Wolves grind out a win; Lah scores game’s only TD, defense shines as Ely blanks Ogilvie

EXTRA YARDS - With fellow senior Thomas Montana (14) providing a block, Ely’s Blaise Lah stays on his feet and moves ahead for more yardage against Ogilvie.
Lah had over 100 yards rushing and the only touchdown in the state-ranked Wolves’ 6-0 victory. Photo by Nick Wognum

by Tom Coombe -

It took three-and-a-half
quarters, but the Ely Timberwolves
finally broke
through.
Blaise Lah plunged in
from one yard out in the
fourth quarter to break a
scoreless deadlock, and a
stout Ely defense took care
of the rest in an Aug. 31
season-opening 6-0 victory
over Ogilvie at Ely School
Stadium.
Ely, which won its 17th
consecutive regular season
contest, was stopped twice
inside the Lions’ 10-yardline
earlier in the contest,
but the third attempt proved
to be the charm.
“I thought we moved the
ball well but we just couldn’t
punch it in earlier,” said Ely
Head Coach Brian Lamppa.
“We had a couple of drives
stalled because of penalties
and mistakes.”
The Wolves finally put
together a complete drive
in the final quarter, taking
advantage of good field position
and marching 55 yards
for the score. A 14-yard run
by sophomore Eli Conaway
was pivotal, but once the
Wolves got close they turned
to Lah.
The 190-pound senior
workhorse, who finished
with 110 yards on 26 carries,
got the ball on third
down and crossed paydirt
- exciting an appreciative
opening night crowd that
watched amid near-perfect
late-summer conditions.
“He ran well,” Lamppa
said of the senior. “We got
close and we called the play
and he just happened to get
the ball.”
Ogilvie nearly answered
with the equalizer, but a
scoring run was called back
by a holding penalty and the
Wolves forced a turnover on
downs with a minute to go.
The Ely defense held the
Lions to just 121 total yards.
and stiffened after giving up
a 28-yard gain on a fourthquarter
screen pass.
After back-to-back state
tournament appearances,
the Wolves are rebuilding
on both sides of the ball but
the defense was impressive
in its early work.
Conaway recorded a
team-high 14 tackles and
senior Thomas Montana
finished with seven.
Jasaih Wigdahl, a burly
300-pound junior lineman,
helped anchor the middle
of Ely’s defensive unit and
recovered a fumble.
“(Assistant Coach) Cory
(Lassi) does a good job with
that defense, but I was a little
surprised,” said Lamppa.
“We shut them down.”
Early in the game, the
Wolves moved the ball well
with both Lah and Conaway
coming up with big
runs. Sophomore Dalton
Schreffler ignited another
march with a 19-yard burst,
but penalties and the clock
helped stymie the hosts.
A drive late in the second
quarter was stopped on
downs inside the Lions’ 10
with under a minute to go.
“We just have to cut
down on our mistakes and
we’ve got to be able to finish
drives,” said Lamppa.
“We have to do a better job
of that.”
Ely met Northeast Range
Friday night in its second
straight home tilt, and a
Sept. 15 trip to Lake of the
Woods starts a stretch that
includes four road games
in five weeks - including
other long trips to South
Ridge, Silver Bay and Cook
County.
The only home game in
that span is the Fall Homecoming
game with Mt. Iron-
Buhl, slated for Sept. 29.