Nevis' offense picked up where it left off last season by scoring on its first four possessions in a 36-21 District 9 West (North) 9-man football win over Kittson County Central in the season opener Aug. 31 at Nevis.
Luke DeWulf set the tone for the game by returning the opening kickoff 45 yards to the KCC 40-yard line. A 13-yard run by DeWulf and a 13-yard run by Chance Braton set up a 14-yard touchdown run by DeWulf. That quick three-play drive gave the Tigers a 6-0 lead with 11:06 to play in the first quarter.
After forcing KCC to punt, the Tigers drove 68 yards in 16 plays to pad their lead. Keanu Yabandith opened the drive with an 18-yard run. DeWulf followed a holding penalty with a 7-yard run and caught a 24-yard pass from Derek Lindow as Nevis marched into KCC territory. Braton's 10-yard run, Yabandith's 11-yard reception and Yabandith's 9-yard catch on fourth-and-5 set up a 6-yard TD run by DeWulf. Yabandith ran in the conversion as Nevis led 14-0 with 1:16 to play in the opening quarter. That 16-play drive consumed 7:30 off the clock.
KCC was forced to punt on its second series and the Tigers put together a 10-play, 71-yard drive. Yabandith's 21-yard reception, Braton's 17-yard run, Ben Soldwisch's 17-yard catch, Lindow's 12-yard reception and DeWulf's 7-yard run on third-and-2 set up a 10-yard TD pass from DeWulf to Soldwisch. Yabandith ran in the conversion as the Tigers extended their lead to 22-0 at the 7:06 mark of the second quarter.
The Bearcats went 55 yards in nine plays on the ensuing series to cut the gap. Trent Peterson's 30-yard kickoff return, Judah Westerberg's 11-yard run and Peterson's 13-yard run set up a 9-yard TD run by Josh Rynning. Peterson's reception on the two-point conversion made it 22-8 with 3:29 left in the first half.
Nevis concluded the first half with a 63-yard scoring drive as Soldwisch's 11-yard catch and Braton's 9-yard run preceded a 12-yard scoring play from DeWulf to Yabandith. That TD with 30 seconds remaining gave Nevis a 28-8 lead at the break.
KCC opened the second half with a four-play, 69-yard scoring drive as Rynning's 15-yard run was followed with a 42-yard TD run by Peterson. Rynning's kick cut the gap to 28-15 at the 10:37 mark.
The Bearcats recovered a fumble at the Nevis 24 and trimmed the deficit to 28-21 with 4:13 to play in the third quarter when KCC overcame a holding penalty with a 30-yard pass from Rynning to Peterson.
Nevis' defense stopped the Bearcats on downs on their next series and sealed the win with an eight-play, 61-yard scoring drive. Yabandith followed a 14-yard run with a 12-yard run and DeWulf hit Soldwisch on a 14-yard route before ending the drive with a 10-yard TD run by DeWulf. Braton caught the two-point conversion as the Tigers led 36-21 with 6:29 to play.
After stopping the Bearcats on downs at the Nevis 48, the Tigers ran out the final 5:26 when DeWulf scampered for 20 yards and Yabandith rushed for 13 yards.
KCC compiled 279 yards in offense with Peterson rushing nine times for 73 yards, Rynning adding 69 yards on eight carries and Westerberg gaining 51 yards on six attempts. Rynning completed 3 of 6 passes for 37 yards.
Nevis finished with 409 yards in offense, including 182 passing and 227 rushing. DeWulf led the way with 21 carries for 127 yards while completing 13 of 17 passes for 158 yards. Yabandith added 60 yards on 12 carries while Braton had 46 yards on eight attempts. Soldwisch had six receptions for 83 yards and Yabandith had five catches for 60 yards. The Tigers finished with 24 first downs.
Yabandith led the defense with eight solo tackles. Soldwisch had five solo tackles while DeWulf and Braton had four solo stops apiece. The Tigers held KCC to only nine first downs.
In the other district games in Week 1, Goodridge-Grygla defeated Clearbrook-Gonvick 48-0, Norman County East/Ulen-Hitterdal defeated Warren-Alvarado-Oslo 48-7, Stephen-Argyle defeated Win-E-Mac 35-0 and Northern Freeze defeated Laporte 45-8.
Nevis, NCE/UH and Rothsay (a 38-22 winner over Fergus Falls Hillcrest Lutheran Academy in Week 1) sit at 1-0 while Laporte and Win-E-Mac sit at 0-1 in the five-team Section 6 9-man standings.
KCC 0 8 13 0...21
Nevis 14 14 0 8...36
N--DeWulf 14 run (run failed)
N--DeWulf 6 run (Yabandith pass from DeWulf)
N--Soldwisch 10 pass from DeWulf (Yabandith run)
KCC--Rynning 9 run (T. Peterson pass from Vagle)
N--Yabandith 12 pass from DeWulf (pass failed)
KCC--T. Peterson 42 run (Rynning kick)
KCC--T. Peterson 30 pass from Rynning (kick failed)
N--DeWulf 10 run (Braton pass from DeWulf)
RUSHING. KCC: T. Peterson 9-73, Rynning 8-69, Westerberg 5-51, Rich 9-41. Nevis: DeWulf 21-127, Yabandith 12-60, Braton 8-46, Mistic 1-(-2), Funk 1-(-2), Kline 1-(-2).
PASSING. KCC: Rynning 3-6-0 for 37 yards. Nevis: DeWulf 13-17-0 for 158 yards; Lindow 1-1-0 for 24 yards.
RECEIVING. KCC: T. Peterson 1-30, G. Peterson 2-7. Nevis: Soldwisch 6-83, Yabandith 5-60, DeWulf 1-24, Lindow 1-12, Braton 1-3.
KICKOFF RETURNS. KCC: T. Peterson 3-64, Rich 1-22. Nevis: DeWulf 2-83, Kline 1-8.
PUNT RETURNS. Nevis: DeWulf 1-9.
NEVIS DEFENSIVE STATISTICS
SOLO TACKLES: Habandith 8, Soldwisch 5, DeWulf 4, Braton 4, Mistic 3, Ahrendt 2, Henry 1, Johnson 1.
ASSISTED TACKLES: Yabandith 2, Braton 1, Mistic 1, Henry 1, Soldwisch 1.