The ticker: A quick look at area teams in action
November 20, 2020
Covid-19 affects playoff picture
Local playoff football teams have had their seasons sliced by Covid-19 and the playoffs have turned into an extension of those problems.
Carlton-Wrenshall was scheduled to play at Hinckley-Finlayson on Tuesday night, but the Raptors had to forfeit due to Covid exposure of their team.
South Ridge was scheduled to open the playoffs against McGregor on Friday night, but that game was also a forfeit as the Mercs are unable to field a team. That means the Panthers will move on to the second round of the Section 5 nine-man tournament.
The Cromwell-Wright Cardinals had their game against Hill City moved up to Wednesday afternoon in an effort to get the game in prior to any announcement from the state Wednesday night regarding the status of high school sports.
Northeast Range 0
Quarterback Sam Ojibway threw for more than 200 yards and passed for a pair of touchdowns in leading the Raptors to the shutout win. “I thought, considering the conditions, we played fairly well,” said Raptors coach Jeremy Zywicki. “Northeast Range packed the box with eight players, forcing us to throw the ball a lot.”
The Raptors scored two touchdowns in the first half and a pair of touchdowns in the second half to secure the win.
The Carlton/Wrenshall football season ended abruptly this week when players had to go into quarantine after a fellow athlete, a volleyball player from Wrenshall, tested positive for Covid-19. “The volleyball team, football team, coaching staff and bus drivers are in quarantine for 14 days,” Wrenshall superintendent Kim Belcastro said Wednesday.
The Raptors had to forfeit a playoff game scheduled for Tuesday with Hinckley-Finlayson. Had the team won, any advancement would have been thwarted as the state suspended high school sports on Wednesday.
The Eskomos moved to 3-3 on the season with an impressive 21-0 win on the road in Brainerd over the Crosby-Ironton Rangers. After a scoreless first quarter the Eskomos scored twice in the second quarter to go ahead 14-0 at halftime. Esko’s first score was on a 19-yard touchdown run. After the extra point kick, they led it 7-0.
Before halftime, Kevin Gregory plunged in from a yard out and Wyatt Stankiewicz added the conversion kick, making it a two-score lead entering the break. Mason Perich added the only touchdown in the second half for either team when he scored on a 5-yard touchdown run, making it 21-0 after the Stankiewicz extra point kick. Esko mustered 153 total yards to just 125 for the Rangers in the defensive-minded affair.
East Central 0 (OT)
The Nov. 11 evening game between Barnum and East Central resembled a snow globe at times. With 5 inches of the fluffy stuff on the ground, the grounds crew shoveled off line markers to help players and coaches identify yardage on the field.
“They cleared off every five yards including the hashes and the sidelines, but everything else was 5 inches of snow,” said Bombers coach Bob Mikkinen. “We outgained East Central 200 to 75 yards of offense, but we couldn’t punch it in when we were inside of the red zone.”
The Bombers stopped East Central on its overtime possession and then freshman quarterback Hayden Charboneau completed a pass to junior tight end JJ Stevems on the Bombers’ first play to seal the win.
Offensive stars for Barnum were Willie Richardson: 19 carries, 79 yards; Max Moors: 18 carries, 77 yards; and JJ Stevens: one catch, 10 yards, TD.
Barnum defensive stalwarts were Max Moors: nine tackles, forced fumble, fumble recovery; Caden Sheff: six tackles, two tackles for loss, fumble recovery; Devon Jones: six tackles, one tackle for loss, one pass breakup; Aiden Litfin: six tackles, one sack, two tackles for loss, fumble recovery; and Garrett Coughlin: five tackles, one sack, fumble recovery.
South Ridge 24
North Central 0
The Panthers kept their unbeaten record intact with a road win in Kelliher against the Stars. Conner Bushbaum scored the game’s first touchdown with a 44-yard jaunt and the Panthers added the two-point conversion on an Aaron Bennett-to-Weston Stroschein pass, giving South Ridge an 8-0 lead in the first quarter. Tyler Anderson pushed the Panthers lead to 14-0 when he scored on a 6-yard touchdown run, then Zach Wells made it 16-0 when he blasted in for the two-point conversion midway through the second quarter. Bushbaum ended the scoring just six seconds into the final quarter when he ran one in from 13 yards away, followed by an Aaron Bennett-to-Jaxson Bennett two-point conversion pass. For the game, the Panthers outgained the Stars 286 to 107 yards, with Bushbaum rushing for 172 of those yards for South Ridge.
Cook County 18
The Cardinals managed to take the road win in the seesaw affair played in Cook County Thursday, Nov. 12. Cromwell-Wright took an 8-0 lead in the first quarter when Ethan Shelton scored on a 32-yard touchdown run and Jaeger Goranson completed a conversion pass to Emmett Clark. However, before the quarter ended, the Vikings cut the gap to 8-6 on a long run of their own. Early in the second quarter Goranson slipped in from the 12-yard line, but again the Vikings responded with a score of their own before halftime, making it 14-12 for Cromwell-Wright after both teams failed on their conversion points. In the third quarter Goranson tacked on a 13-yard touchdown run and Dany Butera added the conversion, pushing the lead to 21-12 after three quarters. The Vikings scored on a long touchdown pass early in the final quarter, but the Cards answered with their final score of the game on a 41-yard touchdown blast from Goranson to make the final 27-18.
Moose Lake/Willow River
The Rebels season has been canceled for the remainder of the season after all ML/WR football coaches, players and managers were required to quarantine until Nov. 14. They would have missed games on Nov. 5 and 12, then started playoffs Nov. 17 after only one day of practice and conditioning. The Rebels ended the season with three wins and one loss.
The ticker is compiled by Pine Knot News sportswriter Kerry Rodd.