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James Singer returns a punt during Saturday's game against Northern Wisconsin.

Screaming Eagles start season 3-0

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Last year in the Lakes Area Screaming Eagles' inaugural season, the team couldn't find ways to win the close ones.

My, how things have changed in the second go-round.

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Not only are the Screaming Eagles finding ways to win, they are doing it in dominant fashion, as the Lakes Area semipro football team registered a bit of a milestone Saturday with a 41-0 win in the Northern Power Football League's season opener over Northern Wisconsin.

The win is the Eagles' third of the season in as many games, one more than the team collected all of last season.

"We feel we are having a chance to showcase the talent which is on this team," said Screaming Eagles owner/head coach Jason McCloskey, who also serves as the starting quarterback. "We really have a good chemistry thing going, everyone is on the same page."

And a balanced attack on both sides of the ball, as well: The Screaming Eagles' defense literally quieted the Thunderhawks' offense, limiting the unit to just 109 net yards.

Whether sacking Hawk quarterback Troy Young six times or stuffing their rushing game to a paltry 54 yards, the Lakes Area defense was up to the task Saturday on the Frazee High School football field.

"The defense demolished them," McCloskey said. "The defensive backs did an excellent job of taking away their receivers and there was such a strong push in the rush, their quarterback didn't have any time back there."

Defensive end Dave Olson was on Young's back for most of the game, notching three sacks, while linebacker Billy Quistorf raided the edges for two sacks.

"Billy had an unbelievable game," McCloskey said. "The defense just played a phenomenal game."

The defense also kickstarted the team's momentum, after the Screaming Eagles' offense sputtered early in the red zone by failing to convert a fourth-and-goal from the Thunderhawk four early in the first quarter.

After the series, LA's cornerback, Dante Mathis picked off Young, who was going deep on third and long.

From there, it seemed to spark the offense, as the Screaming Eagles tucked in their wings and followed the offensive line on the ground.

Running back Dave Moll blew the doors off the Thunderhawks' defensive front, rushing for a season-high 200 yards and an average of 11.1 yards a carry.

Moll and fellow running back Kyler Wegner put Lakes Area in the end zone for the first time on the day, with Wegner capping it on a diving four-yard reception from McCloskey.

The marching continued on the Screaming Eagles' next drive, as Moll rushed from seven yards out for a 14-0 lead, which included a pair of Todd White extra-point kicks.

"They were running a 3-5 defense, which we weren't expecting, so they were able to take away our passing routes," McCloskey said. "They basically stacked eight guys in the box, but Dave Moll was able to break through their second level and pick up some big yardage."

The Eagles added another score in the second quarter after another long drive, which ended with McCloskey hitting wideout Bert Smith on a quick hitch from six yards out for the 21-0 halftime lead.

By then, the Screaming Eagles defense had laid claim to its dominance over the Thunderhawk offense, as Lakes Area proceeded to score three more times in the second half -- including an 88-yard pass from McCloskey to Smith for the QB's third TD toss of the game and his ninth of the season.

"We've got some playmakers on this team and we also can pound the ball behind our offensive line," McCloskey said. "With our line, no one is stopping our rushing attack."

The league-leading Screaming Eagles (3-0) will host the Duluth Shoremen Saturday in Frazee, starting at 3 p.m.

Screaming Eagles results

Northern Wisconsin at Lakes Area, Saturday, May 23.

Screaming Eagles 41, Thunderhawks 0

N. Wisconsin - 0 0 0 0 -- 0

Lakes Area - 14 7 6 14 -- 41

LA - Kyler Wegner 4-yard run; Todd White kick.

LA - Dave Moll 7-yard pass from Jason McCloskey; White kick.

LA - Bert Smith 6-yard pass from McCloskey. White kick.

LA - Moll 4-yard run; PAT failed.

LA - James Singer 3-yard run; McCloskey pass to Wegner.

LA - Smith 88-yard pass from McCloskey; PAT failed.

NW LA

First Downs 9 18

Net Yards Rushing 54 272

No. rushes 31 41

Avg. per rush 1.7 6.6

Net Yards Passing 55 185

No. passes 26 31

Completed 7 12

Incomplete 17 17

Had intercepted 2 2

Total Offensive Plays 57 72

TOTAL NET YARDS 109 457

Kickoffs 1 7

Yards 47 290

Ave. kickoff 47 41.4

Kickoffs Returned 7 1

Yards 93 10

Ave. return 13.3 10

Fumbles 3 1

Fumbles lost 2 0

Penalties 4 9

Yards 49 85

* * *

Individual Rushing

Lakes Area --

Player NR YG Avg TD

Dave Moll 18 200 11 1

Kyler Wegner 16 58 3.6 1

Jason McCloskey 4 6 1.5 0

Josh Derby 1 4 4 0

James Singer 1 3 3 1

Cinque Chapman 1 1 1 0

Northern Wisconsin -

Bruce Baillergeon 7 44 6.3 0

Brent Fjerstad 3 17 5.7 0

Troy Young 12 8 .7 0

John Barney 1 (-1) (-1) 0

Craig Polifka 8 (-14) (-1.8) 0

* * *

Individual Passing

Player No Comp Inc Int Yds TD

Lakes Area --

McCloskey 31 12 17 2 185 3

Northern Wisconsin -

Young 20 6 13 1 39 0

Baillergeon 6 1 4 1 0 0

* * *

Pass Receiving

Player No. Yds. TD

Lakes Area --

Bert Smith 4 99 2

Wegner 3 42 0

John Lubitz 2 23 0

Moll 2 13 1

Singer 1 8 0

Northern Wisconsin -

Polifka 3 21 0

Barney 2 26 0

Fjerstad 1 4 0

Baillergeon 1 4 0

* * *

Kickoffs

Player No. Yds. Ave.

Lakes Area --

Todd White 7 290 41.4

Northern Wisconsin -

Nick Nelson 1 47 47

* * *

Kickoffs Returned

Player No. Yds. Ave.

Lakes Area --

Smith 1 10 10

Northern Wisconsin -

Fjerstad 3 66 22

Polifka 2 15 7.5

Baillergeon 1 7 7

Tim Ponath 1 5 5

* * *

Pass Interceptions

Player No. Yds.

Lakes Area -

Dante Mathis 1 na

Zach Sullinger 1 na

Northern Wisconsin -

Young 1 na

Dan Christianson 1 na

* * *

Sacks

Player No. Yds. lost

Lakes Area -

Billy Quistorf 2 4

Dave Olson 3 3

Brian Schroeer 1 1.

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