Tigers end regular season with impressive win over Storm

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Nothing went right for the Nevis football team in the first eight minutes of the regular-season finale against Stephen-Argyle on Oct. 20.

Everything went right for the Tigers the rest of the game.

Stephen-Argyle scored the first two touchdowns in building a 12-0 lead before the Tigers responded with five unanswered scores to spark a 42-20 victory in this battle of two of the state's top-ranked 9-man football teams at Nevis.

Both teams opened the game by having to punt before a fumble was recovered by Stephen-Argyle's Josten Hoeper at the Nevis 17. On the next play, Hunter Yutrzenka hit Isaac Durand on a 17-yard TD pass as the Storm led 6-0 with 8:00 to play in the first quarter.

The Tigers responded as a 12-yard catch by Kyle Schmidt, a 9-yard run by Jack DeWulf and a 10-yard catch by Zach Henry led to fourth-and-2 at the Stephen-Argyle 31. DeWulf was stopped short as the Storm took over at the 30.

A five-play, 70-yard scoring drive followed as Stoene Spilde broke free for a 50-yard TD run. That gave the Storm a 12-0 lead with 3:42 remaining in the first quarter.

The rest of the half was dominated by Nevis.

DeWulf rushed for 9 yards and hit Tom Wormley on a 33-yard route to set up a 24-yard TD run by DeWulf. That five-play, 65-yard drive cut the gap to 12-6 at the 2:10 mark.

Yutrzenka's 16-yard run led the Storm to the Nevis 29, but Sam Hitchcock's sack ended that drive at the 39.

The Tigers followed with a six-play, 61-yard march to take the lead. Schmidt had carries of 8, 10 and 8 yards and Henry hauled in a 27-yard pass that set up a 2-yard TD plunge by Schmidt. DeWulf ran in the conversion as Nevis led 14-12 with 9:10 to play in the second quarter.

After forcing Stephen-Argyle to punt on the ensuing series, the Tigers marched 85 yards in 13 plays to extend the lead. Schmidt's 13-yard run, two carries for 12 yards by Tucker Roehl, a 13-yard run by Schmidt on third-and-9, a 19-yard run by Roehl, and a 5-yard gain by Schmidt on third-and-1 at the 9 led to a 5-yard pass from DeWulf to Henry. Schmidt ran in the conversion to give the Tigers a 22-12 advantage with 1:41 remaining before the intermission.

Henry intercepted a pass and returned it to the S-A 10, setting up a 7-yard TD run by Schmidt with 47 seconds showing as Nevis carried a 28-12 advantage into the break.

Nevis' defense controlled the second half by forcing a punt, taking over on downs and recovering a fumble on the Storm's first three possessions.

On S-A's second series, Jack Landquist tackled Yutrzenka for a 1-yard gain on fourth-and-2 as Nevis took over at midfield.

Schmidt rushed four times for 29 yards and the Storm was whistled for a facemask penalty as the Tigers drove to the S-A 7. A fumble ended that threat.

The Tigers regained possession when Michael Landquist recovered a fumble at the S-A 2. Schmidt plunged in on the next play and Henry caught the conversion to give Nevis a 36-12 cushion with 2:14 to play in the third quarter.

Stephen-Argyle put together a nine-play, 43-yard scoring drive as Spilde's 37-yard kickoff return and eight running plays for 39 yards set up a 4-yard TD pass from Yutrzenka to Wyatt Hamre. Yutrzenka ran in the conversion to cut the gap to 36-20 with 10:34 to play.

Nevis sealed the win with an 18-play, 87-yard scoring drive that used 7:58 off the clock. Schmidt rushed five times for 32 yards, Roehl had two carries for 10 yards and DeWulf rushed four times for 18 yards to set up an 11-yard TD pass from DeWulf to Henry. That concluded the scoring with 2:36 to play.

The Tigers finished with 445 yards in offense with DeWulf completing 8 of 13 passes for 135 yards and rushing 17 times for 96 yards. Schmidt had 29 carries for 156 yards while Roehl added 58 yards on eight carries. Henry caught five passes for 83 yards.

Defensively, Roehl was in on 13 tackles, Michael Landquist was in on 10 tackles, Wormley was in on nine tackles and Hitchcock was in on eight tackles. Nevis' defense forced five turnovers with Wormley's two fumble recoveries leading the way.

Stephen-Argyle finished with 224 yards in offense with Yutrzenka completing 7 of 14 passes for 56 yards and Spilde rushing 12 times for 95 yards.

The win enabled Nevis to tie Stephen-Argyle and Norman County East/Ulen-Hitterdal atop the District 9 West North standings at 7-1. Waubun ended at 6-2 while Win-E-Mac went 4-4. Kittson County Central ended at 3-5 while Clearbrook-Gonvick, Goodridge-Grygla and Warren-Alvarado-Oslo finished at 2-6. Northern Freeze went 0-8.

In the Section 6 9-man standings, Nevis, Rothsay and NCE/U-H tied for first at 7-1 with Waubun and Win-E-Mac following. Laporte ended at 0-8.

In the other regular-season finales, NCE/U-H blanked Goodridge-Grygla 32-0, Waubun defeated W-A-O 42-14, Win-E-Mac defeated Northern Freeze 30-8, KCC defeated C-G 29-17, Rothsay defeated Bertha-Hewitt 58-6 and Underwood defeated Laporte 44-8.

Nevis earned the No. 1 seed for the section playoffs and Rothsay earned the No. 2 seed to receive first-round byes. Waubun hosted Win-E-Mac in a first-round game on Oct. 24 with the winner playing at Nevis this Saturday, Oct. 28 at 1 p.m. NCE/U-H hosted Laporte in the other quarterfinal game with the winner playing at Rothsay in the other semifinal game.

Stephen-Argyle 12 0 0 8...20

Nevis 6 22 8 6...42

SCORING

SA--Durand 17 pass from Yutrzenka (kick failed)

SA--Spilde 50 run (run failed)

N--J. DeWulf 24 run (run failed)

N--Schmidt 2 run (J. DeWulf run)

N--Henry 5 pass from J. DeWulf (Schmidt run)

N--Schmidt 7 run (pass failed)

N--Schmidt 2 run (Henry pass from J. DeWulf)

SA--Hamre 4 pass from Yutrzenka (Yutrzenka run)

N--Henry 11 pass from J. DeWulf (pass failed)

OFFENSIVE STATISTICS

RUSHING. Stephen-Argyle: Spilde 12-95, Hoeper 11-25, Yutrzenka 8-22, Szczepanski 6-21, Kotts 1-5. Nevis: Schmidt 29-156, J. DeWulf 17-98, Roehl 8-58.

PASSING. Stephen-Argyle: Yutrzenka 7-14-1 for 56 yards. Nevis: J. DeWulf 8-13-0 for 135 yards.

RECEIVING. Stephen-Argyle: Durand 2-21, Szczepanski 2-16, Safranski 1-8, Spilde 1-7, Hamre 1-4. Nevis: Henry 5-83, Wormley 1-33, Schmidt 1-10, Yabandith 1-9.

NEVIS DEFENSIVE STATISTICS

SOLO TACKLES: M. Landquist 5, Roehl 5, L. DeWulf 4, Hitchcock 4, J. Landquist 4, Wormley 3, J. DeWulf 2, McGee 2, Henry 1, Schmidt 1, Veit 1.

ASSISTED TACKLES: Roehl 8, Wormley 6, M. Landquist 5, Hitchcock 4, J. Landquist 3, J. DeWulf 2, Henry 1, L. DeWulf 1.

QUARTERBACK SACKS: M. Landquist 1, Hitchcock 1, J. Landquist 1.

FUMBLE RECOVERIES: Wormley 2, Sherman 1, M. Landquist 1.

INTERCEPTIONS: Henry 1.