threw an incomplete pass to the endzone. They had fourth down and three yards to go and turned the ball back to the Rebels. The MLWR offense kept the ball on the ground to run the clock out. Esko got the ball back with 1:20 to go. The Vinje boys made a 45 yard pass connection and the clock ran out.

MLWR had 16 first downs to Esko's 11. Esko had three turnovers to MLWR's one. Trent Juhl had 32 rushing attempts for 196 yards and two touchdowns. Blake Juhl had 14 attempts for 100 yards and one touchdown. Mason Olson was 4-12 for 68 yards, one passing touchdown and one interception. Brady Watrin had four receptions for 68 yards.

Defensive leaders were Logan Peterson with seven tackles, Dragicevich and Carter Klund five each, the Juhl brothers and Duane Broughton with three each. Peterson, Dragicevich and Klund each had two assists.

MLWR JV football team is undefeated. They went to Aitkin winning 40-6, then Barnum came to Willow River and Rebels won 48-8. Monday they traveled to Mesabi East winning 48-0.


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