Gavin Walker and Kobe Hamre returned interceptions for touchdowns in the first quarter in leading Win-E-Mac to a 26-12 9-man football victory at Nevis on Friday, Sept. 6.

After Win-E-Mac forced the Tigers to punt on the opening series, a 35-yard run by Nathan Fortman led the Patriots into Nevis territory. The Tigers’ defense held and took over at the 33.

Three plays later, Walker’s 27-yard interception return and extra-point kick gave Win-E-Mac a 7-0 lead at the 6:25 mark and Hamre’s 35-yard interception return on Nevis’ next offensive play and Walker’s kick pushed the lead to 14-0 at the 6:10 mark.

The Patriots put together a scoring threat on their next possession with a 12-play drive. Bryer Strom caught a 12-yard pass and Nathan Fortman followed a 12-yard run with a 10-yard run, but Darin Keezer’s interception at the Nevis 10 ended that threat.

Walker’s 10-yard TD run capped a 10-play, 54-yard drive as Win-E-Mac took a 20-0 lead with :37 remaining in the first half. Walker rushed four times for 31 yards on that drive.

After forcing Win-E-Mac to punt on the opening drive of the second half, the Tigers used Luke DeWulf’s 34-yard punt return to set up a five-play, 31-yard scoring drive. DeWulf’s 24-yard run set up a 5-yard TD run by Derek Lindow. That cut the gap to 20-6 with 9:22 to go in the third quarter.

Strom’s 36 yards on six carries led the Patriots deep into Nevis territory on the next series, but the Tigers held and took over at their own 16.

Win-E-Mac extended its lead on the next series when a 12-yard run by Strom set up a 12-yard TD run by Fortman. That 10-play, 50-yard drive made it 26-6 with 9:44 to play.

Both teams exchanged punts before Nevis ended the scoring on Ian Ahrendt’s 8-yard TD run on fourth-and-5 with :09 remaining. DeWulf’s 10-yard run helped set up that seven-play, 25-yard scoring drive.

Fortman gained 94 yards on 20 carries and Strom added 79 yards on 14 attempts as Win-E-Mac improved to 2-0 on the season. The Patriots, who defeated Northern Freeze 45-0 in Week 1, were rated No. 16 in the first state 9-man poll.

Nevis was held to only 106 yards in offense with DeWulf gaining 48 yards on 11 carries and Lindow completing 5 of 20 passes for 27 yards. Defensively, Kolby Hamblin was in on 12 tackles while Brody Johnson played a role in seven tackles. DeWolf joined Hamblin with six solo tackles, Cain Mitchell joined Johnson with five solo stops, and Reese Kline joined Keezer with six tackles as the Tigers fell to 0-2.

Nevis will host Laporte in a Section 6 game this Friday night (Sept. 13) with a 7 p.m. kickoff. Laporte will enter this game with a 0-2 record following losses to Park Christian (41-0) in Week 1 and Fertile-Beltrami (43-0) in Week 2.

Win-E-Mac 14 6 0 6...26
Nevis 0 0 6 6...12
SCORING
WEM-Walker 27 interception return (Walker kick)
WEM-Hamre 35 interception return (Walker kick)
WEM-Walker 10 run (kick failed)
N-Lindow 5 run (run failed)
WEM-Fortman 12 run (pass failed)
N-Ahrendt 8 run (pass failed)
OFFENSIVE STATISTICS
RUSHING. WEM: Fortman 20-94, Strom 14-79. Nevis: DeWulf 11-48, Lindow 6-12, Ahrendt 4-10.
PASSING. WEM: Walker 3-8-1 for 16 yards. Nevis: Lindow 5-20-2 for 27 yards; DeWulf 1-2-0 for 9 yards.
RECEIVING. WEM: Strom 1-12. Nevis: DeWulf 2-13, Klimek 2-13, Ahrendt 2-10.
NEVIS DEFENSIVE STATISTICS
SOLO TACKLES: DeWulf 6, Hamblin 6, Mitchell 5, Johnson 5, Ahrendt 4, Kline 4, Lindow 3, Keezer 3, Lewis 2, Thompson 2, Andress 2.
ASSISTED TACKLES: Hamblin 6, Keezer 3, Kline 2, Johnson 2, Andress 2, Ahrendt 1, Thompson 1.
INTERCEPTIONS: Keezer 1.
FUMBLE RECOVERIES: Rice 1.