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Friday Football: SCC starts with success; New Richmond, Somerset defeated

New Richmond's Joe Powers (1) breaks away for New Richmond's lone touchdown in Friday's 35-7 setback at River Falls.1 / 2
St. Croix Central halfback Keagen Berg (5) picked up good yardage on this first quarter run against Durand on Friday.2 / 2

The 2018 season began successfully for the St. Croix Central football team, but the New Richmond and Somerset football teams showed they are still works in progress on Friday.

Central hosted Durand and the home team had few problems in logging a 41-14 win over Durand. New Richmond suffered a 35-7 loss at River Falls, while Somerset suffered a 50-19 loss at Bloomer.

SCC 41, Durand 14

Central scored four touchdowns in the first half to take charge of its season opener. The Panthers are hoping to reach the WIAA state championships for the third straight season and this game showed Central is moving in the right direction.

Central opened the scoring with 3:45 left in the first quarter when quarterback Austin Kopacz broke free on a 47-yard keeper. The Panthers scored again a minute later. That score was set up when defensive lineman Nate Berends intercepted a Durand screen pass, returning it to the Durand 15. Five plays later, Central fullback Ryan Larson burrowed into the end zone for a 1-yard touchdown.

Penalties put Central deep in its own territory in the second quarter, but a 63-yard punt from Derek Myer flipped the field. The Central defense then forced a quick three-and-out by Durand. Durand’s punt was returned to the Durand 44. On the next play, Larson burst through the line for a 44-yard touchdown.

Kopacz completed the first half scoring by returning an interception 75 yards for a touchdown.

Kopacz and Larson scored in the opening minutes of the second half. From there, Central’s reserves played the rest of the game.

Central’s defense had a rock-solid debut, limiting Durand to 102 yards of offense.

River Falls 35, New Richmond 7

The Tigers couldn’t stop the River Falls passing attack in the first half of Friday’s game at Ramer Field in River Falls.

River Falls scored on four touchdown passes in the first half, three of them coming from longer than 30 yards. New Richmond’s lone touchdown was also on a long play. Joe Powers scored on a 59-yard catch-and-run on a pass from Joey Kidder late in the first quarter.

New Richmond finished the game with 66 yards rushing and 77 yards passing.

Bloomer 50, Somerset 19

Somerset played one good quarter at Bloomer on Friday, but Bloomer held the upper hand in the other three quarters.

Bloomer built a 20-0 lead in the first quarter. Somerset fought back in the second quarter to cut the margin to 20-13. Somerset’s first score came on a 65-yard run by Jack Peterson and Will Piletich scored on a 15-yard run.

Somerset didn’t score again until the fourth quarter, when Roy Hale scored on a 1-yard run for the final score of the game.

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
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