The Braham Bombers kicked off to Owen Loew to start the football game on Friday, October 8, against the Moose Lake Willow River Rebels at the Frank Magdziarz Field in Willow River. Groundskeeper Daryl Herzog had the field maintained, manicured, and lush ready for the gridiron game. His granddaughter, Ellie, told him, “Grandpa, it looks like an NFL football field.” The chain gang, Guyal Nelson, Ted Shaw, Clayton Ohlin and Scott Danelski had the down markers ready. The Rebels mini-cheerleaders and proud parents were ready for their half-time performance. The younger junior high football players were down on the sidelines with the veteran players.
According to the Quality Results Formula (QRF), the Rebels (5-0) are ranked first in Minnesota Class AA out of the 54 teams with 66.2 points. MLWR’s devastating defense brand of football was prepared to hold the opponents scoreless and they did. Opposing offenses are averaging only 50 yards per game.
On the first Rebel offensive play, Logan Orvedahl hauled the pigskin 53-yards for the first of seven Rebel touchdowns. The clock had run down only 48 seconds into the game. All seven of Sam Kenezivich’s points after touchdown kicks were good to make the final score 49-0 Rebels.
Orvedahl got a second touchdown with 5:57 p.m. left in the first quarter. Then sophomore quarterback Adam Neumann threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to Kaden Robbins to end the first quarter, 21-0 Rebels.
The second quarter started out with a score, when Landin Kurhajetz caught a punt from the Bombers and scampered 52-yards, waiting for his blockers, for another six. With 6:07 left until half-time, running back Henry Ribich broke tackles scoring on a 57-yard run to make the score 35-0. The Rebels got the ball back on their own 15-yard line. Jackson Thompson grabbed the ball from Neumann and ran 85-yards to make the half-time score 42-0.
In the second half, the clock was set at running time, Alex Watrin, Duane Broughton forced a loss of yards for the Bombers. Braham punted to the 43-yard line. Ethan Burton took the ball, then Jackson Thompson followed his blockers for the final score, 49-0. The snap was low, but Kenezivich’s kick was good.
Luke Dewey took over under center, with three keepers. Running backs Jaxsyn Schmidt, Dawson Mortensen, Levi Mikrot, Duane Broughton, Kaden Robbins, and Owen Loew finished out the drive to end the game.
Defensively, Thompson and Broughton had seven assists, but 24 other Rebels were in on tackles. There were no fumbles or interceptions.
Rebels’ Homecoming game against the Hinckley-Finlayson Jaguars (4-2) will be Thursday, October 14, at Frank Magdziarz Field in Willow River at 7 p.m. for a Section 7AA match-up.
With this win, Coach Dave Louzek not only collected his 200th win, but also ties long-time Laker/Rebel football Coach Bob Youso for the most wins in school history. They both are now tied as the 57th winningest football coaches in Minnesota high school history.
Louzek has been head coach for the MLWR teams for 23 years, since 1999, and has an unprecedented run of success. He was an assistant for four years before taking over the helm.
The players like playing for him. After the game, he said “It is a two-way street, he likes the players.” He likes making it as fun as possible, and do things that have nothing to do with football, such as a trip to a waterpark or golfing.
Any person that wants to be a part of the MLWR football program, Louzek finds a way to get them involved.
The teams under Louzek’s helm, have won 13 Section 7AA Championships in 14 years from 2006-2019. The Rebels have had three trips to the State Class AA state title game. His teams have averaged nine wins a season.
Tom Brabec announced some fun facts after Louzek’s 200th win. In 1989, Moose Lake/Moose Lake Willow River Coach Bob Youso got his 200th win against the Braham Bombers. Coach Louzek got his 200th win against Braham in 2021. On that 1989 team, Donn Danelski was a junior and a center on that team. This year his son, Luke, is a junior and a center on this team. Dan Peterson, this year’s ball keeper, was on that 1989 team. His son, Garrett Peterson, is on this year’s team. Brabec did the play-by-play in 1989 for Louzek’s first game and was in the booth on the mic for his 200th game.
Coach Louzek’s motto for his teams is “Work hard, have fun, and expect to win.” Congratulations coach.