AURORA — The Mesabi East football team ran in to a tough Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin squad on Wednesday night.
The Titans raced out to a 48-0 halftime lead and hung on to beat the Giants, 56-16.
“We dropped the ball a few times in the first half and that hurt us,” Mesabi East coach Steve Grams said. “When you turn the ball over against a good team like they are, they can make it hurt.”
Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin opened up the scoring when quarterback Blace Tomberlin hit Tom Cuellar with a 13-yard touchdown pass to make it a 6-0 game.
Tomberlin ran in the 2-point conversion to make it an 8-0 lead.
The Titans then had a squib kick that was fumbled by the Giants and recovered at the Mesabi East 48 yard line to give the G/N-L the ball back.
After a pair of running plays, Eli Conaway took a hand off and raced 36 yards to pay dirt to make it a 14-0 contest.
The two point conversion failed.
The Giants could not get anything going on their next possession and the Titans took over after a Giants punt at their own 38-yard line.
Tomberlin hit Dylan DeChampeau with a pass and the senior raced 64 yards to the endzone to make it a 20-0 game.
The Giants fumbled the ball on their own 37-yard line as time was running out in the quarter and the Titans recovered the ball.
They didn’t waste any time adding to their lead when Conaway ran in from 2 yards out.
The extra point conversion failed and the Titans lead was 26-0.
The Giants could not move the ball on their next possession and the Titans had the ball on their own 40 yard line after a Giants punt.
Conaway picked up another touchdown when he ran it in from three yards out to make it a 32-0 game.
The Giants still could not move the ball against the tough Titans defense and were forced to punt.
Tomberlin fielded the punt and raced 41 yards for a touchdown to make it a 38-0 game.
He then hit DeChampeau with a 2-point conversion pass to make it 40-0.
They were not done with their first half scoring yet.
The kick-off was fumbled by the Giants and recovered at the Mesabi East 20 yard line.
Tomberlin then hit DeChampeau with a 11 yard pass to make it 46-0.
DeAngelo Jefferson ran in the 2-point conversion and the Titans led 48-0 at the half.
“We told our guys at halftime to just go out there and not give up,” Grams said. “We just wanted to keep playing football and not get anybody hurt.”
The entire second half was played in running time.
The Titans scored the only points in the third quarter when Jefferson ran one in from 22 yards out.
Israel Hartman ran in the two-point conversion to make it 56-0.
The Giants were not about to give up.
They picked up their first points of the game when Gavin skelton raced in from 13 yards out to put the Giants on the board.
Mesabi East scored the 2-point conversion when Hunter Hannuksela took the snap, pitched the ball to Skelton, who then tossed it to Hunter Levander in the endzone for the two points.
Mesabi East then recovered the on side kick.
They then went down field and Hannuksela hit Levander with a 13 yard pass for a touchdown.
Hannuksela ran in the 2-point conversion to close out the scoring in the game.
“We don’t know who we will have to play in the playoffs yet,” Grams said. “We will just have to get back to work and get ready for whoever it is. I was proud of these guys tonight. They didn’t give up and played hard until the final horn.”
Mesabi East will open up playoff play on Tuesday with their opponent yet to be determined.
GNK 20 28 8 0 — 56
ME 0 0 0 16 — 16
G: Tom Cuellar 13 pass from Blace Tomberlin (Tomberlin run)
G: Eli Conaway 39 run (run fail)
G: Dylan DeChampeau 64 pass from Tomberlin (pass fail)
G: Conaway 2 run (run fail)
G: Conaway 3 run (pass fail)
G: Tomberlin 40 punt return (DeChampeau run)
G: DeChampeau 9 pass from Tomberlin (Deangelo Jefferson run)
G: Jefferson 22 run (Israel Hartman run)
ME: Gavin Skelton 13 run (Hunter Levander pass from Skelton)
ME: Levander 11 pass from Hunter Hannuksela (Hannuksela run)