Northland Sports Online

Wrenshall Picks up first Playoff win since 2006


Brian Hey-NSO

October of 2006 was the last time the Wrenshall Wrens won a playoff game, after a couple seasons without a team and 1-8 records the last two years, the Wrens are back on a winning track with a decisive 31-0 win over Silver Bay on Tuesday night.  The Mariners just couldn’t get going against a stout Wrenshall defense that recovered two fumbles, and forced three interceptions in the shut out.   Wrenshall relied heavily on the speedy Dustin Shelton on the outside and full back Luke Vine getting hard yards up the middle in the rout that has them moving on in the section playoffs.

After trading possessions in the first quarter, Wrenshall’s Dustin Shelton intercepted a Luke Small pass, bringing it back to the Silver Bay 45.  On the first play Jared Klittel caught a 22 yard pass from Marcus Virginia setting the Wrens up first and goal on the 10.  3 plays later, Vine punched it in from 3 yards out giving the Wren’s a 6-0 lead after a failed extra point try.

At the start of the second quarter, the Mariners forced a 3 and out punt, but on their first play, fumbled the ball right back to Wrenshall inside the Silver Bay 50.  6 plays later, Shelton scampered around the outside for an 8 yard touchdown, and a 12-0 lead.  A couple of 3 and out’s and fumbles for both teams, left the score 12-0 at the half.

The second half started with some strong defense, both teams forcing a punt or turnover on downs in each of their first two possessions.  Finally, from their own 32, Wrenshall’s Shelton broke through the line and sprinted for 48 yards, setting up a 5 yard scoring pass to Klittel from Virginia a few plays later.  A failed 2 point attempt left it 18-0 Wrens at the end of the third quarter.

With a 4th down stop by the Wrens to start the 4th quarter, it took only 4 plays for them to capitalize with a 20 yard touchdown run by Dustin Shelton.  An extra point kick by Justin O’Conner gave Wrenshall a 25-0 lead.

One of the only highlights for the Mariners came late in the 4th quarter when senior Michael Klofstad picked up a Wrenshall fumble and took it 62 yards where he was caught from behind at the 14 yard line.  After a couple of runs from Klofstad, Silver Bay had a 4th and 1 from inside the 5, when Wrenshall’s Marcus Virginia intercepted a pass on the goal line and took it back 99 yards untouched to put the Wrens up 31-0.  An interception by Chase Morneau with less than a minute to go, allowed Wrenshall to take a knee for the final seconds to cap off the win.

Wrenshall will go on the road this Saturday to play South Ridge at 1 p.m.  for the semi-final game.

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