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Local Sports

Russell Opens with Loss at Ellsworth

Russell Bronco FootballThe Russell Bronco football team opened the 2019 season on Friday, September 6 with a 44-22 loss at Ellsworth.

Ellsworth (1-0) scored first at the 3:41 mark in the first quarter on a one yard touchdown run by quarterback Morgan Kelley. The extra point attempt was no good and the Bearcats led 6-0 after one quarter.

Ellsworth extended its lead to 14-0 with nine minutes to go in the second period on an 11 yard touchdown run by running back Luke Sharp and a successful two-point conversion. However, less than a minute later, Russell (0-1) running back Jesse Whitmer bolted 66 yards down the sideline for a touchdown. The two-point conversion made the score 14-8. With 1:21 left in the first half, the Broncos scored another TD on a three yard run by running back Rhett Pospichal. The two-point conversion was good and Russell took a 16-14 advantage into the half.

Kelley scored two more rushing touchdowns for the Bearcats in the third frame and Ellsworth led 30-16 heading into the fourth quarter.

Russell QB Jacob Sohm used great field position set up by a Bearcat turnover to punch in a one yard touchdown run with 8:34 left in the game. However, the two-point conversion try was no good and Russell still trailed 30-22 at that point. Kelley scampered 71 yards for his fourth TD of the night with 5:32 to go in the game and Ellsworth's Kash Travnichek returned an interception 38 yards for a touchdown with 2:13 left to seal the win for the home team.

The Broncos totaled 192 yards on the ground and 39 yards through the air. Whitmer rushed for 137 yards on 10 carries.

Ellsworth totaled 277 yards on the ground and 59 yards through the air. Kelley accounted for 221 of those rushing yards on 30 carries.

Turnovers were a huge problem for both squads, but especially Russell. The Broncos lost five fumbles and threw five interceptions for a total of 10 turnovers. Ellsworth lost four fumbles. Of the four Bearcat fumbles, Russell's Braden Flax recovered two of them and blocked a punt that led to another of them.

The Broncos next travel to LaCrosse on Friday, September 13. Catch the game on KRSL AM 990, 98.1 FM and with pregame coverage starting at 6:30 PM. Kickoff is set for 7 PM.

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