Bayside Chatter: Oct. 26
By: Steve Gow for the Lake County News-Chronicle, Lake County News Chronicle
The Mariners stayed with conference champion South Ridge until the third quarter when the Panthers blew open the game with 22 unanswered points. The Mariners proved to be their own worst enemy as they turned over the ball four times in their own territory.
The Panthers scored with 45.4 seconds left in the first quarter on a 41 yard pass from Kody Karppinen to Colton Peterson just over a minute into the second quarter after a Mariner fumble gave them the ball at the Mariner 39 yard line. Karppinen hit Peterson for an 8- yard strike this time to make it 14-0 at halftime.
The Mariners received the second half kickoff and after getting their first first down of the game, they had to punt the ball back to the Panthers.
Four plays later it was 20-0 as Dominic Janke ran it in from three yards out. Then the Mariners really self- destructed. An interception gave the Panthers the ball at the Mariner 17 and one play later Joe Redding ran it in for a 28-0 lead. Another Mariner fumble put the Panthers at the Mariner 13 and two plays later Devon Lee scored to make it 36-0.
The Mariners scored on their final possession of the game with 22.9 ticks left on the clock. Bradley Rowlee made an end run for a 10-yard score and Luke Small ran in for the two-point conversion.
Chad Smuk led the offense with 73 yards rushing while Redding had 122 yards for the Panthers. Small was 3 of 8 for 27 yards for the Mariners while under tremendous pressure every time he dropped back. Karppinen completed 6 of 11 for the Panthers for 68 yards. Small led the defense with nine tackles followed by Eben Fischer with eight and Preston Westerlund with five. Michael Klofstad had a sack, blocked an extra point attempt and ended the game with three tackles.
The Mariners are seeded No.6 in Section 5 and will play the third-seeded Cromwell Cardinals (4-4 ) in a first round playoff game. First- seed South Ridge (7-1), was the only team in section 5 to finish with more wins than losses.
Section 7, which contains the rest of the Big North Conference, had six teams with winning records. The top four seeds were Bigfork, Ely, Kelliher/Northome and Mountain Iron/Buhl. Twenty seven teams entered the sectional football playoffs undefeated—six teams in nine- man, two in section in A, six in AA, three in AAA, four in AAAA, five in AAAAA and one in 6A.
The volleyball team finished the regular season with a 25-11, 27-25 & 25-21 victory over Floodwood to finish the regular season at 9-10. Against the Polar Bears Alicia Nopola had 16 kills and three blocks, Rebecca Dilley had six kills and 12 digs and Kari Smerud had 24 set assists and three ace serves.
The Mariners are No. 6 in their subsection for the section 7A playoffs. They defeated Wrenshall 25-18, 25-21 & 25-16 at home to advance in the playoffs. Rebecca Dilley had 10 kills and seven digs. Alicia Nopola added nine kills and seven ace serves and Kari Smerud had 20 set assists and three ace serves. Their next match was Wednesday at No.3 South Ridge.