The Ellsworth Panthers made a pair of first half touchdowns passes by Drake Flom hold up in a 13-7 win over the River Falls Wildcats in high school football action Friday night, Aug. 25, at David Smith Stadium at Ramer Field in River Falls.
Flom hit Logan Benson for a 36-yard touchdown strike in the first quarter and found Ryan McGregor from 17 yards out in the second to stake Ellsworth to a 13-0 halftime lead after a missed extra point.
River Falls took the second half kickoff and marched 72 yards to cut the lead to 13-7 on a one-yard touchdown plunge by Seth Kohel and Luke Nelson's extra point. The Wildcats converted a pair of fourth downs on the drive, including a 4th-and-6th pass from Ryan Flanagan to Nate Rixmann to put the ball on the one.
The Wildcats picked off two Flom passes in the second half, both by Joey Davis, but couldn't capitalize. Logan Graetz hit Payton Flood for a 30-yard gain out to midfield with just over two minutes remaining but the Panthers stopped the Wildcats on downs before running out the clock to seal the win.
Flom completed 11-of-31 passes for 226 yards while McGregor caught four passes for 118 yards. Logan Melstrom led the Panthers on the ground with 69 yards on 14 carries.
Flanagan completed 12-of-23 passes for 107 yards for the Wildcats while Graetz was 6-of-13 for 95 yards. Flood, Rixmann and Joe Stoffel caught five passes each with Flood accounting for 67 yards while Kohel carried the ball 26 times for 78 yards.
River Falls will open Big Rivers Conference play at Menomonie this Friday, Sept. 1, while Ellsworth will host defending Division 4 state champion St. Croix Central in the Middle Border Conference opener.