LITTLEFORK— The North Woods Grizzlies ran over a struggling Littlefork-Big Falls squad last Friday as they trounced the Vikings 57-8 to improve to 3-0 in Section 7 Nineman competition. The …
LITTLEFORK— The North Woods Grizzlies ran over a struggling Littlefork-Big Falls squad last Friday as they trounced the Vikings 57-8 to improve to 3-0 in Section 7 Nineman competition. The Grizzlies have outscored opponents by a lopsided 131-28 so far this season, thanks largely to a well-balanced offensive attack.
It was much the same story in Littlefork, where North Woods racked up their biggest margin of the season so far. The Grizzlies had little trouble moving the ball, but rarely needed to, as numerous Vikings’ miscues left the Grizzlies with exceptional field position throughout the first half. “We had probably an average field position on the Vikings’ 35-yard line,” said North Woods Head Coach John Jirik. “It was 35-0 at the end of the first quarter and I think we ran nine plays,” he added. The Vikings mostly went backward on offense, at least in the first quarter, contributing to the rout.
The Grizzlies did manage to rack up a total of 318 yards, 133 in the air and 185 yards on the ground.
Junior quarterback Tate Olson completed four of six passes for 73 yards, connecting with sophomore Cade Goggleye on two touchdowns. Back-up quarterback, sophomore Chase Kleppe, called snaps much of the game, and connected with sophomore Bryce Bandelin on a 57-yard strike. Jirik sent in the backup players beginning late in the second quarter through the remainder of the game, giving them an extended opportunity to play in a varsity contest.
The Grizzlies took a 49-0 lead into halftime, but the scoring was largely over by that time. Both teams added a touchdown and two-point conversion in the fourth quarter.
Senior Dan Holman led the ground attack for North Woods, rushing for 62 yards on three carries. Sophomore Dylan Day added 23 yards on three carries, while Brendan Parson added 23 yards on as many carries. Senior Mike Buchanan broke free for 45 yards on his only carry of the night.
Jirik said the Grizzlies will face a stiffer challenge this Friday, Sept. 23, when they take on Kelliher-Northome. “They remind me of South Ridge,” said Jirik. “They’re a very physical, very good team. We’ll have to play well to win.”
While Kelliher-Northome is currently 1-2 on the season, Jirik said they lost narrowly to South Ridge in the season opener and played well against current powerhouse Nevis in the second game of the season. They beat Northeast Range last Friday, 8-0.