Heart, passing game Northwestern football’s 2022 keys in state quest

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It takes a lot to go undefeated in the regular season. It takes a great deal more to do it three times in the last four years, which is exactly what the Northwestern football team has done.

16 time Heart O’ North Conference champions, they’ve proven that rising up to the challenge of their rivals all comes down to the heart of the Tiger.

“[It’s] just the work ethic this summer and everything that everyone wants to do,” senior wide receiver Jase Nelson said. “Everyone knows the goal at the end of the season and where we want to get.”

“It’s fun to be completely honest with you,” senior running back Tanner Kaufman added being a Tiger. “This year on offense and defense it’s kind of a group of seniors that, we grew up playing together since sixth grade, and so it’s fun is what it is. It feels like we’re kids again.”

Last fall they battled all the way to Level 3 of the playoffs behind a tough run game, but would fall to Ellsworth two steps short of the state tournament.

Now, in just their first week of practice, Northwestern is already changing their focus to find state.

“We’ve got some new concepts, with an older crew it can be easier to do install, but we have to be able to throw the ball when it counts,” head coach Jovin Kroll said. “Throwing the ball in mid-November isn’t always easy, so the short game is really going to be our emphasis here.”

The Tigers will kickoff their 2022 season hosting a team favorite Highway 2 rivalry match against Ashland on August 19.