September 15, 2023 at 11:00 a.m.

North Branch races by Rock Ridge



By JEFF NORTON | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment
Sports Editor

After about five minutes of game time in North Branch’s tussle against Rock Ridge on Friday, September 8, there was no doubt who would come away victorious.

Behind three long touchdown runs and a Rock Ridge turnover, the Vikings were up 28-0 before some Wolverine fans had even grabbed their seat.

Quarterback Jacob Robillard kicked off the scoring with a 39 yard touchdown run just six plays into the game. Brody Beaver’s extra point was good and NB led 7-0. On the ensuing kickoff, Beaver popped the ball up to an open space in the corner and a fortuitous bounce went the Vikings’ way and they pounced on the ball, taking back over on offense. It took them just six plays again to score a touchdown, this one a nine yarder by Nolan Volner to put NB up 14-0.

Rock Ridge went absolutely nowhere on their first drive, going three and out and punting the ball right back to North Branch.  It took the Vikes one play to hit paydirt this time, with Dooley Beaver scoring untouched on a 67 yard rushing play right up the middle to put NB up 21-0.

Rock Ridge continued to do nothing offensively. On the first play of their next drive, the quarterback chucked the ball up for a jump ball, but NB’s Magnus Toussaint wrestled the ball away from the RR receiver for an interception. Three plays later, Volner was again racing for the endzone, this one from 38 yards out, putting NB up 28-0. At that point, North Branch had scored as many touchdowns as Rock Ridge had run plays in four.

The Wolverines finally put a drive together by going to the air, and even though NB  defended well, the Rock Ridge receivers made a couple of good plays. But, that didn’t phase the North Branch offense, which was locked in. Two plays into their next drive, Robillard executed his fake handoffs perfectly and took a rush around the left edge for a 65 yard touchdown scamper, giving NB 35 points in the first quarter.

The onslaught continued into the second quarter, with Austin Anderson scoring on a 66 yard touchdown run and Joey Donahue getting in on the action with a 18 yard touchdown run of his own, giving the Vikings a 47-6 lead at halftime.

North Branch did put back ups in a bit early on defense, leading to two Rock Ridge touchdowns early in the third quarter, so NB sent their offense back out, and Carter Drill and Tyler Minke got on the scoreboard with rushing touchdowns as well, giving NB the 61-20 lead. Rock Ridge would score two more meaningless times against the back ups and the Vikings won 61-36.

The Vikings will travel to 2-0 Hermantown on Friday, September 15 in a big early season showdown.


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