Undefeated Rebels trounce Marshall 40-7 in 7AAThe Rebels now look to shut down fifth-ranked and undefeated Hawley in a Class AA state quarterfinal at 8 p.m. Friday at St. Cloud State University’s Husky Stadium. The two teams met in the 2009 state quarterfinals, with ML-WR edging the Nuggets 41-35 in an overtime thriller at the Fargodome.
By: Tyler Korby, Pine Journal
DULUTH – Jake Disterhaupt ran for 184 yards on 16 carries last Thursday, including three extended touchdowns, as the senior helped lead the Moose Lake-Willow River Rebels to a 40-7 victory over Duluth Marshall in the Section 7AA final at Public Schools Stadium in Duluth.
Second-ranked ML-WR (11-0) woke up after starting with a 7-0 deficit when Marshall’s Jake Serre stripped the ball from the Rebels’ Michael Gassert and darted 31 yards for a score within the first minute.
Disterhaupt, a 6-foot-1, 190-pound kingpin, then raced 23 yards for the equalizer just 51 seconds later en route to 40 straight points for the Rebels and their seventh consecutive section title.
“Being as good a family as we are, we know that seven points isn’t anything, because we know we’ll put up more than that,” said Disterhaupt. “We want another blue ribbon, that’s for sure. That [Marshall score] fueled us a little bit. And we just shut them down after that.”
The Rebels now look to shut down fifth-ranked and undefeated Hawley in a Class AA state quarterfinal at 8 p.m. Friday at St. Cloud State University’s Husky Stadium. The two teams met in the 2009 state quarterfinals, with ML-WR edging the Nuggets 41-35 in an overtime thriller at the Fargodome.
“It was a dog fight. Like us, I don’t think [Hawley] has forgotten about it,” said Rebels’ senior lineman Jake Christopherson, a freshman then. “Now, it’s do-or-die. It’s win, or turn your pads in.”
As usual, Disterhaupt has padded up his postseason. Against the Hilltoppers last week, he added a 68-yard run and a 67-yard passing score following 209 rushing yards in the semifinals the week
Hidden during the regular season and hampered by an injured ankle before the playoffs, Disterhaupt is still near 1,300 yards this fall and feeling good entering his final state championship run.
“As far as our program, what else is there to accomplish? It’s definitely a state championship,” said Rebels Coach Dave Louzek, who has led ML-WR to two of the last three Prep Bowls. “We’ve learned you can’t be too good too early, but this is the time where you want to start peaking. And these kids are really playing some good football right now.”
Michael Pender powered his way to 164 rushing yards on 16 attempts, while scoring twice for the relentless Rebels’ attack that finished with 472 yards, including 397 rushing. Gassert also added a touchdown against the revitalized ’Toppers, playing in their first section final in nine years under first-year Coach Jim Hogan. Marshall finished the year 7-4.
“Credit Coach Hogan and everybody involved with Marshall football,” Louzek said after the game. “To go from zero wins last year to, now, seven wins and section runners-up, they did a great job.”
Hogan, who coached high school and collegiately in Wisconsin before being hired at Marshall, gave the credit to the decorated Rebels.
“They’re the crown jewel of northern Minnesota football, just the model program, at all levels,” Hogan said. “There’s no doubt, Moose Lake-Willow River’s goal is to get to that state title game and win. I just hope they go on and do it. They’re from our neck of the woods. We’re rooting for them.”
“A 14-game season is what we’re going for now,” added Disterhaupt. “No games are easy. It’s going to be scrappy. It’s going to be five, three yards and try to get that first down. And then get that state championship.”