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Panthers pound Spooner 33-7 for win one in game one

Ellsworth's Adam Schuster takes the high road and Evan Klawitter the low road to bring down Spooner's Matt Slawinski during Friday's season opener at Fuller-Symes Field.3 / 5
Ellsworth running back Dan Giese fights his way for yardage.4 / 5
Ellsworth head coach Clair Austin with some last minute instructions for the Panther defense.5 / 5

Last year at this time it was the Ellsworth High school football team taking the long bus ride back home after a season-opening loss to Spooner.

This time around it’s the Railers who will have to deal with a loss miles from their home as Ellsworth won emphatically 33-7 Friday at Fuller-Symes Field.

The Panthers took the opening drive of the season over 60 yards for the game’s first touchdown on a three-yard run by Jarek Fischer. He also caught a 53-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Kyle Kurrelmeyer in the second half. Ellsworth also had a pair of TDs from running back Brandon VanderMarliere on runs of five and two yards and also had a 19-yard scoring run by Dennis Schutz in the first half.

Ellsworth finished with over 434 yards of total offense, 334 on the ground and 110 in the air. VanderMarliere had 93 yards rushing on 15 carries while Schutz rushed for 65 yards on eight carries. Schutz also caught four passes for 52 yards.

“We established a tone of what we want to do on offense right away in the ballgame from that first drive,” Ellsworth head coach Clair Austin said. “We gave the ball to a lot of our backs because our depth in the backfield will be a strength for us this season.”

Ellsworth’s defense made two fourth down stands deep in their territory to keep Spooner out of the endzone. They also had a pair of interceptions from Nick Taranto and Riley Melstrom.

The Panthers are back at home next Friday against Red Wing.