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Tigers open playoffs with 35-8 win over Laporte

Reese Kline (12) eluded Laporte's Wyatt Johannsen (22) to score on a 12-yard run in Nevis' 35-8 playoff victory Tuesday night. Vance Carlson / Enterprise

Five different players scored touchdowns in the first half as the Nevis football team opened the Section 6 9-man playoff with a 35-8 victory over Laporte Tuesday night at Nevis.

Nevis, the No. 3 seed in the section, led 24-8 in a 32-8 victory over Laporte during the regular season. The Tigers also took control early in the rematch in the playoff opener.

The Tigers recovered an onside kick to start the game and put together a four-play, 54-yard drive to open the scoring. Reese Kline’s 9-yard reception, Luke DeWulf’s 8-yard run and facemask penalty, and Keanu Yabandith’s 8-yard run set up a 12-yard touchdown run by Kline. Leonardo Vignaroli kicked the extra point and Nevis had a 7-0 lead with 10:49 to play in the first quarter.

Laporte lost possession on downs at its own 34, but the Tigers couldn’t capitalize and gave the ball back at the 25. The Wildcats drove to the Nevis 38, but that drive stalled.

Nevis responded with a four-play, 62-yard scoring drive as a 12-yard reception by DeWulf and a 13-yard run by Yabandith set up a 37-yard reception by Ben Soldwisch from Derek Lindow. Vignaroli kicked the extra point and the Tigers led 14-0 at the 2:59 mark.

After stopping Laporte at the Nevis 46, the Tigers went 54 yards in eight plays to pad the lead. Logan Funk’s 14-yard catch on fourth-and-9, a 20-yard reception by Soldwisch and an 8-yard catch by Dan Mistic on third-and-1 set up a 3-yard TD run by Lindow. Again Vignaroli added the extra point for a 21-0 advantage with 9:49 to play in the first half.

Mistic pushed the lead to 28-0 by picking up a fumble and returning it 44 yards for a score with 8:03 to play before halftime.

Nevis’ defense stopped the Wildcats at their own 40 and the Tigers followed with a six-play drive as Yabandith’s 9-yard run on third-and-8 kept the drive alive before DeWulf finished it off with a 24-yard TD run on third-and-5. Vignaroli’s kick extended the lead to 35-0 with 4:21 remaining.

Laporte drove to the Nevis 18 on the ensuing drive, but the Tigers held as the half expired.

The Wildcats scored the only touchdown in the second half in ending the season with an 0-9 record.

Nevis carried a 3-6 record into a section semifinal game against No. 2 Win-E-Mac. No. 4 Rothsay, which defeated No. 5 Park Christian 38-0 in Tuesday night’s other quarterfinal game, played No. 1 Norman County East/Ulen-Hitterdal in the other semifinal game. The Section 6 championship game is set for Nov. 1 at 3 p.m. at the Fargodome.

Laporte   0 0 0 8...8Nevis   14 21 0  0...35NEVIS SCORINGN--Kline 12 run (Vignaroli kick)N--Soldwisch 37 pass from Lindow (Vignaroli kick)N--Lindow 3 run (Vignaroli kick)N--Mistic 44 fumble return (Vignaroli kick)N--DeWulf 24 run (Vignaroli kick)
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