ELY – There was a summer-like feel in the air last Friday night as the Timberwolves fell victim to McGregor in Ely’s Homecoming contest, 46-6. The Mercuries were a last-minute …
ELY – There was a summer-like feel in the air last Friday night as the Timberwolves fell victim to McGregor in Ely’s Homecoming contest, 46-6. The Mercuries were a last-minute substitution after Cherry canceled its planned match-up with the Wolves due to an outbreak of the coronavirus.
While November football games are usually played in brutal conditions here in the North Country, the temperature hovered around 60 degrees at kickoff, part of a record-setting warm spell that settled in for a week across the region.
The game looked promising in the early-going, as the Wolves jumped out to a 6-0 lead after short yardage-specialist Lane Anderson bulled into the end zone from the one yard-line. An 80-yard screen play pass from Ely junior quarterback Mason Davis to junior halfback Harry Simons, had left the Wolves knocking on the door.
It would be one of very few bright spots for Ely, however, as the Mercuries answered with a 37-yard touchdown run. They took to the air in the second quarter, scoring three more times to take a 30-6 lead into the break. They added two more touchdowns and conversions in the second half to reach the lopsided final.
“They weren’t huge, but they were athletic and physical,” said Ely Head Coach Cory Lassi. “They pulled two guards on almost every play. It’s hard to simulate that in practice.”
After their first quarter miscue, McGregor’s defense shut down the Wolves for the rest of the evening. As a team, Ely managed just 68 yards rushing on 29 carries. Jason Kerntz had 35 tough yards on 15 carries, followed by Simons with 15 yards on four rushes. Davis completed seven of 11 pass attempts for 91 yards and rushed three times for seven yards.
“Mason had a couple of good passes into the end zone but they were dropped,” Lassi said. “It wouldn’t have changed the outcome, but the guys could have gained a bit more confidence if we completed those.”
The Wolves lost two fumbles, which didn’t help the cause.
On defense, Prijatel led the Timberwolves with 11 tackles, followed by Anderson with 10. Davis and Jacob Towley had seven each, Jakson Hegman, Jason Kerntz and Simons had five each, and Brock LaTourell and Alex Cook each had four. Anderson and Towley forced two fumbles. Prijatel recovered one.
“Lane had a really good game on our D-line,” Lassi said. “This was his best game so far this year. For a (defensive) tackle to be in double digits was good to see. We know he is capable of doing that, and against good competition like we had Friday night, shows that he is playing good football right now.”
Lineman Adam Williamson was injured in the first quarter. He was helped off the field and suffered a sprained ankle. “He’s feeling better, but we’re not sure he can play this week,” Lassi said.
The Timberwolves were set to close out the regular season on Thursday afternoon at Lake of the Woods in Baudette, after the Timberjay’s weekly presstime.
Seeds for the post season were to be announced on Friday, and Ely was looking at a fourth-or fifth-seed with a game on Tuesday, Nov. 17.