MOUNTAIN IRON — After nearly a two-week break due to a Floodwood forfeit, Mountain Iron-Buhl head coach Dan Zubich was a little concerned heading into Wednesday’s game against Isle.
However, Zubich and the Rangers had nothing to worry about as they dominated the Huskies, 76-26, in the team’s season finale.
The victory gives MI-B (7-1) a bye in the opening round of the Section 7 9-Man playoffs Tuesday and a date in the semifinals on Oct. 26 at home against an opponent still to be determined.
“It was pretty good,’’ Zubich said of his team’s outstanding all-around performance.
The coach added that Isle had played North Central and Carlton tough, so he was happy to be ahead 60-6 at halftime. “We came to play.’’
The Rangers scored 30 points in both the first and second quarters behind the running of Dillon Drake and Asher Zubich, and also the freshman quarterback’s passing. Drake had two touchdowns in the first and second quarter.
Zubich passed for two TDs in the first quarter and ran 75 yards for another. Zubich added two passing TDs in the second quarter.
MI-B was firing on all cylinders right from the start, evidenced by the fact they didn’t have to punt in the contest and that they came into the game with a healthy squad.
“Since week two or three it’s the first time we had all of our guys suited up, so we’re happy about that. We finally had everybody,’’ which included both Ryan Drake and Aidan Bissonette, the coach said. Playing without them for a couple weeks was “tough,’’ he added. “We’re finally healthy and they get a long break here now until the following Saturday so we should be good to go.’’
The paced slowed down a bit in the second half, but Drake added a four-yard scoring run and Hunter Weigel scored his second touchdown of the night on a 67-yard pass and catch from Zubich. Weigel scored on a 12-yard pass from Zubich in the first quarter, as well.
Besides the offensive fireworks, the defense stoodout, coach Zubich said, especially against Teagen Haggberg of Isle, who is a 1,000-yard passer.
The whole team responded to the challenge of locking up the No. 1 playoff seed. In addition to the importance of the game, Zubich told his players they could have the MEA weekend off if they win and get the bye. MI-B answered the call on both accounts.
Other Rangers hitting pay dirt were Sam Lokken with a 52-yard TD pass from Zubich in the second quarter and Bissonette hauling in a 5-yard pass from Zubich before the first half came to a close.
The playoff seedings should be determined today.
Isle 0 6 14 6 — 26
MI-B 30 30 16 0 — 76
MIB — Dillon Drake 18 run (Sam Lokken pass from Asher Zubich)
MIB — Hunter Weigel 12 pass from Zubich (Drake run)
MIB — Zubich 75 run (pass failed)
MIB — Drake 6 pass from Zubich (Zubich run)
MIB — Lokken 52 pass from Zubich (run failed)
MIB — Drake 1 run (Drake run)
MIB — Drake 1 run (Zubich run)
MIB — Aidan Bissonette 5 pass from Zubich (Zubich run)
I — Ethan Benson 35 pass from Teagen Haggberg (run failed)
MIB — Drake 4 run (Drake run)
I — Willy Stalker 36 pass from Haggberg (Haggberg run)
MIB — Weigel 67 pass from Zubich (Zubich run)
I — Lucas Gross 18 pass from Haggberg (run failed)
I — Stalker 31 pass from Daniel Miller (pass failed)
Lake of the Woods 16
At Ely, the Ely football team closed out their regular season with a 32-16 win over Lake of the Woods Wednesday night.
Fueled by 24 first half points, the Timberwolves had to work for it in the second half due to 16 straight points from Bears in the third quarter. Ely didn’t break, however, and scored once more in the fourth to lock things up. Bryce Longwell connected with Mason Davis on a short, 5-yard pass in the first quarter to make it a 6-0 game.
TJae Banks grabbed his first touchdown on the night with a 29-yard run in the second quarter and then followed it up with a 1-yard run later in the frame to put Ely up 18-0. Davis then hit Jason Kerntz on a 55-yard pass for the last score of the quarter, giving the Timberwolves a 24-0 lead heading into the break.
Lake of the Woods’ Tucker Ferrier put his squad on the board in the third quarter, catching a 62-yard touchdown pass from Kodi Jonassen to make it 24-8 after the Jonassen two-point run.
Ferrier wasn’t done just yet, running in another score in the quarter from three yards out and making it a one-possession game after converting on the two-point run.
“The momentum was switching huge,” Ely head coach Cory Lassi said of the third quarter. “They cut our lead to 24-16 and we needed some guys to step up for us to change that momentum around again in the fourth quarter.
One player to step up for the Timberwolves was junior defensive tackle Lane Anderson. Anderson finished the night with 1 tackles, including five for a loss, a performance that switched things around for Ely according to Lassi.
“He was huge for us. He really stepped up big when we needed him to.”
Ely grabbed their last score of the game on a 42-yard run from Kerntz in the fourth quarter. A two-point run from Bryce Longwell made the final score 32-16, giving Ely a win to close out the regular season.
“Last week we did not play well at all against Cherry so we wanted to turn things around and have that momentum going into next week,” Lassi said. “I thought we did a good job of that and it’ll help us get motivated for Tuesday.”
Ely begins their playoff push next Tuesday. Their opponent and location is yet to be determined.
LOTW 0 0 16 0 — 16
Ely 6 18 0 8 — 32
E: Mason Davis 5 pass from Bryce Longwell (run fail)
E: Tjae Banks 29 run (run fail)
E: Banks 1 run (run fail)
E: Jason Kerntz 55 pass from Davis (run fail)
LOTW: Tucker Ferrier 62 pass from Kodi Jonassen (Jonassen run)
LOTW: Ferrier 3 run (Farrier run)
E: Kerntz 42 run (Longwell run)
International Falls 54,
At International Falls, the Devils saw their regular season come to a close Wednesday without a win, falling to the Broncos 54-0.
No further information was available as this edition went to press.
Two Harbors 20,
At Two Harbors, a solid Eveleth-Gilbert defense forced five Wednesday night, but they weren’t able to convert those into points as the Golden Bears fell to Two Harbors, 20-7.
The Bears lone score came in the third quarter on a flea-flicker pass 26 yards out from Nick Beaudette to Nathan Tassoni. The ensuing extra point kick from Will Troutwine was good.
Eveleth-Gilbert finishes the regular season 3-5 and await their first playoff opponent on Tuesday.
Eveleth-Gilbert 0 0 7 0 — 7
Two Harbors 0 13 7 0 — 20
TH: Eli Schlangen 2 run (kick good)
TH: 41 pass, name not provided (kick fail)
TH: Dylan Barrick 21 run (kick good)
EG: Nathan Tassoni 26 pass from Nick Beaudette (Will Troutwine kick good)