2017-08-31 / Sports

Mikesell, Norsemen make dynamite debuts

By Jay Bushen
Sports Editor


SUTTONS BAY sophomore running back Lucas Mikesell made the most of his six carries against visiting against Bear on Friday, finishing with 130 yards and two touchdowns. Mikesell also opened the scoring for Suttons Bay with a 21-yard touchdown reception from Evan Rohrback. SUTTONS BAY sophomore running back Lucas Mikesell made the most of his six carries against visiting against Bear on Friday, finishing with 130 yards and two touchdowns. Mikesell also opened the scoring for Suttons Bay with a 21-yard touchdown reception from Evan Rohrback. The 8-man era in Suttons Bay didn’t begin quite the way first-year coach Dan Durkin had anticipated.

Bear Lake sophomore running back Andre Brown ripped off a 67-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage, giving the visiting Lakers a 6-0 lead just 19 seconds into the game.

“The first play defensively was not the way we wanted to start,” Durkin said after the game, “but I was very pleased with how we responded.”

Senior quarterback Evan Rohrback answered on Suttons Bay’s opening drive, connecting with sophomore tailback Lucas Mikesell for a 21-yard score just 1:34 later.

Against a program playing in its first-ever football game, the Norsemen never looked back. Caleb Smith blocked Bear Lake’s punt on the ensuing possession, Cam Knaub provided the obligatory scoop-and-score and, thanks to 35- and 46-yard Mikesell touchdown runs, Suttons Bay led 27-6 at the end of the first quarter.

It was all downhill from there.

Suttons Bay’s 8-man debut ended as a 61-20 win for the home team.

“Offensively, we ran the ball extremely well tonight,” Durkin said. “I was very proud of our offensive line. Those guys worked their butts off tonight, which was awesome to see.”

The Norse made the most of Bear Lake miscues in the second half en route to a big fourth-quarter lead, a running clock and 302 total yards.

Mikesell finished with 130 yards on six carries (21.7 average) to go with his trio of first-quarter touchdowns.

“It was a great experience,” Mikesell said. “I’ve been dreaming about playing on varsity my whole life.”

Rohrback, meanwhile, completed 4-of-6 attempts for 61 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.

Defensively, sophomore defensive back Bryce Opie was a one-man wrecking crew. Opie finished with 12.5 tackles, 3.5 sacks, a blocked extra point and one interception. Alex Aguilar, a junior, recovered two fumbles.

Defensive highlights were especially plentiful in the second quarter when a unit led by Smith and junior linebacker Eric Halvorsen began throwing its weight around and delivering clean — but violent — hits.

“They did a great job on a couple drives against us,” said Suttons Bay defensive coordinator Stan Pasch, whose current stint at Suttons Bay dates back to 2000, “but our kids responded after that.”

Pasch added: “Dan is doing a great job for us. The kids have responded real well to him. ... Kids are excited about football again at Suttons Bay.”

NEXT UP: Wyoming Tri-unity (0-1)

The Norse will go from facing brand new football players in Week 1 to seeing 2016 state semifinalists tonight.

In fact, Wyoming Tri-unity Christian entered its semifinal matchup against Deckerville with an 11-0 record before suffering a 36-6 defeat.

“It’s going to have to be a perfect week of preparation,” Durkin said of his team, “but I think we have the guys to do some special things this year.”

Wyoming Tri-unity will head north hungry for a victory after suffering a 14-8 overtime loss to Battle Creek St. Philip in Week 1.

Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m.

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