OGILVIE– Five times Ely stopped Ogilvie in the red zone, but the two times that the Lions slipped past proved the difference, as they emerge the winner in a defensive showdown here last …
OGILVIE– Five times Ely stopped Ogilvie in the red zone, but the two times that the Lions slipped past proved the difference, as they emerge the winner in a defensive showdown here last Thursday. The Lions prevailed 12-8 in both teams’ Nineman football season opener.
“Defensively we played very well,” said Ely Head Coach Cory Lassi. “Coach Peterson did a good job preparing the defense for this game.”
The Wolves took what looked like a promising opening drive to the Lions 20-yard line, but the drive stalled without putting points on the board.
The Lions drove deep into Wolves territory on their subsequent possession before Ely forced it over on downs. But Ely’s offense sputtered, forcing a punt from deep in Lions’ territory. A poor snap and weak kick, however, gave the Lions a new possession on Ely’s 38-yard line to end the first quarter.
Ogilvie drove to the Wolves eight-yard line, where the Lions completed a halfback pass on fourth down to put six on the board after a failed conversion.
After a trade of possessions, the Lions were again on the move, seemingly headed for another touchdown. But Ely stiffened once again deep in their zone, and held off Ogilvie, taking over on downs at their own one-yard line, to keep the margin at six just ahead of the half.
But the punt squad created problems for the Wolves once again. After Ely went three and out, they were forced to punt from their own end zone, but the Lions got a hand on it, giving them possession on Ely’s four yard line with just 43 seconds left ahead of the break.
After an Ely sack on the Lions second down and an incomplete pass on third, Ogilvie was facing a fourth and goal on the Wolves’ 11-yard line. That’s when the Lion’s connected on a clutch pass deep in the end zone, to send the teams to the lockers with Ogilvie up 12-0.
Ogilvie took the kickoff to start the second half, and drove steadily to Ely’s nine-yard line, where the Lions were at first-and-goal. But a fumble on second down left Ogilvie back on the 18-yard line. They fumbled again on a reverse on third down, and this time Ely’s Lane Anderson recovered to give Ely the ball.
The Wolves wasted little time getting back in the game. On first-and-ten from the Wolves 24-yard line, junior quarterback Bryce Longwell connected with junior wide receiver Dalton Schreffler for a 76-yard touchdown reception. A successful two-point conversion pass from Longwell to Nate Nettifee had the Wolves back within four.
The teams traded possessions before Ogilvie found itself sitting on the Wolves 30-yard line with just under two minutes left in the third quarter. That’s when Tjae Banks recovered a Lions fumble on third down, to halt another promising Lions’ drive.
The Wolves offense sputtered once more and the punt squad broke down again as a bad snap aborted the punt and left Ely to try to run for the first down. Ogilvie stuffed the attempt and took over on the Ely 26-yard line.
The Lions couldn’t take advantage of the good field position and turned over the ball on downs after an attempted fourth-and-three.
With 9:56 in the fourth, Ely took over the ball on their 16-yard line. Ogilvie forced a three-and-out and set up a Wolves punt.
A big return put the Lions on the Wolves 25-yard line, but two fumbles and an incomplete pass later the Lions turned the ball back over to Ely.
Ely would have two more chances, but their offense struggled against the Lions’ defense. Ogilvie ended up with the final possession and simply ran out the clock.
“I want to start off by saying how proud we were as a coaching staff for how hard our players played and the effort that they gave,” said Lassi. “The players left everything they had on the field and played hard until the final whistle.”
One issue the Wolves will be dealing with this season is building depth. “I felt like our lack of depth played a major role,” said Lassi. “We had some guys never come off the field.”
Ely managed 153 yards rushing, led by senior Nick Mattila who picked up 71 yards on 17 carries. Quarterback Bryce Longwell was 5 of 15 for 112 yards and one touchdown. His favorite target, Dalton Schreffler, had four receptions for 107 yards.
Defensively, Finn Liesching led the way, tallying 18 tackles. Dalton Schreffler had 13 tackles while Bryce Longwell added 12.
Next up for Ely is a newly-scheduled matchup this Saturday in Chisholm. Game time is 1 p.m.