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Football: Missing five starters, Silver Bay falls to North Woods

Wind and rain led to a slick, chilly game for the Silver Bay Mariners, who lost 42-0 against North Woods last Friday. But it wasn't the only storm the team faced.

Due to injury and illness, the team could not play five of their starters.

"It was the perfect bad storm of it being the starters," Silver Bay head coach Ward Kaiser said of the illness and injury sidelining five starters — including quarterback Jason Blood and running back Giovanni Marolt.

The team's focus was on returning to the basics, according to Kaiser.

"Our goal was just to go out and play hard and do the fundamentals right. We got guys in there that maybe haven't played a lot of football. You got to keep the plays pretty simple and so the playbook was pretty limited, but you can still learn a lot doing the fundamentals," Kaiser said.

Sophomore Riley Tiboni took over in quarterback again this week as Blood continues to nurse an injury. Tiboni managed to run 12 times for 25 yards. After the game, Tiboni said he thought the players that stepped up to fill the positions performed well, especially considering the strength of North Woods.

"We're pretty down because of the score, but we understand they are a lot better than us," Tiboni said.

Sophomore Mason Ollman ran 16 times for 80 yards. He said it was an adjustment to play so much.

"It was a little rough because we didn't have all the starters and so we had to get a little bit of a step up from the younger guys," Ollman said.

In addition to Tiboni and Ollman, Kaiser said junior Peyton Westerlund, who played fullback Friday, performed well on defense.

Kaiser saw Friday's game as an opportunity for the younger players to gain playing time and learn from it.

"I feel fairly good about how much courage these guys played with and how they never gave up. And they wanted to keep going at it. And they did," Kaiser said.

The Silver Bay Mariners (1-2) play Mountain Iron-Buhl High School (2-1) tonight at 7 p.m. at William Kelley High School in Silver Bay.