Denfeld News

Sept. 4, 2010
Duluth News Tribune

Rivals unite, and conquer
By Rick Weegman

Central? Denfeld? By whatever name people choose to call the new combined high school football team that merged students from the two rival schools, they can be called pretty good.

The Central Trojans — which all athletic programs at the school will be known by this season — defeated Hermantown 21-0 on Friday night at Public Schools Stadium, dominating all aspects on offense and defense in the teams’ season opener.

Central scored two touchdowns in an 11-second span of the third quarter to break a scoreless deadlock, and kept the Hawks off the scoreboard despite committing five turnovers.

“First game, two schools coming together, we did pretty good,” junior running back Nate Beaulieu said. “We had a little rough start, but we finished strong.”

C.J. Ham gained 107 yards on 15 carries and Beaulieu added 75 yards on 13 attempts as the Trojans piled up almost 300 yards on the ground.

“The kids were ready to play,” Central coach Chris Vold said. “They’ve been chomping at the bit since June, and you could see it in their eyes all day. The excitement, energy and enthusiasm were great.”

The Trojans turned the ball over four times in the first half, but they held a 143-60 edge in total yards.

“It was a little bit frustrating, you’re moving the ball and then turn it over,” Vold said. “The defense played great keeping them out of the end zone … but the turnovers are inexcusable.”

After the defense held the Hawks to a second three-and-out in the third quarter, Central went 50 yards in three plays to take the lead. Jeff Ohaju ran 34 yards in two carries and Tony Klaas rumbled into the end zone from 16 yards out to make it 6-0.

Graham Whiting jumped on a loose ball on the ensuing kickoff and Beaulieu scampered 23 yards on the first play for another touchdown.

“That was a big swing,” Hawks coach Daryl Illikainen said. “At 6-0, I thought we still had some momentum, but that took the wind out of our sails.”

Ham covered the final 3 yards of an eight-play drive early in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.

Hermantown quarterback Cody Baker was carted off the field after being injured on the next drive. Illikainen said Baker was moving and that he was taken to a hospital for precautionary reasons.

At the end of the game, the Trojans celebrated with their fans — those wearing Central colors and those wearing Denfeld colors.

“We’re all one team now,” Ham said.

Hermantown ................... 0-0-0-0—0
Duluth Central .............. 0-0-14-7—21

DC — Tony Klaas 16 run (run failed)
DC — Nate Beaulieu 23 run (C.J. Ham run)
DC— Ham 3 run (Jeff Ohaju kick)

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