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Rapids rushes through 'Jacks

The Cloquet Lumberjacks opened play in the Section 7AAAA football playoffs on Tuesday night at the No. 5 seed, hitting the road to play No. 4 Grand Rapids.

Cloquet upended the Thunderhawks a season ago in the playoffs, but not this time. Grand Rapids reversed its fortunes by eliminating the Lumberjacks 48-22.

Cloquet drove the ball to midfield to open the game, but the drive stalled and eventually the ’Jacks punted the ball, pinning Grand Rapids back on their own 12-yard line.

Seven plays later, the Thunderhawks scored as they took a 7-0 lead.

Grand Rapids scored another touchdown in the first minute of the second quarter and before the first quarter ended, the Thunderhawks led it 27-3. Cloquet’s only score in the first half was a 21-yard field goal by Cooper Ellena.

Unfortunately for Cloquet, the Thunderhawks proved to have too much of a ground game as they overpowered the ’Jacks at the line of scrimmage, rushing for more than 400 yards on the ground.

Cloquet did manage three touchdowns in the second half — one each by Jack Battaglia, Jacob Peterson and Warren Heitala.

The Lumberjacks wrapped up the season with a record of 3-6.