By Barry Hoff | Bloomer Advance

In what turned out to be a balanced attack, the Bloomer Blackhawks defeated the St. Croix Falls Saints 22–7 in their first game of the season at home Friday night, Aug. 23. This is the first year that the Saints are part of the Heart O’ North conference—for football and wrestling only. Bloomer’s 347 yards gained in the game were split almost perfectly even with 176 yards in the air and 171 yards on the ground.

The Blackhawks were the first to put points on the board when senior Isaiah LaGesse connected with junior Charlie Herrick for a 37 yard touchdown pass in the first quarter. The 2-point conversion run by Matthew Holstad was good making it 8–0 for Bloomer.

The Saints were unable to answer back in the first quarter but were the first to score in the second quarter. St. Croix Falls running back Anthony Will carried the ball 2 yards for a touchdown with 10:34 left in the second quarter. The kick was good and Bloomer’s lead shrunk to one point.

However, with just under a minute left in the second quarter, LaGesse again connected, this time with senior Dalton Grambo, for a 5 yard touchdown pass. Herrick ran the ball in for the 2-point conversion and that’s where the first half ended with Bloomer on top 16–7.

The only score of the second half of the game came with 5:07 left in the third quarter when junior Ethan Rothbauer carried the ball 58 yards for a touchdown. The 2-point attempt failed and the score was 22–7 where it stayed through the end of the game.

Bloomer moved the ball a total of 347 yards in 63 plays compared to St. Croix Falls who only moved the ball 187 yards in 73 plays. Both teams only turned the ball over twice with the Blackhawks fumbling twice and the Saints fumbling once and throwing one interception.

Bloomer’s yardage was split almost evenly with LaGesse passing for 176 yards and no less than nine Blackhawks running the ball for a total of 171 yards on the ground.

LaGesse connected with four deferent receivers a total of 11 times out of 17 attempts. Senior Carter Rubenzer was the top receiver, catching the ball four times for 71 yards. Herrick caught the ball three times for 48 yards, Grambo twice for 35 yards and senior Leif Iverson caught two passes for 22 yards.

On the ground, Iverson was the top rusher carrying the ball 11 times for 82 yards, the longest a 24 yard run. Rothbauer carried the ball twice for 55 yards, his longest carry being a 58 yard touchdown run. Senior Colton Buchli ran five times for 15 yards, Rubenzer seven times for 15 yards and LaGesse kept the ball three times for a -6 yards. At least five other players carried the ball for 10 more yards.

Defensively the Blackhawks held the Saints to 187 total yards, 68 in the air and 119 on the ground. The Saints’ quarterback, Zack Clark, only found his target nine times in 19 tries and the Blackhawks pushed him back 23 yards on five carries. Only two other players ran the ball for St. Croix Falls but five players caught Clark’s nine completions. Bloomer senior Trent Tozer intercepted one of Clark’s passes and senior Zane Baier caused a fumble.

On special teams, Rubenzer returned a kickoff for 23 yards and Herrick returned one for 13 yards. Tozer returned three punts for an average of 12 yards each with the longest being 19 yards.

The Blackhawks(1-0) are home again this week taking on the Chetek-Weyerhaeuser Bulldogs (1-0) Friday night, Aug. 30.