ESKO — Mountain Iron-Buhl coach Dan Zubich wasn’t happy with his team’s sluggish start Thursday, Oct. 31, so naturally, he got on the team’s quarterback.
“I got it, I got it, I got it,” said Rangers freshman quarterback Asher Zubich, who happens to be Dan’s son.
Zubich responded by having a hand in the next four touchdowns — two rushing and two passing — as the Rangers scored 34 unanswered points to turn a 7-0 deficit into a rout in the Section 7 Nine-Man title game. It could have even been five straight TDs for Zubich if a lateral to Dillon Drake had been ruled a forward pass.
“I always try to stay confident, no matter what,” Asher Zubich said. “We’re just a team that never gives up. We just keep fighting.”
Both Zubich and Drake rushed for more than 100 yards and Aidan Bissonette had two touchdown receptions for top-seeded MIB (9-1), which advanced to play the Section 5 champion (South Ridge or McGregor) Friday, Nov. 8, at Public Schools Stadium in Duluth. Silver Bay, the No. 2 seed, finished 8-3.
Senior Mason Ollman capped his stellar Mariners career with 215 yards and a touchdown. Ollman finished the season with 1,926 yards and 24 touchdowns and is looking to play college football.
The Mariners dealt with an injury to senior quarterback Riley Tiboni and turned the ball over too many times to beat a team like MIB, with Drake having a fumble recovery and Bissonette and Braden Tiedeman had interceptions for the Rangers.
“The second quarter we made a couple mistakes, a couple things we didn’t convert on and they took advantage of it with their high-powered offense,” Silver Bay coach Ward Kaiser said.
The game pitted the rugged running of Ollman against the multi-faceted attack of MIB.
“We put this offense in three years ago as a way to spread it out so that the defense couldn’t key on any one person,” Dan Zubich said.
Of course, it helps having skill players like Bissonette, Drake and most importantly, Asher Zubich. Despite being just a freshman, Zubich has uncanny skills and good size (6-foot-1) for his age.
“You know, when you live in a coach’s house, you’re playing football and watching football and around football ever since you were a little kid,” Kaiser said. “He’s a good quarterback.”
Of course, being the son of a coach and a quarterback brings some added scrutiny, but it’s heat that the younger Zubich can take.
“He’s been coaching me my whole life, so I’m used to it,” Asher Zubich said.