by ANNELYSE HARRISON
SILVER BAY, Minn. - The Cherry Tigers sank the Silver Bay Mariners 41-29 in the Nine-Man Section 7 high school football game Friday Oct. 8 at Silver Bay.
Tight end Braden Roberts, a senior at Cherry, turned the game around early, making a Cherry pass interception on the Mariner's 47-yard line. Roberts rushed 12 times for 108 yards.
"We played well, but came up short in the end," said tight end Cody Larson, a junior at Silver Bay. Larson caught five passes for 111 yards, accounting for two Mariner touchdowns.
Beginning the second half, tight end Adam Mayry (11-for-21, 244 yards) ran a kickoff return 80 yards for a Tiger touchdown. Mariners answered back when Larson ran the next Cherry kickoff 55 yards for a touchdown, bringing the score to a tie at 21-21.
The Mariners (1-4) rallied as quarterback Luke Thun (10-for-14, 222 yards) threw touchdown passes of 21 and 30 yards to Larson. Thun also carried the ball in for a Mariner touchdown.
Head coach of the Mariners Ward Kaiser says he's impressed with the boys performance. "No matter what, these guys play as a family," he said. "We're not satisfied, but we see this as progress."
Tight end Alec Gruenhagen, a senior at Cherry, led Cherry's offense with 18 carries for 112 yards. Gruenhagen also made a 35-yard touchdown reception from Mayry.
Floats circled the field at halftime as the Homecoming king and queen threw candy to screaming fans. The William Kelley Mini-Cheerleaders rallied the crowd, dancing to "Eye of the Tiger" played by the pep band.
"No matter if we win or lose tonight, we're still going to have fun," said Homecoming queen Nikki Mealey.
Mariner Assistant Coach Erich Richter said he's proud of the boys. "We're a young team, and we're just looking for the guys to learn and improve, so we'll take this as a moral victory," Richter said.
The Tigers (3-2) will move on to play Cook High School (6-1) next week at