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Prep football: Late surge pushes Hawks over Lumberjacks

Northwestern dominated a matchup of teams at the top of the Heart O'North Conference.

Players in purple uniforms play football against players in white uniforms with gold helmets
Joshua Muehlbauer (35) of Hermantown breaks through several Cloquet defenders on the way to scoring a touchdown in the second half at Bromberg Field on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022, in Cloquet.
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune
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CLOQUET — A second-half surge by Hermantown powered the Hawks to a 28-14 victory over Cloquet on Homecoming, Friday, Sept. 30 at Bromberg Field.

The visitors scored 21 points in the final 24 minutes of play after being held in check in the opening half.

Hermantown coach Mike Zagelmeyer came away especially pleased with the team’s ability to overcome adversity en route to capturing the win.

“We kept our guys very focused coming into this week. We knew that Cloquet was coming off a big win also, they kept (Duluth East's Austan) Orvedahl in check last week, and we knew they were riding high,” Zagelmeyer said. “We overcame some adversity tonight (and) we responded. We turned the ball over, we turned them over.”

Cloquet coach Jeff Ojanen pointed to their inability to finish in the red zone, along with missed tackles as the difference in the final score.

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“It was a very physical game tonight. I thought both teams played very hard,” Ojanen said. “We had some missed opportunities on offense and defensively we didn’t tackle really well, so it could’ve made a difference in the game.”

After a scoreless first quarter highlighted by a pair of key defensive stops, the Lumberjacks took a short-lived lead with a 67-yard touchdown drive punctuated by a 2-yard connection between quarterback Reese Sheldon and wide receiver Dayne Painovich.

The Hawks’ response came swiftly on the ensuing drive as the offense marched down the field with chunk gains on the ground before hitting pay dirt with a quarterback keeper from 2 yards out by Alex Schott. After a made extra point, the Hawks took a 7-6 lead into halftime.

Both offenses got into a rhythm quickly in the second half beginning with the Lumberjacks gashing the Hawks for five consecutive first-down carries to reach the red zone. Kollin Bonneville ultimately put the ‘Jacks ahead with an 18-yard touchdown run to make it a 14-7 game.

Hermantown’s Joshua Muehlbauer pushed the Hawks in front on the ensuing offensive drive with a 56-yard touchdown run, leaving a trail of broken tackles left in his wake on the way to the end-zone.

Trailing 14-13, the Hawks made a crucial stop on the ensuing Cloquet possession before scoring a back-breaking touchdown on a 38-yard receiving touchdown by Peyton Manzel. Hermantown added a dagger score on another quarterback keeper by Schott in the fourth quarter in a 28-14 final.

Northwestern 54, Cumberland 0

Northwestern had to go on the road to play the only other undefeated team in Heart O'North Conference play but the Tigers' juggernaut was barely bothered on Friday in Cumberland, Wisconsin.

After a 1-yard touchdown dive from quarterback Luke Sedin, the Tigers exploded for four touchdowns in the second quarter, two apiece from Tanner Kaufman and Kellin Trautt, for a 34-0 halftime lead. Kaufman finished with 150 rushing yards.

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In the second half, Trevor Eliason caught a touchdown pass, Boden Teal scored on a 7-yard TD run and Wyatt Trzynka scooped up a fumble and rumbled 5 yards for a defensive touchdown for the 7-0 Tigers.

Grand Rapids 27, North Branch 24

Kaydin Metzgar caught a 13-yard touchdown pass on the last play of the game as the Thunderhawks won a battle of unbeatens, both overall and in Northeast Red play, on homecoming at Noble Hall Field.

Rapids entered the game ranked No. 7 in the Associated Press' AAAA state rankings and North Branch was No. 9.

Duluth Denfeld 13, Aitkin 6

The Hunters and Shawn Moore had a fourth quarter to remember on Friday at Public Schools Stadium.

Moore had a 6-yard touchdown run that tied the game at 6, then broke loose for a 67-yard scamper that proved to be decisive as Denfeld grabbed its second victory of the season, knocking off an undefeated Gobblers team that was the state's No. 7 squad in Class AAA.

Moose Lake/Willow River 43, Mesabi East 14

Owen Loew had many highlights for the Rebels in their fourth win of the season. The senior back scored four touchdowns, from 6, 6, 1 and 16 yards as the Rebels reached 4-1 on the season.

Loew, who finished with 118 yards on 11 carries in the Rebels' homecoming game, wasn't the only 100-yard rusher. Jaxsyn Schmidt added 106 yards on 11 attempts.

Adam Neumann and Kaden Robbins also scored rushing TDs for MLWR.

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Dakota Kruse returned a kicked 74 yards for a touchdown for the 1-4 Giants.

Duluth East 40, Rock Ridge 8

The Greyhounds scored 28 points in the first quarter and earned an easy road win. Austan Orvedahl did a large amount of the damage, scoring on touchdown runs from 59 and 30 yards out in the frame.

Cherry 48, Bigfork 6

Noah Sundquist threw three touchdown passes as the Tigers extended their record to 5-0. He hit Isaac Asuma on scoring plays of 14 and 1 yards in length and Carson Brown for a 26-yarder.

Noah Asuma, Kaleb Rinerson and Mason Heitzman had rushing TDs for the Tigers, who didn't let the Huskies on to the scoreboard until the fourth quarter.

BOYS SOCCER

Duluth Marshall 10, North Lakes Academy 5

In an unusually open game staged in Blaine, Minnesota, Denzel Majwega scored four times and Brendan Friday had a hat trick for the Hilltoppers.

PREP SCOREBOARD
FOOTBALL
Esko 37, Two Harbors 14
Hermantown 28, Cloquet 14
Duluth Denfeld 13, Aitkin 6
Northwestern 54, Cumberland 0
Cherry 48, Bigfork 6
Phillips 56, Northwood/Solon Springs 20
Grand Rapids 27, North Branch 24
Moose Lake/Willow River 43, Mesabi East 14
Mountain Iron-Buhl 83, Ely 0
Duluth East 40, Rock Ridge 8
BOYS SOCCER
Duluth Marshall 10, North Lakes Academy 5
GIRLS SOCCER
Duluth East 4, Moorhead 0

Our newsroom occasionally reports stories under a byline of "staff." Often, the "staff" byline is used when rewriting basic news briefs that originate from official sources, such as a city press release about a road closure, and which require little or no reporting. At times, this byline is used when a news story includes numerous authors or when the story is formed by aggregating previously reported news from various sources. If outside sources are used, it is noted within the story.
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