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Somerset football aims to go 3-0 in MBC Friday against Ellsworth

Somerset quarterback Will Piletich breaks free on a run during a recent Spartan game against Osceola.

After two years of missing out on being part of the WIAA playoffs, the most consequential goal for the Somerset football team is making a return to the state playoffs.

And after two rounds of Middle Border Conference games, the Spartans are halfway to that goal. The Spartans improved to 2-0 in the MBC with a 42-21 win at Prescott last Friday.

The Spartans have scored 42 points in both of their conference victories. Somerset will play at home this Friday, hosting Ellsworth. Ellsworth made drastic improvement last Friday, along with a number of personnel changes, leading to a 38-14 win over Amery.

Somerset coach Bruce Larson said Ellsworth will provided the toughest opposition the Spartans have faced thus far in the MBC. With the changes in the lineup, Ellsworth presents a much more balanced attack than it featured in the first three weeks of the season.

While the Spartans put together a solid performance at Prescott, the game showed the Spartans are still a work in progress. Prescott took the opening kickoff and drove for a touchdown, with nearly all the yardage coming on passing. Larson said the Spartans made adjustments on defense after the first drive to slow down Prescott’s passing attack.

Prescott also has some large linemen and it took the Spartans some time to deal with that, but gradually, the Spartans took charge of the game.

The two-headed, inside-running attack of fullback Jack Peterson and quarterback Will Piletich kept the Spartan offense clicking. Somerset averaged 9.1 yards per carry in the game. Peterson rushed for 204 yards on 24 carries and Piletich gained 184 yards on 16 carries. Piletich was especially effective at cutting back against the grain of the Prescott defense after he broke through the defensive line.

Larson said one of the keys to the game was the play of the Spartans’ special teams. Excellent kickoff coverage, led by senior Roy Hale, pinned Prescott deep in its own territory for most of the game. Larson said the Spartans often only had to drive 50-60 yards for scores because the special teams had put them in such good position. Kicker Dylan Sayers got excellent depth on his kickoffs and he hit all four of his extra point attempts.

Younger players continue to show growth on defense. Jackson Cook played free safety for much of the game, intercepting a pass in the first half that shut down a Prescott drive. Larson said linebacker Spencer Sindt is getting better every game.

Larson said the tone of the season has completely changed in the past two weeks.

“Two weeks ago, we were 0-2. To not get down and to continue to play hard says a lot about these kids,” Larson said.

Somerset 42, Prescott 21

Scoring

P -- Carson Stenroos, 10 yard pass from Lane Budworth (kick failed)

S -- Will Piletich, 47 yard run (Dylan Sayers kick)

S -- Piletich, 2 yard run (Jack Peterson run)

S -- Peterson, 45 yard run (run failed)

S -- Piletich, 7 yard run (Sayers kick)

S -- Roy Hale, 4 yard run (Sayers kick)

P -- Budworth, 6 yard run (Budworth run)

S -- Peterson, 2 yard run (Sayers kick)

P -- Riley Anfinson, 1 yard run (Ayden Veranth kick)

Somerset rushing

Jack Peterson 24-204; Will Piletich 16-184; Roy Hale 2-23; Ryan Kelly 1-9; Tate Pitcher 4-6

Somerset passing

Will Piletich 1-3-0, 25 yards; Jack Peterson 0-1-0

Somerset receiving

Roy Hale 1-25

Dave Newman

Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for nearly 30 years.

(715) 426-1051