MIB spoils Ely Homecoming

by Tom Coombe -

The Mt. Iron-Buhl Rangers had too much speed, and the Ely Timberwolves had too little depth.

That combination resulted in a one-sided Homecoming night football game in Ely as visiting MIB, paced by quick junior Joe Buffetta, rolled to a 36-6 victory over the Wolves.

Buffetta had touchdown runs of 84 and 42 yards as the Rangers improved to 4-1 and handed Ely (3-2) its second straight defeat.

Ely, which has lost two straight games for the first time since 2011, was minus injured starters Blaise Lah and Josh Larson, further depleting an already-thin roster.

Four-year starting quarterback Carter Gaulke was moved to running back to fill in for Lah, while sophomore Bryce Longwell was inserted at quarterback. The makeshift Ely offense failed to break the MIB defense until the final quarter when Longwell scored on a one-yard plunge.

After Buffetta's 84-yard jolt in the opening quarter, the Wolves had their best scoring chance of the first half. Runs by Gaulke, Eli Conaway and Dalton Schreffler, together with a 15-yard MIB penalty, allowed the Wolves to drive inside the MIB 20.

The Ranger defense batted down a fourth-down Ely pass just outside the end zone, ending the drive.

MIB scored in the second quarter on a one-yard carry by Jericho Peterson, while Dillon Drake picked up a fumble and ran it back 46 yards for a score, making it 22-0 at halftime.

The Rangers added two more scores in the second half to send the game into running time.

Ely returns to action Oct. 6 at Cook County (4-1).