DeWulf leads Tigers to section title, state berth
Norman County East/Ulen-Hitterdal spoiled the annual homecoming game and an undefeated regular season for the Nevis 9-man football team.
The Tigers returned the favor by spoiling NCE/UH’s attempt to win the Section 6 9-man title.
Jack DeWulf delivered three key plays in leading the top-seeded Tigers to a 20-18 victory over No. 3 NCE/UH Thursday afternoon at the Fargodome.
The Titans handed Nevis its only loss of the season with a 20-14 victory on Oct. 6 during the Tigers' homecoming game. Despite that loss, Nevis entered the section championship game as the No. 1 seed and rated No. 6 in the state Class 9-man poll. NCE/UH entered the rematch rated No. 10 in the state poll.
This rematch of the 2014 section title game was expected to be another close battle. Both teams lived up to the billing.
DeWulf gave the Tigers a 14-0 lead with a 61-yard touchdown run on Nevis’ second play from scrimmage and with a 52-yard TD run with 11:50 to play in the first half. DeWulf hit Zach Henry on the two-point conversion on the first score at the 7:29 mark of the first quarter while DeWulf’s second long TD run capped a five-play, 76-yard drive.
NCE/UH retaliated as Noah Klemetson’s 34-yard run at the 10:00 mark and Sunny Resnick’s 5-yard TD run at the 4:25 mark cut the lead to 14-12. Klemetson’s TD run capped a four-play, 59-yard drive following an interception while Resnick's TD run concluded an 11-play drive.
Nevis took the opening kickoff of the second half and drove to the NCE/UH 10-yard line before a holding penalty ended that threat.
Nevis’ defense forced a fumble on the ensuing series and the Tigers took over at their own 45. Henry capped a four-play, 55-yard drive with a 34-yard TD run as Nevis led 20-12 with 4:16 remaining in the third quarter.
The Titans responded with a nine-play, 57-yard drive with Klementson’s 14-yard TD reception from Tate Maesse closing the margin to 20-18 with 11:53 remaining.
Nevis ran 12 plays and took 6:32 off the clock by marching to the NCE/UH 30. That drive stalled at the 28 as the Titans regained possession with 5:21 remaining.
After converting a fourth-and-1 to keep the drive alive, NCE/UH’s chance to rally for the win ended when DeWulf intercepted a pass with 2:00 remaining at the Nevis 25 on fourth-and-6 at the Titans' 49.
Nevis was able to run out the clock to advance to the state playoffs for the first time since defeating Ada-Borup 38-35 for the section title in 2012. This marked Nevis’ fifth trip to the section title game in the last eight seasons. Nevis lost to Ada-Borup 37-7 in 2010, lost to NCE/UH 29-20 in 2014 and lost to Waubun 32-28 last season.
The Tigers will carry a 9-1 record into a state quarterfinal game at Bemidji State University on Nov. 10. Nevis will play the Section 7 champion (either Cook County or North Woods) at 8 p.m.NCE/UH 0 12 0 6...18Nevis 8 6 6 0...20SCORINGN--J. DeWulf 61 run (Henry pass from J. DeWulf)N--J. DeWulf 52 run (pass failed)NCE/UH--Klemetson 34 run (pass failed)NCE/UH--Resnick 5 run (run failed)N--Henry 34 run (run failed)NCE/UH--Klemetson 14 pass from Maesse (pass failed)