ML-WR keeps undefeated record clean with 42-7 section win over Deer River
What is the recipe for a state tournament-bound football team? How about strong line play, a dash of skill, a sprinkle of great special team play and frosting made up of a stingy defense. That is exactly what you'll find when the Moose Lake-Willo...
What is the recipe for a state tournament-bound football team? How about strong line play, a dash of skill, a sprinkle of great special team play and frosting made up of a stingy defense. That is exactly what you'll find when the Moose Lake-Willow River Rebels take the field in the state tournament this Friday after demolishing Deer River 42-7 in the Section 7AA title game last Thursday.
"Our offensive and defensive lines have improved a great deal over the season," said Rebels coach Dave Louzek. "For us to have success at the state tournament, our lines will have to continue to be physical and set the tone for the game."
The Rebels line made a huge statement on the first drive of the game last Thursday as they pounded the ball at the hapless Warriors until Nate Zuk slipped in from the 3-yard line for a touchdown. Zuk added the extra point kick and the Rebels went up 7-0.
The play of quarterback Joe Bohaty along with wide receiver Dan Anderson also set the game's winning tone. The dynamic duo put a charge into the crowd on the Rebels second possession of the game when they hooked up for a 31-yard pass that put the ball just inside the Warrior 1-yard line. A play later, it was Bohaty scoring on a quarterback keeper and Zuk kicking the extra point.
ML-WR went up 17-0 on a Zuk 25-yard field goal in the second quarter, but the Warriors responded with their only score of the game when Kyle Wilson plunged in from the 1-yard line. Kenny Benham added the extra point kick to cut the Rebel lead to 17-7.
Before the half ended, the Bohaty-to-Anderson passing attack made itself known again. This time they did it on passes of 24 and 21 yards during a drive that culminated when Zuk scored on a 1-yard touchdown blast, making it 23-7.
"Our passing game takes a lot of pressure off having to get tough yards," explained Louzek. "It is tough running the ball against defenses that put eight or nine people up close to the line of scrimmage."
The Rebels stunned the Warriors when Zuk intercepted a pass and rambled 43-yards to paydirt, giving ML-WR a 29-7 halftime lead.
ML-WR added a Bohaty-to-Anderson 6-yard touchdown pass and a Zach Thomas 5-yard run in the second half for the final scores of the game. Dave Cisar added the extra point kick after the Thomas score.
Zuk ran for 138 yards and intercepted a pass for the touchdown right before halftime. Anderson also was big on defense with a pair of interceptions, giving him seven on the season. Anderson now has a school record 19 interceptions during his career. Bohaty also had an interception.
With a perfect record of 11-0, the Rebels are hoping their recipe for success will continue into the state tournament on Friday at 5 p.m. when they play against the 8-3 Breckenridge Cowboys at St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minn.