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Prep football: Northwestern’s Schlies scores four TDs in playoff romp

The Tiger defense forced three turnovers — including an interception returned for a touchdown — and held Mauston scoreless until late in the third quarter.

NW v M (2 of 8).jpg
Northwestern junior Jace Nelson reaches for a completed pass during a 47-14 playoff win against the Mauston Golden Eagles in Maple on Friday, Oct. 22. Lisa Malcomb / For the Duluth News Tribune

Northwestern’s Austin Schlies scored four touchdowns and ran for 139 yards to lead the Tigers to a 47-14 win over Mauston in Level 1 of the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association playoffs Friday in Maple.

Schlies scored two touchdowns in the first quarter, then bobbled and caught a pass late in the second quarter for a 37-yard score, but it was his final touchdown that was most significant.

Schlies took the handoff from quarterback Luke Sedin and busted through the line of scrimmage for a 33-yard score that also took him over 1,000 yards for the season.

“Austin had some big runs, he’s been getting better and better every week,” Tigers coach Jovin Kroll said. “He’s a running back that improves as the game goes on with the more touches he gets ... it was just a great night for him.”

The night started on a sour note for Mauston when quarterback Spenser Lehman dropped back to pass on the Golden Eagles' third play from scrimmage and was picked off by Jace Nelson and returned for a touchdown to make it 7-0.

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“I rolled down in the box because I watched a bunch of film and I saw they don’t go deep much,” Nelson said. ‘I was watching this out route and I knew what was coming. Once he threw it, I took it to the house.”

The night quickly went from bad to worse for Mauston after Schlies struck twice more in the first quarter. Wyatt Dumonson and C.J. Thompson each added touchdowns in the second quarter to give Northwestern a 40-0 halftime lead.

The entire second half was played in running time and the Northwestern starters left the game after Schlies’s fourth score of the game early in the third quarter.

The Golden Eagles’ Antonio Najera scored late in the third quarter and Brock Massey caught a 10-yard pass from Lehman in the fourth against the Tiger reserves.

Northwestern freshman Bryce Ronchi ran for a couple of first downs on the ensuing possession and allowed the Tigers to run out the clock.

Kroll was happy with his team’s performance after a hard-fought win over Cumberland Oct. 15.

“After such a big week last week, the guys really avoided a letdown,” Kroll said. “They came out of the game and did what a one seed should do in a matchup like this. No disrespect to Mauston, but to be able to get a big lead early and really only have to play about half a football game was big because last week was a physical football team.”

Northwestern (10-0) will host West Salem at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 29. The Panthers (8-1) beat Prescott 17-14 to advance to Level 2.

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Mauston 0-0-6-8—14

Northwestern 20-20-7-0—47

NW — Jace Nelson 19 interception return (Dawson Kriske kick)

NW — Austin Schlies 1 run (Kriske kick)

NW — Schlies 8 run (kick failed)

NW — Wyatt Dumonson 20 run (C.J. Thompson pass from Luke Sedin)

NW — Thompson 6 run (pass failed)

NW — Schleis 37 pass from Sedin (run failed)

NW — Schlies 33 run (Kriske kick)

M — Antonio Najera 3 run (pass failed)

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M — Brock Massey 10 pass from Spenser Lehman (Najera run)

Related Topics: FOOTBALL
Jamey Malcomb has a been high school sports reporter for the Duluth News Tribune since October 2021. He spent the previous six years covering news and sports for the Lake County News-Chronicle in Two Harbors and the Cloquet Pine Journal. He graduated from the George Washington University in 1999 with a bachelor's degree in history and literature and also holds a master's degree in secondary English education from George Mason University.
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