Wolves frustrated, fall to 0-2

Home debut much like opener as Bigfork escapes with 14-6 win

by Tom Coombe
In many ways, it was an instant replay for the Ely Timberwolves.
Right down to a disappointing finish and a second straight heartwrenching defeat.
Turnovers, foiled chances and untimely penalties all contributed to the Wolves’’ 14-6 loss to Bigfork in a Sept. 16 clash at Ely School Stadium.
Unbeaten Bigfork won its third straight game but had its hands full with the Wolves, who forced four turnovers and outgained the visitors during the first half.
Total yards were a near standoff for the contest, with Bigfork amassing 235 yards to Ely’s 220, and the Huskies taking the edge on a scoring drive that opened the second half.
Bigfork broke a six-all deadlock on its first drive of the third quarter, as Matt Vosika scampered in fro 17 yards out and the Huskies added a two-point conversion to make it 14-6.
Ely hurt its own cause on several occasions, with a face mask penalty allowing Bigfork to maintain a second-quarter drive that tied the game.
Later, Ely lost a chance to get the ball back on another personal foul.
In the closing minutes, an electrifying punt return by Ely senior Jason Kerntz put the Wolves deep in Bigfork territory and with a late chance to tie the game.
Another penalty slowed the Wolves, who eventually were forced to go to the air and turned the ball over on downs.
Kerntz led all rushers with 149 yards, and his 62-yard sprint early in the second quarter gave the Wolves a 6-0 lead.
By then, the skies started to clear after steady rain through much of the day and into the start of the game.
The rainy conditions had an impact, as the first quarter included four fumbles.
Kerntz finished with nearly 150 yards on the ground and Ely backs Erron Anderson (29 yards) and Gavin Marshall (25) combined for 54 more.
Ely struggled through the air with senior Gunnar Hart completing three passes on 11 attempts for 22 yards. It included a 14-yard reception by Marshall.
Bigfork got on the board before halftime, with the Ely penalty giving the Huskies a second chance.
They made the most of it as Jhace Pearson scored on a five-yard plunge.
Early in the second half, it looked as if Bigfork would take control of the game as its running game clicked on a possession that led to the go-ahead score.
From there, Ely’s defense stiffened, but the Wolves were unable to capitalize with a tying score.
The Wolves met Cook County Friday as they went for their first win.
Their chances get more difficult Friday, Sept. 30, when they travel to Mt. Iron to take on unbeaten powerhouse Mt. Iron-Buhl.