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Friday Football: New Richmond, St. Croix Central keep on winning

The New Richmond and St. Croix Central football teams kept their success rolling on Friday night.

New Richmond went to Somerset and scored a 34-16 win over Somerset. St. Croix Central locked up a place in the WIAA football playoffs with a 43-8 homefield win against Amery.

The New Richmond-Somerset game turned into a battle of conflicting styles. Somerset put together some impressive time-consuming drives. But the Spartans just couldn't prevent the big plays that carried New Richmond to victory.

Somerset opened the game with an 86-yard scoring drive, with quarterback Bennett Baillargeon carrying the ball on nearly every play. Baillargeon scored on a 7-yard run.

The Tigers struck right back. A 35-yard pass from Mikah Kier to Joey Kidder set up a 5-yard touchdown run by Noah Towberman.

Early in the second quarter the Tigers struck again. A 22-yard pass to Cole Tappe got the ball to midfield. On the next play, Kier executed an outstanding fake and raced downfield for a 49-yard touchdown.

Somerset answered back with a time-consuming 80-yard drive. It looked like the Spartans were stopped, but on a fourth-and-19 play, Baillargeon broke several touchdowns to score from 20 yards out. Somerset held a 16-14 lead, but not for long.

Somerset sent a line drive kickoff to New Richmond's Blake Kretovics. He sprinted right through the center of the coverage for an 83-yard touchdown with 1:09 left in the half. That gave New Richmond a 21-16 and the Tigers never looked back. Kier added a 70-yard touchdown run and Kretovics finished the scoring with an 11-yard run.

Kier led New Richmond with 143 yard rushing. Baillargeon and fullback Jack Peterson combined for 301 rushing yards for Somerset, Baillargeon with 166 and Peterson with 135.

St. Croix Central also had a two-pronged running attack that worked well on Friday. The Panthers had no trouble with Amery. By halftime Central led 35-0 and the Panther reserves played most of the second half in the 43-8 win. With the win, the Panthers lock up a place in the 2017 WIAA playoffs as they look to defend their Division 4 state championship.

Central fullback rushed for 120 yards and four touchdowns in Friday's win. Halfback Keagen Berg totaled 82 yards and one touchdown.

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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