Wolves unleash Scott, running game
Through the first half of the season, quarterback Tim Scott’s left arm was the Ely Timberwolves’ primary offensive weapon.Scott’s legs proved to be quite potent as well when the high school football team celebrated Fall Homecoming with a 34-12 rout of Chisholm.The senior ran for a career-high 124 yards, sparked a scoring drive that put the Wolves in control of the Oct. 1 Polar Conference contest, and led a rejuvenated rushing attack.Ely ran for just 254 yards in its first four games, but amassed 323 against the Bluestreaks while improving to 2-3 on the season.The Wolves led 6-0 at the half, then pulled away with three scores in the third quarter.Senior Mike Krunkkala ran for 100 yards while junior Ernie Horvat added 71 yards and scored three times.The Ely defense forced four turnovers, including a pair of fumble recoveries by junior Brooks Pfeiffer.“It was a tale of two halves,” said Ely Head Coach Darren Visser. “We moved the ball in the first half but just weren’t connecting on our passes. Then all of a sudden in the second half we started to wear them down with the run.”Scott’s passing provided the bulk of the offense in the first four games, but he contributed heavily to the win over the Bluestreaks (1-3) even though he connected just five passes.Scott ran up the middle on quarterback sneaks and around end on designed rollouts, kicking the Wolves’ offense into gear.“Against a 4-4 defense, we always work those sneaks to see what we can get,” said Visser. “And when he’s getting five-to-12 yards, we’re going to keep going with it if they don’t adjust.”Chisholm couldn’t stop Scott on a drive that started at the Ely 25, as the Wolves’ signal-caller snapped off gains of eight, 12 and 13 yards on a march that led to a one-yard plunge by Horvat.Ely had a chance for a second score before the break, getting down to the Chisholm five in the closing seconds. That drive was squelched when Scott was sacked at the 15.But there was no stopping the Wolves in the second half.Ely’s second touchdown followed a turnover, as Jay Olson pounced on a fumble at midfield. The offense quickly capitalized, with Scott completing a six-yard scoring pass to A.J. Johnson for a two-touchdown lead.The domination continued as the Ely defense pressured and contained Chisholm quarterback Alex Gornick.Krunkkala and Pfeifer provided most of the pressure, forcing Gornick out of the pocket on several occasions.“They were on his tail all night,” said Visser. “We’ve been using Krunkkala at nose guard to get a pass rush and we’ve worked with him and Pfeifer in obvious passing situations. To try and outrun those guys you have to have pretty good feet.”The Wolves continued to chew up yards in the second half.Ely would add three more scores, one on a quarterback keep by Scott and two more on handoffs to Horvat.For the first time all season, Ely moved the ball consistently and effectively on the ground, with a three-pronged attack including Scott, Krunkkala and Horvat.“We had three different backs getting it done too, and we like seeing that,” said Visser.Chisholm was held to 174 total yards, 54 on the final play of the game when Gornick broke through against Ely’s second-string defense to score a touchdown.Scott and Horvat finished with eight tackles apiece for the Wolves, who were set to take on Barnum late Friday in a key Polar Conference Class A Division matchup.The Wolves have their final regular season home game Friday, when they take on Deer River (0-5) at 7 p.m. at Ely School Stadium.