GOOSE LAKE — A tough start put the Northeast football team in early hole.
And visiting Wilton had no intention of letting the Rebels climb out of it.
The Beavers offense scored three times in the first half and Wilton’s defense got in on the act, too, returning both an interception and a fumble back for touchdowns to build a big lead in an eventual 46-7 victory.
Keeping the ball on the ground early, Wilton turned a jet sweep into a 34-yard touchdown and added a two-point conversion to jump out to an 8-0 lead.
A pair of Jacob Mickelson runs gave the Rebels a third-and-five on their first drive, but a pass attempt in traffic was intercepted and returned for a touchdown. The score, coupled with another two-point conversion, increased the Wilton lead to 16 just minutes into the game.
Turnovers were not done being a thorn in the side of the Rebels either.
Northeast’s next drive moved into Wilton territory — fullback Ty Schmidt picked up a key third down — before the Beavers were able to grab another Rebels pass for an interception.
The Northeast defense answered back, using a second down sack by Samuel Moraetes to force an eventual fourth-and-eight.
The Beavers, though, did better than pick up a first down, instead they scored an 18-yard passing touchdown to stretch the lead to 22.
A big kick return by Ethan Snyder — 36 yards — set up the Rebels in good field position on their next drive, but again Northeast could not keep the ball, as a fumble on third down gave it back to Wilton.
This time, the Beavers were unable to take advantage as a fourth-down pass fell incomplete.
The visitors, though, forced a Rebels punt and then struck through the air for a long touchdown pass before capping their big first half with a 30-yard fumble return for touchdown.
The Rebel passing attack began to find its rhythm in the second half.
First, quarterback Riley Wolfe connected with Schmidt on a screen pass that picked up 23 yards on a third-and-12.
Later, on the same drive Wolfe found Cade Hughes deep for a 42-yard completion that brought the ball all the way to the Beavers’ eight-yard line.
Schmidt took care of the final eight yards, picking them all up on one carry for the rushing touchdown. Rodrigo Chotgues, meanwhile, added the extra point.
Wilton’s big first half, though, kept the clock moving in the second half and the Rebels were limited to just five offensive snaps after their touchdown.
Schmidt had both 29 yards on the ground and a 23-yard reception, while also scoring the touchdown.
Hughes added his own catch for 42 yards as Wolfe threw for 60 yards.
Mickelson added 18 yards on ground, while Maclane Murrell had eight.
Senior Cody Ploog had 10 tackles with three of them being for loss and one an assisted sack. Hughes added eight tackles of his own — seven of them solo — with one going for loss.
Atzin Dondiego also had eight tackles and a tackle for loss, while Ethan Messerich and Sam Moraetes both had five tackle. Messerich teamed with Ploog for a sack, while Moraetes had a solo sack.
After back-to-back home games to start the regular season, the Rebels will hit the road Friday for a visit to Wapello.
The Indians won their opener with Louisa-Muscatine, 26-12, but dropped their most recent game with West Branch, 24-7.
This will be the Rebels’ second-ever trip to Wapello and the first since 1998.
Wilton 46, Northeast 7
Wilton 22 16 8 0 46
Northeast 0 0 0 7 7
Team Stats Northeast Wilton
First Downs 3 15
Rushing Att. 24 35
Rushing Yards -2 160
Passing 3-11 8-11
Completion % 27% 73%
Passing Yards 60 116
Total Offense 58 276
Turnovers 4 0
Penalties 5-18 2-10
Passing – Riley Wolfe, 3-11, 60 yards.
Rushing – Cade Hughes, 1-(-4); Jacob Mickelson, 8-18; Maclane Murrell, 5-8; Ty Schmidt, 5-29, one touchdown; Wolfe, 5-(-53).
Receiving – Hughes, 1-42; Murrell, 1-(-5); Schmidt, 1-23.
Tackles – Atzin Dondiego, eight (four solo); Hughes, eight (seven solo); Nate Lorenzen, two (one solo); Liam Maze, four (one solo); Peyton Mclane, three; Ethan Messerich, five (three solo), one sack; Samuel Moraetes, five (one solo), one sack; Murrell, one solo; Cody Ploog, 10 (one solo), one sack; Schmidt, four two solo); Ethan Snyder, two (one solo); Wolfe, three (one solo).