Eau Claire North found themselves in an early hole on Thursday night, having just given up a 19-play, nearly ten-minute drive covering 76 yards that ended with a fourth-and-goal touchdown plunge from the one-yard line from La Crosse Central's Matt Degenhardt. They responded by taking the ensuing kickoff--the first time the Huskies touched the ball in the game--into the endzone.

It would be the first of three long touchdown plays called back due to penalty.

On the sidelines, Huskies coach Josh Fizel and his assistant coaches could be heard yelling after that first penalty "not too high, not too low." It was a reference to keeping emotions in check, for better or worse, no matter what happened on the field. Fizel said in our postgame interview that his team showed great resiliency and stayed even despite the calls that sometimes went against them. It was a statement about how the team responded to some early adversity.

The Huskies defense responded in a big way, forcing five straight three-and-outs and recovering a fumble over the course of the middle two quarters of the game, stifling the Red Raiders offense to a total of minus four yards after giving up 76 on the opening drive of the game.

Meanwhile, the offense put up three scores on their first three offensive possessions, including two touchdown passes from Adam LaRock to Max DeGrasse. Special teams got in on the act with a return that did not get wiped out due to penalty, a 57-yard punt return touchdown by Carter Holden. Eau Claire North found themselves with a 34-7 lead in the third quarter and never looked back.

In a game that featured a hook-and-lateral and several exciting early offensive plays, the second half showed the effects of the hot and humid conditions both teams had to endure. The Red Raiders scored three touchdowns in the fourth quarter, from 37, 41, and 76 yards out, finding their big-play groove when it was too late. Eau Claire North won 41-27, but for most of the game, the Huskies dominated.

Our next game with the Huskies will be their matchup with Eau Claire Memorial on September 18. Meanwhile, La Crosse Central will play Memorial next Thursday, and Mike Sullivan will have the call for you on 1400 WBIZ.

Tune in tonight as Eau Claire Regis takes on defending State Champ Stanley-Boyd, with the Cloverbelt lead on the line in the opening week. 6:45p pregame on 1400 WBIZ.

OTHER GAMES

-Mondovi dropped their game to G-E-T last night 16-6, but the Buffaloes still figure to be an important part of the Dunn St Croix race. Coach Mike Sinz was pleased with his team's effort. They'll play another tough opponent in rival Durand next Friday in Mondovi. Our coverage of the Buffaloes will return September 26 when they hit the road to play Glenwood City, a team they beat by one point last year.

-Chetek/Weyerhauser started the season off with a bang, knocking off another Dunn St Croix preseason contender in Elk Mound 34-7 last night in Elk Mound. Chetek/Weyerhauser looks to be a major player in the Heart O' North conference this season, along with Bloomer. Meanwhile, our coverage of Elk Mound picks back up on September 5 for their Dunn St Croix opener against Spring Valley. The Mounders play Eleva-Strum next Thursday.

TONIGHT

1400 WBIZ: Eau Claire Regis at Stanley-Boyd, 6:45p. Jimmie Kaska.

880 WMEQ: Chaska (MN) at Menomonie, 6:45p. Jay Fahl and Steve Schrantz.

92.1 WMEQ: Somerset at Bloomer, 6:45p. Woody Wall and Gary Thompson.