(Full story) Princeton football maintained its strong roll toward the end of the regular season by pitching a 35-0 home shutout over North Branch Oct. 11.
Going with the strong south wind to start the game, the Tiger defense kept the Vikings pinned deep in their own end the entire first quarter. The offense took advantage on its second series by cruising over the short field, taking a 7-0 when AJ Wesloh blasted through a trap hole for a 29 yard scoring run.
Tanner Erickson and Cam Paulson made strong penetrating tackles against the Vikings on the next series. Princeton went up 15-0 after Cole Warren ran right up the middle for a 20-yard TD run, and Paulson ran in the two-pointer.
Just into the second quarter, Paulson recovered a fumble at the NB 30 to stop the Vikings again. Warren ripped off a long run to the 11, then Wesloh dashed in from a yard out for a 22-0 lead. On the ensuing kickoff, Paulson again hustled to recover the pooch kick before NB could down it. Zach Kitzman took the next handoff, bounced outside and went 28 yards for a 28-0 lead.
The Tigers’ threatened again on their final possession of the half when Billy McClay weaved inside the 5 yard line on a fake punt, but two personal foul penalties moved the ball back a good distance. But the team got those potential points right back to start the third quarter when the offense held the ball for 8:30 while driving 80 yards into the wins. Kitzman ate up much of that yardage on the ground, then Cody Schuelke capped the scoring with a 15-yard TD run, sprung by a great Greg Whiteoak block.
Next up: The Tigers renew their rivalry with Cambridge-Isanti for the regular-season finale Oct. 16. After starting 3-0, the Bluejackets have lost three of their past four games, including falling to St. Michael-Albertville 31-6 last Friday.
A victory could help ensure a top-two seed for the Tigers in the Section 7AAAA playoffs which comes with a first-round bye for the Oct. 22 quarterfinals.
Princeton 35, North Branch 0
First Downs 14 6
Rushing 47/284 29/95
Passing 5/3/0 4/1/0
Passing Yds 25 9
Total Yds 309 104
Tiger Individual Stats: Rushing: Wesloh 10/74, 2 TD; Kitzman 8/61, TD; Warren 4/44, TD; McClay 2/32; Dahlheimer 7/31; Schuelke 4/34, TD; Derrick 3/14; Robillard 4/14; Whiteoak 2/13. Passing: Archer 5/3/0- 25 yds. Receiving: McClay 2/27; Palmborg 1/7.
Mississippi 8 Football: Red Div.: Chisago Lakes 5-0, 6-1; Monticello 3-1, 4-3; Princeton 3-2, 5-2; North Branch 1-3, 2-5; Big Lake 1-4, 1-6; Duluth Denfeld 1-4, 1-6. Blue Div.: Rogers 4-0, 7-0; St. Michael-Alb. 4-0, 7-0; St. Francis 3-2, 4-3; Cambridge-Isanti 2-3, 4-3; Buffalo 0-4, 1-6; Duluth East 0-4, 0-7.
Section 7AAAA standings: Hermantown 6-1, Princeton 5-2, Cloquet 6-1, Hibbing 2-5, Duluth Denfeld 1-6, Grand Rapids 0-7.