Tigers rally by U-H, earn spot in section championship game
Some big offensive plays and some big defensive stops helped the Nevis 9-man football team advance to the Section 6 championship game.
Zach Anderson threw three touchdown passes to offset four touchdowns by Dillon Stevens in leading the Tigers to a 32-24 victory over Ulen-Hitterdal last Saturday night at Nevis.
Sean Howes opened the scoring on the opening series with a 65-yard TD run and kicked the extra point to give the No. 2-seeded Tigers a 7-0 lead with 10:30 to play in the first quarter.
A 25-yard run by Nick Halfmann set up a 15-yard scoring play from Anderson to Beau Daniels as Nevis led 13-0 with :09 remaining in the opening period.
Ulen-Hitterdal, the No. 3 seed, got back in the game when Stevens returned the ensuing kickoff 93 yards for a score to end the first quarter.
The Spartans made it 13-12 when a pair of 15-yard Nevis penalties set up an 18-yard TD run by Stevens at the 8:36 mark of the second quarter.
After stopping U-H at the 6-yard line on the next series, the Tigers marched 94 yards to claim a 19-12 lead with 2:12 remaining in the first half. A 35-yard run by Nick Halfmann opened the drive, which was capped on a 39-yard TD pass from Anderson to Daniels.
The Spartans mounted another scoring threat, but Nevis recovered a fumble at the 19 to end the half.
U-H took the lead in the third quarter when Stevens scored on a 49-yard run and a 6-yard run.
Nevis responded on a 34-yard pass from Anderson to Dylan Stenberg before sealing the win on Halfmann's 5-yard TD run in the fourth quarter.
The Tigers compiled 477 yards in offense with Halfmann rushing 21 times for 167 yards and Howes adding 87 yards on seven carries. Anderson completed 8 of 14 passes for 185 yards with Daniels catching three passes for 104 yards and Stenberg catching five passes for 81 yards.
Defensively, Halfmann and Collin Huckbody made 15 tackles each with Matt Gustafson (14), Garrett Edelman (13), Billy Andrus (12), Mathew Halik (12) and Daniels (10) also reaching double digits in tackles. Andrus and Halik also had fumble recoveries for the Tigers.
The win lifted Nevis to 8-2 on the season while U-H ended the year at 6-4.
"That was a huge win for the boys," said Nevis head coach Shawn Klimek. "They have been talking about getting to the section title game all season long. It was one of our goals for the season. Now we want to win it."
The Tigers played No. 1-seeded Ada-Borup for the section title Friday at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks.
N-Howes 65 run (Howes kick)
N-Daniels 15 pass from Anderson (kick failed)
UH-Stevens 93 kickoff return (run failed)
UH-Stevens 18 run (pass failed)
N-Daniels 39 pass from Anderson (kick failed)
UH-Stevens 49 run (run failed)
UH-Stevens 6 run (run failed)
N-Stenberg 34 pass from Anderson (pass failed)
N-Halfmann 5 run (Howes kick)
NEVIS OFFENSIVE STATISTICS
RUSHING: Halfmann 21-167, Howes 7-87, Becker 6-21, Stenberg 1-10, Gustafson 1-10, Anderson 1-(-3).
PASSING: Anderson 8-14-2 for 185 yards.
RECEIVING: Daniels 3-104, Stenberg 5-81.
NEVIS DEFENSIVE STATISTICS
SOLO TACKLES: Halfmann 7, Andrus 7, Gustafson 6, Edelman 6, Halik 6, Daniels 6, Huckbody 5, Becker 2, Keezer 2, Stenberg 2, Phillips 2, Howes 1, Anderson 1.
ASSISTED TACKLES: Huckbody 10, Halfmann 8, Gustafson 8, Edelman 7, Becker 7, Halik 6, Andrus 5, Daniels 4, Keezer 2, Hines 2, Phillips 1.
FUMBLE RECOVERIES: Andrus 1, Halik 1.