Wolves go to 2-0 in romp

Conaway with 125 yards, 14 tackles in 46-0 rout of Northeast Range

TAKEDOWN - Ely’s Lane Anderson (54) and Tjae Banks team up and tackle Zach Anderson of Northeast Range during the Timberwolves’ 18th consecutive regular season high school football victory. Photo by Eric Sherman

by Tom Coombe -

It didn’t take long for the Ely Timberwolves to secure their school record 18th straight regular season high school football victory.
Ely scored on its first possession and finished with 38 first-half points along the way to a 46-0 drubbing of an overmatched Northeast Range team in a Sept. 8 matchup at Ely School Stadium.
Sophomores Eli Conaway and Nate Netifee had two touchdowns each, and Conaway recorded with a game-high 125 yards rushing on offense and 14 tackles on defense.
The two-time defending section champion Wolves improved to 2-0 while a young Northeast Range team, which suited up only 12 players, lost for the second time in as many weeks.
It was an impressive night on both sides of the ball for the Wolves, who are ranked ninth in the state among nine-man teams.
After yielding a first down on the game’s opening possession, Ely stiffened and allowed the Nighthawks to just 34 net yards on the evening, on 35 plays from scrimmage.
The Wolves’ offense, meanwhile, was more crisp after being held to a single touchdown in a season-opening win over Ogilvie.
“I thought we moved the ball well,” said Ely Head Coach Brian Lamppa. “We started moving the ball right away which was good to see.”
Conaway, who has quickly become an impact player for the Wolves, did much of the damage. He bolted in from 33 yards out to put Ely on top early, and he reached the 125-yard mark on only nine carries.
Conaway also anchored the defense from his linebacker spot for a second straight week, winding up with double digits in tackles again.
“He’s so much bigger and stronger,” Lamppa said of Conaway. “That’s the big thing. And he had some success in track last spring, which I think has helped him.”
Senior backs Zach Anderson and Brett Rosendahl and eighth-grade quarterback Ty Fabish all had positive runs on the first march, but the Nighthawks would not get into Ely territory and managed just five second-half yards.
After the Wolves’ opening score, Conaway would add a 32-yard TD scamper later in the same frame, and senior Blaise Lah plowed in from two yards out.
It was 22-0 after one quarter and 38-0 at the half, as senior Carter Gaulke completed an 18-yard touchdown throw to Alex Motes on Ely’s only pass of the evening.
Lah finished with 34 yards on the ground while Netifee was a workhorse late in the game.
He had a touchdown in the second quarter and another in the third, and added 52 yards on the ground on 15 carries. Thomas Montana ran for 22 yards and backup quarterback Bryce longwell added 18 for Ely, which outgained Northeast Range 306-34.
Anderson led Northeast Range with 25 yards rushing on 16 carries.
Ely was heavily favored Friday night at Lake of the Woods, but a Sept. 22 date with South Ridge (2-0) begins a grueling stretch for the Wolves.
“I think the next five games will all be tough,” said Lamppa. “We’ll see where we stand. There’s no doubt about that.”
Included in that stretch is the Sept. 29 Homecoming game with Mt. Iron-Buhl and an Oct. 18 tilt with Northwoods, in a rematch of last year’s section title game.