A pick-six and an Ely win

Big play by Davis spurs 20-14 victory over Northeast Range

by Tom Coombe
In an instant, Mason Davis reversed the Ely Timberwolves’ fortunes and deflated Northeast Range.
The Nighthawks were driving, perhaps toward a game-winning score, when Davis stepped in front of a pass, returned it 70 yards for a touchdown, and fueled a 20-14 high school football victory Oct. 30 at Aurora.
The sudden turnabout helped the Wolves, who returned to the gridiron after a 16-day layoff, their second win in three tries this fall.
It wasn’t easy, as Northeast Range, led by senior speedster Bralyn Lislegard, had the Wolves on the ropes.
Lislegard broke free for a 60-yard scoring run in the third quarter, tying the game at 14, and the Nighthawks turned to their leader on what was set up to be a drive to put them in the lead.
But the Wolves’ defense threw Lislegard for a loss on second down, forcing the Nighthawks to pass on third, and it led to the Davis interception and score.
Northeast Range turned the ball over on downs on its ensuing possession and the Wolves ran out the clock.
Ely picked up the win despite being outgained 214-161.
Penalties hurt Northeast Range early in the game, stifling a drive.
Ely also misfired early on, and the Nighthawks put together a scoring drive that ended with a one-yard plunge by Ryan Milton and a 6-0 lead.
The Wolves finally got moving late in the second quarter, turning to 250-pound senior back Lane Anderson to do much of the damage.
Anderson plowed in from eight yards out and the Wolves added the two-point conversion to lead 8-6 at halftime.
The Wolves churned out more yards on their first drive of the second half, with Anderson again finishing things with a one-yard touchdown run.
It was 14-6 Wolves but the Nighthawks seized momentum back.
Lislegard, who finished with a game-high 152 yards on 18 carries, broke to the left and went untouched to the end zone. The Nighthawks tied it with the two-point conversion and seemed poised to win their first game of the fall.
The Nighthawk defense forced a punt and the visitors went right back to work.
Playing on the artificial turf field at Aurora because of a snow-covered field in Ely, the Nighthawks worked inside the Wolves’ 25-yard line.
That’s as far as they would get, and Davis came up with the interception that turned the tide.
Anderson led the Ely offense with 87 yards rushing on 17 attempts, while Jason Kerntz added 28 yards on the ground and Harry Simons finished with 11.
Davis was three-for-six through the air for 22 yards, with completions to Erron Anderson, Simons and Kerntz.
• Ely was set to take on Cherry on Friday in its Fall Homecoming game, with the regular season finale slated for Nov. 11 at Lake of the Woods.
The Section 7 9-Man playoffs start Nov. 17.