FIELD TWP— The Grizzlies emerged the winners from a dramatic fourth-quarter shootout with Silver Bay here last Friday during which the two teams combined for 48 points in the final stanza. North …
FIELD TWP— The Grizzlies emerged the winners from a dramatic fourth-quarter shootout with Silver Bay here last Friday during which the two teams combined for 48 points in the final stanza. North Woods topped the Mariners 46-33 for their first win of the season. It was a much-needed confidence boost as they prepare to take on powerhouse Cook County in Grand Marais this Friday.
“Overall we played a good game,” Coach John Jirik said. “Our offense has been developing over the last few weeks and we were able to read open holes beginning in the second half. We were able to drive the ball and finish drives in the last quarter.”
The Grizzlies opened the scoring on a five-yard pass from senior quarterback Chase Kleppe to Trevor Morrison for six.
Silver Bay would match the points on their next possession, capped by a 40-yard run.
The Grizzlies responded in the second quarter with another scoring drive, this one ending in a one-yard plunge by junior runningback Nathan Crain.
Silver Bay put seven on the board in the third quarter, but Kleppe, playing on defense, grabbed a 35-yard interception minutes later and took it in for a touchdown to reclaim the momentum for North Woods. It was one of two Kleppe interceptions in the game.
It was all preparation, however, for the offensive explosion that was to come. Kleppe would score two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter, both on short runs, while senior Jake Hyppa and junior Clayton Janssen each posted touchdown rushes of their own.
Silver Bay got in on the action as well, scoring 20 points of its own in the stanza, but it wasn’t enough to keep pace with the Grizzlies.
The North Woods offense had a good night, racking up 395 yards of total offense, including 339 yards on the ground. Kleppe completed four of nine attempts, good for 56 yards passing and added 73 yards rushing.
Hyppa led in rushing with 125 yards, while freshman TJ Chiabotti rushed for 85.
Brody Driscoll and Kleppe tied for tackles on the evening at 13 apiece, followed closely by Crain with 12. While the North Woods offense has been showing promise, Jirik said the team’s defensive line still isn’t where it needs to be. “Defensively, we took a step backwards on the running game and need to stay disciplined with our responsibilities,” he said.
Jirik noted the Silver Bay’s lack of experience contributed to the Grizzlies’ win on Friday.
They won’t have inexperience to rely on Friday against Cook County, which is fielding ten seniors this year and is the current favorite to take the section. Kickoff in Grand Marais is at 5 p.m.