The sixth-seeded Floodwood Polar Bears were scheduled to visit the third-seeded Isle Huskies in the opening round of the Section 5, 9-man football tournament on Oct. 22. But as they did during each of the final four games of the regular season, Floodwood decided at the final moment to forfeit. The no-show went down as a win for Isle, and the Huskies were able to advance to round two of the playoffs in an away game against second-seeded McGregor on Oct. 26.
The first time Isle and McGregor met on the grid-iron this fall, Isle won the game in the final seconds, 58-50, so when the two teams met on Oct. 26 in the second round of the Class 5, 9-man state playoffs, the prediction was more of the same–lots of offense. And that is exactly what transpired that evening on McGregor’s field.
The teams traded leads six times in a game that saw over 1,000 total yards of offense and 14 touchdowns scored between the two foes.
The Mercs scored on a 63-yard opening drive, but Isle countered with a 70-yard scoring series capped off with a 43-yard touchdown run by Ethan Benson.
Minutes later, Willy Stalker took a long pass in stride from quarterback Teagen Haggberg for a 65-yard touchdown to put the Huskies up 16-6 by the end of the first quarter.
The Mercs followed with two long touchdown drives to go up 20-16 before Haggberg scored on a run up the middle on fourth-down to give the Huskies a 22-20 lead by intermission.
Passes of 24 and 15 yards to Benson and Stalker on Isle’s first series of the second half was capped off by a 17-yard touchdown run by Stalker to give the Huskies a 28-20 lead.
Three plays later, the score was tied at 28-28 on a 44-yard scoring bomb to the Merc’ Drew Dean.
Isle followed with a 10-play, 57-yard drive to go up 36-28, but McGregor tied the score again on their next possession.
The turning points came near the end of the third period when Isle fumbled the ball away, giving the Mercs the ball at the Isle 13-yard line. They turned that good fortune into a touchdown and were up 42-36 just seconds into the final frame.
Isle was not done in this offensive shoot-out. They took a 44-42 lead on their next series with some clutch catches by Benson.
That final lead was short-lived when the Merc’s Colton Anderson ran 53-yard to pay-dirt on the first play of McGregor’s next possession to go up 50-44.
The Mercs scored one more time to win, 58-44.
Isle finished the game with 501 total yards of offense, including 271 through the air.
McGregor had 514 total yards with 393 on the ground.
In total, the two games this season between Isle and McGregor produced 210 points.
Isle finished the season with a record of 4-6. McGregor was scheduled to play South Ridge in the next round on Nov. 1.
Isle 16 6 14 8 44
McGr 6 14 16 22 58