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Timberwolves edge LOW

Jay Greeney
Posted 9/21/18

ELY— The Timberwolves scored a touchdown in the final seconds of the first half to take an 18-14 lead over a much-improved Lake of the Woods team last Friday, and it proved to be the difference as …

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Timberwolves edge LOW

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ELY— The Timberwolves scored a touchdown in the final seconds of the first half to take an 18-14 lead over a much-improved Lake of the Woods team last Friday, and it proved to be the difference as Ely improved to 2-1 on the season.

In the opening minutes, it looked like a potential repeat of Ely’s 76-0 rout of the Bears last year. The Bears went three-and-out in the game’s opening drive and a solid Ely punt return left the Wolves first-and-ten at the LOW 35-yard line. On Ely’s first play from scrimmage, senior halfback Nick Mattila scampered right to put six points on the board. A failed conversion left Ely up 6-0 just two minutes into the game.

When the Bears fumbled the following kickoff, Ely once again had possession in Bears territory and looked poised to put more points on the board. But LOW held the Wolves, who went three-and-out.

But Ely was soon knocking on the door once again, thanks to a couple long runs in their next possession. Junior runningback Nate Nettifee took it home from the six-yard line to put the Wolves up 12-0.

“I thought we came out very strong,” said Ely Head Coach Cory Lassi. “I thought we were in control on both sides of the ball for the first quarter, and then we started to show our lack of depth.”

Indeed, it was soon LOW’s turn to put points on the board. The Bears recovered their own fumble on their next drive and in the confusion took the ball 32-yards for a touchdown.

The Bears proved they could do it for real on a long drive late in second quarter, capped by an 18-yard rush. The Bears converted for two to take a 14-12 lead with less than a minute-and-a-half left ahead of the break.

The Wolves made good use of the time, however, thanks to a strong rushing performance that quickly brought Ely to the red zone. That’s where junior runningback Dalton Schreffler found daylight with just seconds left and juked his way into the end zone to put Ely up 18-14.

And for the second game in a row, neither the Wolves nor their opponents managed to score in the second half as fumbles and penalties kept both teams off balance.

The two teams combined for six fumbles, while LOW tallied 13 penalties for 110 yards while the Wolves had six for 45 yards.

“We need to do a better job with ball security,” said Lassi. “We had a chance to put more points on the board in the third with two good drives, but both ended in fumbles.” the game both teams moved the ball as Ely had 328 total yards and Lake of the Woods had 342.

Offensively, the Wolves were once again led by Mattila, who rushed 16 times for 187 yards and a touchdown. Nettifee added 61 yards and a score and Schreffler racked up 30 yards and the Wolves’ deciding touchdown. Bryce Longwell completed two of six passes for 49 yards.

Schreffler had a big night on defense, posting 19 tackles, while Mattila and Collen Seliskar each added 16.

Ely will host 3-0 South Ridge on Friday. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.

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