Wolves blanked in playoffs
by Tom Coombe
The Ely Timberwolves were unable to capitalize on some early opportunities, and the Braham Bombers pounced.
After forcing a Braham fumble on the first play from scrimmage, Ely couldn’t move the football.
Not long afterward, the Bombers converted on fourth-and-six with a 46-yard touchdown run and they were off to the races, well on their way to a 43-0 high school football playoff victory on Tuesday night.
Ely, which finished 1-7, moved up to 11-man football and Section 7A after competing the entire season at the 9-man level.
The bump up was because of the Wolves’ cooperative with nearby Northeast Range.
It forced some adjustments, most notably adding two players to the lineup on both sides of the ball, and dealing with a much wider field than during the Wolves’ regular season contests.
Ely also had a force to contend with in the form of the second-seeded Bombers (8-1), who outsized the Wolves and were led by quarterback Jacob Tepley, the son of 1990 Ely High School graduate Jennifer Germek.
Tepley had a pair of long touchdown runs and a 30-yard touchdown pass late in the first half, and he led an offense that racked up better than 250 yards and 36 points in the first half.
Ely, which was fresh off its lone win of the year - a 22-16 victory over Hill City-Northland - recovered a Braham fumble on the opening play from scrimmage.
The Wolves’ Logan Meskill recovered at the Braham 44 but Ely stalled on offense and was forced to punt.
Ely’s defense seemed to stiffen at midfield, but on fourth-and-six, Braham running back Carsyn Londgren broke a tackle at the line of scrimmage and then broke free for a 46-yard touchdown run that put the hosts on the board.
Less than a minute later, Tepley picked off a pass in Ely territory, then finished off a short drive with a nine-yard spring to the end zone.
On Braham’s next drive, the Bombers moved down field with Tepley avoiding Ely’s defense on a third-and-one scaper that led to a 16-yard touchdown.
The do-it-all Braham signal-caller struck again midway through the second quarter.
A third-and-14 situation was no problem for Tepley, as he scampered 58 yards for the touchdown and then completed a two-point conversion pass to make it 30-0.
Right before the half, Tepley found Gavon Schroder, hooking up on a 30-yard scoring pass and a 36-0 halftime lead.
The Bombers added a third-quarter touchdown and the final frame was played in running time.
Ely managed three first downs, all in the second half, and head coach Louie Gerzin let the Wolves have some fun at the tail end of the contest.
Senior Erron Anderson attempted a 50-yard field goal that fell short and some of the Wolves tried some new positions, including Brayden Mosher at linebacker.
Senior Jakson Hegman led the Wolves in tackles in the game.
The contest was the last in an Ely football uniform for Wolves seniors including Anderson, Hegman, Gunnar Hart, Jason Kerntz, Meskill, Ashton Cook, Cameron Posey and Kolton Kari.
Braham advanced to play Barnum in a 7A semifinal on Saturday.