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Spartans alone atop MBC, face Prescott on Friday

Three games into the Middle Border Conference season and the Somerset Spartans are alone atop the MBC football standings.

The Spartans are the only 3-0 team in the MBC after they won at Ellsworth last Friday, 48-20. Osceola suffered its first loss of the MBC season last Friday, 23-21 to Amery.

With a win this Friday in their Homecoming game against Prescott, the Spartans would assure themselves a place in the 2004 WIAA state football playoffs. Somerset coach Bruce Larson said Prescott plays a wide-open offense and the Cards have only given up an average of 10 points per game in the MBC this season.

The Spartan offense is coming off a game where the ground game churned out 485 yards. Senior fullback Tom Hennessey stood out Friday, gaining 281 yards in 25 carries. He had nearly 200 yards in the first half, including runs of 45, 30 and 41 yards in the first quarter. Jeff Klis also came up with a 52-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter for the Spartans.

Freshman Brock Montpetit scored his first varsity touchdown on an eight-yard burst up the middle for the final Somerset score.

Don't get the impression that Ellsworth rolled over and played dead in this game. The score was 28-14 at halftime, after the Spartans stopped Ellsworth at the Somerset 4-yard line as the half ended.

Ellsworth's passing game gave the Spartans some trouble. Ellsworth sophomore quarterback Travis London completed 10 passes for 208 yards. He completed passes to eight different receivers. Ellsworth's final touchdown was on a tremendous diving catch by Jared Hines in the end zone in the fourth quarter.

Conversely, Somerset couldn't complete a pass in the game. Larson said the Spartans must do a much better job of pass blocking so quarterback Jake Rorabeck can get time to get his passes away.

The Spartan defense did produce four turnovers in the game. Three came on fumble recoveries. The fourth was an interception by Tom Fohrenkamm after the pass was tipped at the line.

One area of the game that infuriated Larson was the nine penalties called on the Spartans.

"That's got to stop," Larson said. "We've been getting away with them, but that won't always happen."

One of the bright lights for this game was the play of the Spartan special teams. Klis and Billy Raleigh had several long kickoff and punt returns. The Spartans also excelled at kick coverage, led by senior Nate Hildebrant.

"I think our special teams are better than they've ever been," Larson said.

Somerset 48, Ellsworth 20

Somerset 14 14 8 12 48

Ellsworth 7 7 0 6 20


Som -- Tom Hennessey, 1 yard run (Mitch Colanino pass from Jake Rorabeck)

Som -- Jeff Klis, 3 yard run (kick blocked)

Ells -- Chase Melstrom, 35 yard pass from Travis London (Chad Melstrom kick)

Som -- Billy Raleigh, 4 yard run (run failed)

Ells -- London, 15 yard run (Melstrom kick)

Som -- Hennessey, 21 yard run (Raleigh run)

Som -- Raleigh, 6 yard run (Klis run)

Som -- Klis, 52 yard run (run failed)

Ells -- Jared Hines, 10 yard pass from London (kick blocked)

Som -- Brock Montpetit, 8 yard run (run failed)

Som Ells

First Downs 12 11

Rushing Yards 485 81

Passing Yards 0 208

Passes 0-4-0 int. 10-23-1 int.

Penalties 9-70 1-5


Som -- Tom Hennessey 25-281, Jeff Klis 7-80, Jake Rorabeck 11-65, Billy Raleigh 8-36, Brock Montpetit 6-19, Alex Sullivan 4-4, Nate Hildebrant 1-0


Som -- Jake Rorabeck 0-4-0 int., 0 yards


Som -- None

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.
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