Chase, DeWulf led Tigers to 10-1 season
No other football team in Minnesota dominated the first halves the way Nevis did this season.
Outscoring their opponents 268-0 in the first half and 508-113 overall led the Tigers to an 8-0 record during the regular season and the No. 2 seed for the Section 6 9-man playoffs. Nevis advanced to the section title game, only to see a 28-12 lead with six minutes to play disappear in a 32-28 loss to No. 1 Waubun that put an end to a 10-1 season.
Leading the Tigers to the No. 4 ranking in the final state poll were seniors Griffin Chase, Dylan Queenan, Logan Tinnes and Cameron Gross; and juniors Jack DeWulf, Jack Landquist, Tucker Roehl and Kyle Schmidt. Chase, Queenan, Tinnes, DeWulf and Landquist received District 9 North Gold honors while Gross, Roehl and Schmidt received all-district honorable mention honors.
Chase was also named to the 9-man All-State Team and the Minnesota Vikings All-State Team while DeWulf was an All-State honorable mention player and the sub-district's MVP Back. Landquist was named the sub-district's MVP Lineman.
Chase was the Tigers' leading receiver, catching 29 passes for 549 yards and 11 touchdowns while finishing second with 94 points. Defensively, Chase had nine interceptions, returning three for touchdowns, while adding 17 tackles.
DeWulf started at quarterback and completed 53 of 95 passes for 1,285 yards and 17 TDs. DeWulf led the team with 124 carries for 887 yards and 14 TDs and led the Tigers with 100 points. On defense, DeWulf made 22 tackles and had four interceptions.
Tinnes rushed 55 times for 423 yards and eight TDs while scoring 66 points and adding 68 tackles, two quarterback sacks and five interceptions on defense.
Landquist compiled 20 tackles, two sacks and two interceptions while Queenan had 31 tackles and one sack defensively.
Schmidt and Roehl were key running backs with Schmidt rushing 78 times for 547 yards and eight TDs in scoring 60 points and Roehl rushing 42 times for 266 yards and two TDs and 18 points. Defensively, Schmidt was in on 59 tackles with an interception and a fumble recovery while Roehl made 67 tackles with an interception and a fumble recovery. Gross had 47 tackles, 2.5 sacks and a fumble recovery.
Receiving team awards were Chase (MVP and Offensive Back of the Year), Landquist (Defensive Lineman of the Year), Schmidt (Defensive Back of the Year), senior Andrew Dudley (Offensive Lineman of the Year) and freshman Luke DeWulf (Freshman of the Year and Special Teams Player of the Year). Juniors Tom Wormley and Zach Henry received Coaches Awards.
Dudley caught 13 passes for 583 yards and five TDs and and scored 30 points while adding 13 tackles. Luke DeWulf rushed 23 times for 221 yards and four TDs and scored 38 points while adding 14 tackles and two interceptions. Wormley made 20 tackles and had a quarterback sack while Henry caught eight passes for 162 yards and two TDs and scored 26 points while adding 32 tackles and an interception.
Also playing key roles on offense were senior Kyler Reese (40 carries for 168 yards and five TDs), sophomore Keanu Yabandith (20 carries for 177 yards and one TD) and freshman Darin Keezer (44 carries for 203 yards and three TDs).
Other main contributors on defense were Reese (22 tackles and an interception), Yabandith (15 tackles), junior Patrick Kuhn (23 tackles), junior Noah Veit (12 tackles) and sophomore Ben Soldwisch (14 tackles).
That group helped the Tigers dominate during the regular season.
In the season opener, Nevis used a 46-0 halftime lead for a 66-16 win over Bigfork and followed with a 26-0 win over Kelliher-Northome after leading 8-0 at the half. The Tigers jumped out to a 38-0 halftime lead in a 54-6 win over Isle and used a 24-0 halftime lead for a 42-6 win over Silver Bay. The Tigers led Ogilvie 8-0 at the half in a 20-12 win and jumped out to a 34-0 halftime lead in a 54-6 win over Isle. Nevis dominated Onamia in a 56-14 win, leading 50-0 at the half, and jumped out to a 60-0 lead in a 74-6 win over Lake of the Woods in the regular-season finale.
In the section playoffs, Nevis used a 50-0 halftime lead to defeat Laporte 66-0 and edged Norman County East/Ulen-Hitterdal 22-15 after leading 8-7 at the half. Nevis led Waubun 16-6 at the half before falling in the section championship game.
"The season was a very successful one. This group of young men worked extremely hard and made many sacrifices for each other," said Nevis head coach Shawn Klimek. "This was one of the most enjoyable group of guys that I have ever coached. They were willing to do anything we asked them to do without complaining. They alway put the team first. Like every year, we graduate a group of extremely talented seniors. With continued hard work during the offseason, we should be competitive again during the 2017 football season."