If you had asked the Aitkin Gobbler football team last week if they thought the “Stump” might be changing addresses Oct. 23, you would have been met with a resounding, “no way.”
The Gobblers backed that up with a 30-6 thumping of the Crosby-Ironton Rangers on the road at John Davies Field to move their record to 2-0 on the young season.
The Gobblers used a 22-0 start to take a big lead into halftime and never looked back. Owen Miller and Austin Price both rushed for more than 100 yards as the Gobblers rushed for 275 yards.
Aitkin added another 61 through the air for 336 total yards – and then held the Rangers to just 133 yards total.
“It’s always great to get a win in a rivalry game, especially on the road,” said coach Alan Hills. “We played very well in all three facets of the game.”
Aitkin took the opening kickoff and marched down the field, capped by a 2-yard run by Miller for the touchdown. Jake Ince ran 2-point attempt and it was 8-0.
That was the only scoring of the first quarter, but Aitkin added a pair of scores in the second. The Gobblers marched 76 yards in just 10 plays to take a 14-0 lead with Miller going the final 5 yards for the score.
This time the run failed and with a little over seven minutes left in the half it was 14-0 Gobblers.
Aitkin scored again in the final minute of the half on a 34-yard pass from Caiden Kjelstrom to Ince. Miller ran the 2-point conversion, and it was 22-0 at intermission. The score was set up by a stop on fourth and one at the Ranger 46. It took just three plays for the Gobblers to hit the end zone.
The Rangers finally got on the board in the third following a Gobbler turnover at their own 31-yard line.
Landon Erickson hit Dietrich Winegarner from 5 yards out and after the point after failed, the score stood at 22-6.
Another Ranger turnover gave the Gobblers a first down at their own 28 but a penalty moved them back to the 14.
From there the Gobblers moved the 86 yards down the field with Miller and Price doing most of the work. The drive used up a lot of clock and was finished off by Price, who took it in from 5 yards out. Jack Grell ran in the point after for the 30-6 advantage and that was the final scoring of the night.
Stats were pretty impressive for the Gobblers. Miller ran for 121 yards on 15 carries, while Price added 111 yards on 20 carries.
Hunter Nissen had 47 on just two carries. Kjelstrom also had a good night, completing 3-of-4 passes for 61 yards and a score. Ince had a catch for 34 yards and a score, while Nissen and Joey Simonson each had a catch for 16 and 11 yards, respectively.
Jeremiah Smyth led the defense with five tackles, while five other players had two each and Nissen had five assists.
Hills praised the defense after the game.
“The defense did an excellent job of eliminating the big play and Owen Miller created two key turnovers when they were driving,” the coach said.
He was also pleased with the offense.
“The line did an excellent job of creating some nice holes for our backs,” Hills said. “We did a great job of controlling time and possession and hit a few bog plays through the air when we needed them.
“Overall, it was a big win.”
The Gobblers take to the road this week as they head for Mora Friday night. The two teams will match up with both sporting 2-0 records.
The Gobblers won last year’s matchup, 28-20.
Aitkin 8 14 0 8 – 30
C-I 0 0 6 0 – 6