Beyond the Gridiron: Titans Rule Friday Nights with 5-0 Start

Updated: September 25, 2018 10:57 PM

Rainy days are meant for watching films, which why the Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin (GNK) football team gathered Monday afternoon to take a look at just how their shutout against International Falls panned out.


"Everything is clicking, "said senior quarterback Nikolai Rajala. "Everyone is doing their own jobs. At times our offense is doing good, other times our defense is doing good. I think the combination is really working for us this year," he added.

With the win last week, the Titans improved to 5-0 on the season. Beyond studying the film, this is a team that came in with experience. With the help of their 10 seniors, their playbook compliments the versatility of their players.

"I think that we have a really complex offense this year. We can score in a lot of different ways, we can throw the ball and run the ball very effectively," said senior fullback and middle linebacker Matthew Jeska.

"Obviously our height helps and then we've got speed on the outside. When people think we're going to pass it, we run it and we can do that just as good passing too," added Rajala.

"We've got three really good running backs that we can go to and we've got three or four wide receivers," said GNK head coach Bob Schwartz. "Nikolai Rajala is doing a good job at distributing the ball and it's making his life pretty easy."

Their record doesn't stray away from the fact that they've had their challenges this season. The week prior the Titans had their first scare against Esko. It was a game they had to come from behind to win by just five points.

"I think the kids learned you gotta be ready to play anybody. I think we were feeling a little too good about ourselves, so it was kind of a good wake up call," said Schwartz.

"They just had a good passing game and I don't think we were totally prepared for it," Jeska added about their game against Esko.

Their biggest test may come this week against Two Harbors. Last season, the Agates handed GNK a 42-0 loss.

"We've played them four or five times in the last three years and it's been a battle. I don't expect nothing else and this should be for a number one seed," said Schwartz referring to their section seed.

The team continues to take things week by week, but their goal as it is every year, is to make it to the section championship game. They know if they want it, they'll have to rule football field on Friday nights, like Titans.

"You can't just think that oh, we're going to come here and win," said senior offensive guard and defensive tackle William Johannsen. "We have to keep focused on everything and make sure everyone has the mindset that if we're going win, we go to keep going hard."

The Titans will host the Agates on Friday. Kickoff is set for 7:00 P.M.

Copyright 2018 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

Relay Media Amp

Duluth protesters gather to call for justice for George Floyd

Donna Bergstrom & Art Johnston file for Minnesota legislature seats

Northland journalism community saddened by struggling DNT

Dam breaks in Sawyer County

Some churches resumed mass again on Wednesday

Bayfront event decisions left up to organizers