ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Blocked punt gives Bombers win

It took a blocked punt and a safety in the last quarter, but the Barnum Bomber football team managed to hang on for a thrilling 22-19 win over the Ely Timberwolves.

It took a blocked punt and a safety in the last quarter, but the Barnum Bomber football team managed to hang on for a thrilling 22-19 win over the Ely Timberwolves.

"It was an exciting game," said Barnum coach Kevin Haley. "We lost four drives in the first half, we turned the ball over once on downs, had an interception and two fumbles."

Despite the mess they created, the Bombers still trailed just 19-7 at halftime and were in striking distance of the Timberwolves.

"We really played a self-defeating first half," commented Haley. "We hung tough to be down just by 12 points. When we went into halftime, we made a couple of changes on both defense and offense and I laid it on the line for the players."

Haley told his team if the Bombers let Ely score again they would lose the game.

ADVERTISEMENT

"We came out in the second half and played very well on defense," mentioned Haley. "We stopped them at key times, especially on third downs and either made them punt or go for it on fourth down."

Barnum's lone touchdown in the first half was scored on a 4-yard run by Derek Bartz.

Ely came out and was stopped by the Barnum defense with a bid interception by Erik Johnson. On the very next play, Frankie Barrios slashed in to the end zone from the 15-yard line and after the extra point kick, the lead was cut to 19-14.

In the fourth quarter, the Bombers picked up another score when Barrios rambled in from the 10-yard line. Unfortunately, they missed the extra point, giving Barnum a precarious 20-19 lead.

"Towards the end of the game we had backed them up to their own goal line and forced a punt," recalled Haley. "Barrios blocked the punt that went through the end zone, giving us two points off a safety. We scratched out a tough win. I was proud of how the players played in the second half."

Erik Johnson rushed for over 100 yards again and Barrios finished with nearly 100 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Derek Bartz also had a solid game.

"Bartz played well on defense in the second half and Josh Hogan played well," commented Haley. "I don't think it was so much that a few individuals stepped up in the second half. This was a team effort, and not only on defense."

Haley also singled out his specialty teams in the game, which were outstanding at pinning Ely deep in their own territory, blocking punts and making the Timberwolves start long drives.

ADVERTISEMENT

"We have Nashwauk-Keewatin on Friday night this week," stated Haley. "It will be a big game and our focus this week is to put together four solid quarters. We cannot afford to give a team one half anymore, we need to play the whole game."

What To Read Next
Fundraising is underway to move the giant ball of twine from the Highland, Wisconsin, home of creator James Frank Kotera, who died last month at age 75, 44 years after starting the big ball.