NICOLLET - It was a rematch of the Section 2 Class 9-Man football championship game from last season - The Nicollet Raiders against the Madelia Blackhawks.
The Raiders pounced all over Madelia and advanced to the state tournament with a 44-0 shutout victory last fall and on Friday night Nicollet jumped out to a 35-0 lead and went on to defeat the Blackhawks 35-8 in the second week of the Southern Confederacy Conference season.
Sophomore quarterback Dalton Elliott and older brother Tanner Elliott shined for the Raider's offense. Dalton Elliott threw for 235 yards and four touchdowns on 17-of-25 passing and Tanner Elliott ran for 70 yards on 17 carries.
"Nicollet is just a team that has our number," Madelia head coach Terry Arduser said. "They came out and executed, we did things nicely in the first quarter, we had a game plan and we were executing it. Then they figured us out on offense and defense and that was it. I have to give all kinds of credit to Nicollet - they're well coached, their kids know how to play football and they just took it to us."
After both teams failed to score in the first quarter after a couple possessions Dalton Elliott decided he needed to get his team on the board a couple of times before halftime to set the tone.
Desperately needing to score, the Raiders over came three third downs and took a 7-0 lead on Madelia. Dalton Elliott completed a pass to Tanner Elliott for a first down on third-and-10. Three plays later Tanner Elliott took the toss up the middle and raced for a first down on third-and-8.
Later Nicollet was yet again faced with a third down. This time it was Dalton Elliott's turn to run as he scrambled up the middle being pushed by his teammates for a 10-yard gain and into the red zone.
On the very next play Dalton Elliott found Matt Christenson wide-open in the end zone from 16 yards out and the Raiders took a one score lead with 7:50 remaining in the first half.
Madelia's starting quarterback Adam Cooling was injured in the first game of the season and he did not play Friday night. Replacing Cooling was freshman Kyle Schultz. Schultz did a nice job handling Nicollet's high-powered defense in the first half, but on the ensuing possession the wall of Raider's was just too much.
While under-pressure and deep in his own territory Schultz was sacked and he coughed up the ball and Nicollet recovered with prime field position.
On the first play Dalton Elliott hit Matt Fischer for a 12-yard touchdown and in just over a minute Nicollet held a 13-0 lead.
Matt Christenson added another score with two seconds remaining in the half as he barreled into the end zone and increased his team's lead to 21.
Tanner Elliott scored on a 5-yard run with three minutes remaining in the third quarter and with nine minutes remaining in the game Dalton Elliott threw his fourth touchdown pass on a perfect throw to Evan Guffey from 40-yards out to give the Raider's a 35-0 lead.
The Blackhawks added a touchdown with 2:46 remaining as Schultz hailed the ball into the end zone and making a nice catch was Devin Ulmen to break-up the shut out.
"We knew we had to come out and execute," Nicollet head coach Tom Murphy said. "I thought early we were a little amped up and gave up some yards on some plays and then we calmed it down. I thought we made some good play calls that caught them off-guard a little bit. I'm really happy with the play of our line up-front and both sides across the board."
Guffey finished with six catches for 108 yards and eight tackles for Nicollet and Christenson had three catches for 41 yards and 11 tackles. Lucas Gens had 2.5 sacks.
Nicollet improves to 2-0 and will play at Westbrook-Walnut Grove Friday while Madelia falls to 1-1 and will host Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Truman.