Thunder steals show in Bluejacket Football opener

Zimmerman's Collin Ashley scored the game-winner with a 70-yard catch-and-run in the fourth quarter to defeat the Bluejackets.

Zimmerman ran its win streak to three games over Cambridge-Isanti when the Thunder prevailed in its Sept. 1 home opener 12-7. Junior halfback Collin Ashley sprinted for a 70-yard touchdown after taking a pass in the flats and getting a great block from a wide receiver to overcome a 7-6 deficit with 8:20 to play.

The Thunder then helped seal the win by producing a clock-eating drive which wore away nearly all the final 7 minutes of the non-conference game.

The game began with a defensive battle where both teams penetrated and picked up sacks. In the second quarter, Cambridge-Isanti sustained a 78-yard scoring drive mixing the short pass and the run. Trent Chromy finished it off with a 2-yard TD plunge over the middle for a 7-0 lead.

That score stood until the first play of the fourth quarter when a C-I runningback had the ball popped out of his grasp, and Thunder linebacker Cam Korlath snared it out of midair and raced 25 yards for the TD. Zimmerman’s kicker had a leg cramp on the play, so they had to go for 2-pointer and failed, keeping the Bluejackets ahead 7-6.

C-I cornerback Ryan Epsen (21) perfectly defended this Thunder pass in the end zone to quell a first-half scoring threat.

For the game, the Thunder limited the Bluejackets to 55 rushing yards on 28 carries. Jacket QB Clayton Jennissen completed 8-of-20 for 60 yards, with Ryan Epsen making 5 catches for  41 yards.

Leading in tackles for C-I were Travis Holt (11), Jennissen (8), Epsen (8) and Cole Bakke (7, 2 sacks).

Zimmerman finished with 229 rushing yards on 50 carries. QB Ethan Lunning completed 6-of-16 for 134 yards and also rushed for 59 yards.





Linebacker Cole Bakke had 2 sacks in the first half and finished with 8 tackles.