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DURAND — For a second consecutive week, Elk Mound’s rushing attack was turbo-charged as senior Blaze Todd and sophomore Avery Kaanta combined for 354 of the Mounders’ 367 rushing yards in last Friday night’s 41-14 dismantling of Durand on the Panthers’ home (artificial) turf of Bauer Built Sports Complex.
“Our defense studied hard all week and rose to the occasion,” said head coach Dave Lew. “I thought our D-line and middle linebackers were very stout against the run and brought the pads all night.”
Coming off a five-touchdown, 273 yards performance in the previous week’s home victory over Boyceville, Todd added another five scores and 243 yards to his season totals against the Panthers. Through five games this season, Todd sits just a yard short of the 1,000 yard plateau with 999 yards on 114 attempts for a hefty 8.8 yard per carry average or 199.8 yards per game.
Kaanta complimented Todd’s performance with 111 yards rushing and a touchdown for the Mounders who finished with 367 yards on the ground to win for the second straight week and moved to 2-1 in the Dunn-St. Croix with the victory and 3-2 overall.
“I was also very happy with our offensive line and the amount of movement they got up front for Blaze and Avery,” Lew explained. “They set the tone on the first play of the game and continued to work hard the entire night.”
Elk Mound held Durand (1-2, 2-3) to just 26 yards on the ground in the September 20 football contest which forced the Panthers to move the ball through the air where they collected 171 yards and both of their touchdowns.
Blaze Todd and the Mounders’ offense wasted little time in scorching the Panthers’ defense. Todd used his speed to take the ball 63 yards into the end zone to give Elk Mound six-points just 53 seconds into the game. Gaelen Young successfully put the PAT through the uprights for 7-0 Mounders’ lead.
Three and a half minutes later, Todd would find his way back to pay dirt on a one-yard plunge that gave Elk Mound, with another successful kick by Young, a 14-0 advantage.
Elk Mound caged the Panthers and sealed their fate with three second-quarter touchdowns as Blaze Todd bookended six-pointers around an Avery Kaanta’s lone touchdown to give the visiting Mounders a comfortable 35-0 halftime lead and a running clock throughout the second half.
Todd scored his third touchdown of the contest on 2-yard run at 7:26 of the second quarter. Less than two minutes later, Avery Kaanta broke free for a 35-yard scamper with 5:32 left until half. But Elk Mound and Todd were not quite finished. The senior speedster broke loose for his fourth scoring run of the first half – a 34-yard jaunt at 2:40. Each of the extras by Young were successful.
Durand finally erased its scoreboard goose egg at 8:32 in the third quarter when Panthers’ quarterback Joseph Biesterveld sent the ball flying for a 17-yard reception and touchdown to Kadin O’Keefe. A failed extra point kick left the score at 35-6.
Todd added his fifth and final score of the contest early in the fourth when he scored on a three-yard run at 9:37. While Young’s PAT missed its mark, the Mounders had 41points on the board.
Biesterveld and O’Keefe continued on a second aerial strike at 8:01. This one covered 61 yards. Biesterveld tossed a completion to Spencer Sabelko for the two-point conversion which made the final score 41-14.
The Mounders’ passing game netted no yards as Chase Rhude hit on just one of his four attempts, but the running game, as it has in recent games, was the defining factor for Elk Mound.
“I was impressed with the involvement of our sidelines,” Lew said. “Our young guys made a big difference Friday night, and the energy was there from the first whistle to the last, so proud of our entire team.”
Elk Mound will host Dunn-St. Croix rival the Colfax Vikings this Friday evening, September 27, for the Mounders 2019 Homecoming game. This may be the last gridiron meeting for the two schools, conference wise, as Elk Mound will be moving out of the Dunn-St. Croix Conference and into the Cloverbelt Conference for the 2020 season.
Elk Mound……..14……..21……..0……..6 – 41
Durand……………0……….0……..6……..8 – 14
EM – 63yrd rushing TD by B. Todd (ext. point successful) 11:07
EM – 1yrd rushing TD by B. Todd (ext. point successful) 7:26
EM – 2yrd rushing TD by B. Todd (ext. point successful) 7:26
EM – 35yrd rushing TD by A. Kaanta (ext. point successful) 5:32
EM – 34yrd rushing TD by B. Todd (ext. point successful) 2:40
D – 17yrd reception TD by K. O’Keefe (ext. point unsuccessful) 8:32
EM – 3yrd rushing TD by B. Todd (ext. point unsuccessful) 9:37
D – 61yrd reception TD by K. O’Keefe (two-point conversion successful) 8:01
Passing (att-comp-yds-int): EM (4-1-0-0) C. Rhude 4-1-0-0 ; D (18-10-171-0) J. Biesterveld 17-10-171-0, S, Bauer 1-0-0-0.
Rushing (att-yds): EM (45-367) R. Bohl 1- -7, N. Lew 2-11, L. Schultz 2- -7, B. Todd 26-243, A. Kaanta 12-111, E. Levra 2-16 ; D (16-26) S. Sabelko 1- -2, J. Biesterveld 1-2, S. Bauer 9-28, L. Zeilinger 5- -2.
Receiving (att-yds): EM (1-0) M. Jensen 1-0; D (10-171) S. Sabelko 4-33, C. Berger 1-40, S. Bauer 1-8, K. O’Keefe 4-90.