Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Wolves shutout by Panthers

Jay Greeney
Posted 9/26/18

ELY – Timberwolves fans had little to cheer for last Friday night as visiting South Ridge blanked Ely 29-0 to snap the Wolves’ two-game winning streak.

Despite the lopsided score, Ely had …

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Wolves shutout by Panthers

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ELY – Timberwolves fans had little to cheer for last Friday night as visiting South Ridge blanked Ely 29-0 to snap the Wolves’ two-game winning streak.

Despite the lopsided score, Ely had its chances. South Ridge took six minutes off the clock in a scoring drive on their first possession, but the Wolves stiffened for much of the rest of the first half. A Panther interception on Ely’s first possession left them in Wolves territory. After driving to Ely’s 17-yard line, the Panthers stalled and when Ely blocked a field goal attempt it seemed the momentum had shifted.

In the second quarter, the Panthers flubbed the snap on a punt, giving Ely their first real scoring opportunity, starting at the South Ridge 21-yard line with 6:21 remaining. The Wolves drove the South Ridge eight-yard line, leaving them first-and-goal.

But the stout Panthers’ defense kept Ely out of the end zone and scoreless with 3:02 remaining.

“That was big momentum switch,” said Ely Head Coach Cory Lassi. “Had a chance to take the lead going into the half, but a fumble that later resulted in a South Range touchdown took the wind out of us.”

The Panthers’ big offensive line provided plenty of pass protection on the ensuing drive. They completed two long passes to spot them first and ten at Ely’s 13-yard line with just 9.4 seconds left in the half. That’s when South Ridge hit pay dirt once again on a pass play as time ran out. Ely blocked the extra point, leaving the Panthers up 13-0.

Ely had the ball to start the second half, but defense ruled for much of the third quarter, until a blocked punt by the Panthers gave them the ball on the Wolves 30-yard line. They capped a quick drive with a 13-yard touchdown run and added a two-point conversion to give them a 21-0 lead with 3:21 left in the third quarter.

The Wolves again put themselves in position to score as they advanced the ball to the Panthers’ 31-yard line on a long pass play following the kickoff. But that’s where Ely again stalled, forcing it over on downs.

The Panthers took over on their 29-yard line and engineered another long drive. With 10:02 left in the game, a five-yard touchdown scamper and another two-point conversion put the Panthers up 29-0.

“We struggled to move the ball against a very physical South Ridge team,” said Lassi. “We ended up with 145 yards of offense.”

South Ridge, meanwhile, racked up 354 yards and dominated the time of possession.

Things won’t get any easier for the Wolves. “We have another tough matchup with MI-B as we are in the heart of our schedule,” said Lassi.

That game, set for Saturday, will be played in MI-B’s new astroturf stadium. Kickoff is set for noon.

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