GRAND MARAIS – This one hurt.
That’s the only way to describe what had appeared to be the first good news of the season for Ely as they faced Cook County here last Friday. The Timberwolves’ …
GRAND MARAIS – This one hurt.
That’s the only way to describe what had appeared to be the first good news of the season for Ely as they faced Cook County here last Friday. The Timberwolves’ offense, which had yet to score this season, put two touchdowns on the board against the Vikings. Ely’s solid defensive play had left Cook County scoreless up to the final minutes of the game. Then, with less than four minutes remaining, it all fell apart. Cook County scored back-to-back touchdowns to tie the score at 14 as regulation time expired. They would add one more in the overtime period to emerge with the win, leaving the Timberwolves shellshocked.
“This loss hurts a lot more,” said Ely Head Coach Cory Lassi. “The guys felt like they should have won this one. Just a couple of plays made all the difference. I’m proud of the way they played. They didn’t give up.”
Senior halfback Dalton Schreffler took control of an improving offense, rushing for 169 yards on 27 carries, including a 57-yard scorcher in the second quarter that put six on the board. “Dalton scored on a broken play,” Lassi said. “We were in a wildcat formation where he took the direct snap from center. It was low and he bobbled it, cut right, then cut back left and ran it all the way in.” The two-point conversion failed.
Later in the quarter, Ely capitalized on its sudden momentum, recovering from a holding penalty with first-and-goal at the two yard-line. After a couple runs showed little progress, senior quarterback Bryce Longwell went to the air on fourth and seven. “We ran what we call a swinging gate and Longwell threw a nice pass to sophomore halfback Mason Davis for the score,” said Lassi. Davis also converted on the two-point conversion to give the Timberwolves a 14-0 lead at the half.
“We played really well defensively almost all night long,” Lassi said. “Again, we bent some but didn’t break until late in the game.”
Late in the fourth quarter, an injury to a Viking player delayed play for about 30 minutes. “We had a couple of huge penalties on us after that delay, and they drove down and scored,” Lassi said. Cook County recovered their onside kick and another quick Vikings’ score tied the game.
In overtime, the Timberwolves failed to score on their possession from the 10-yard line. The Vikings found the end zone to end the game.
On defense, Schreffler led the team in tackles with 11. Longwell had an interception and junior defensive tackle Lane Anderson had a fumble recovery.
“After this effort, we are looking to be in every game,” Lassi said. We know we are able to play. We have to find a way to finish it.”
Ely hosts Silver Bay (3-1) Friday night for homecoming at 7 p.m. The Wolves travel to Northeast Range on Friday, Oct. 4. That game will begin at 4 p.m.