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Football: Mariners fall to Mountain Iron-Buhl

Silver Bay's season ended with a 32-13 loss to Mountain Iron-Buhl in the opening round of the Section 7 9-man playoffs Tuesday in Mountain Iron.

Peyton Westerlund scored on a 20-yard run to give the Mariners a 7-6 lead in the first quarter, but the Silver Bay wouldn't score again until the fourth quarter and MIB would take a 20-7 lead into the locker room at halftime. Jared DeHart would score again in the fourth quarter, but Silver Bay couldn't close the gap.

Coach Ward Kaiser said Silver Bay showed a lot of improvement since MIB blew out the Mariners 50-0 Sept. 22.

Silver Bay had one touchdown called back on a penalty and another drive into MIB territory ended with a Mariner fumble.

Silver Bay was extremely young this season with just three seniors and three juniors playing by the end of the season and the lack of experience seemed to show itself at exactly the wrong times.

"For us, you can see things on defense where maybe we don't get the right angle on a guy to make that tackle, or maybe we get a penalty because our guy was holding when he meant to just hold the block," Kaiser said. "It's the little things like that at the wrong time and experience can really make a difference."

One of the bright spots for the Mariners was the emergence of sophomore Mason Ollman who rushed for 196 yards against MIB. Over the past two games, Ollman rushed for 535 yards and solidified his spot in Mariner backfield for a couple of years to come.

The Mariners managed just three wins this season, but a tough schedule and season ending injuries seniors Bryce Brooks and Giovanni Marolt took their toll. Still, Kaiser was proud of the way the team persevered and continued to compete despite a down year. He said typically coaches win a lot of awards when teams win a lot of games, but it's the "thin years" where the most coaching gets done.

"We're really trying to work with these guys and keeping a positive attitude," Kaiser said. "After the game last night, you could see that they didn't really want to leave the field. You could see the emotion. Sometimes, when you finish a season 3-6, you don't always see that emotion. It just shows that these guys were into it and were playing hard and that they were really just there to play football."

Jamey Malcomb

Jamey Malcomb has been a reporter for the Pine Journal since October 2018. He previously worked as a reporter for the Lake County News-Chronicle from 2015-2018. Malcomb is a native of North Carolina and holds a bachelor's degree in English and history from the George Washington University and a master's degree in education from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. Malcomb moved to Minnesota in July 2012 and worked as a sports clerk and news assistant at the Duluth News Tribune. 

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