INDOOR FOOTBALL: Green Bay routs Axemen in season finale
GREEN BAY, Wis. — If something could have gone wrong for the Bemidji Axemen Friday night, odds are it did.
The team lost 52-35 in its final game of the season to the Green Bay Blizzard.
With the loss, Bemidji finished their inaugural Indoor Football League season with a 5-9 record after holding a 5-4 record midway through the season. It was their fifth-straight defeat.
Green Bay delivered fatal blows in the end of the first half and beginning of the second half to bust the game wide open.
Quarterback Nate Wara closed the first half with a one-yard touchdown run to send the home team to the locker room with a 32-7 lead.
The rushing touchdown was his third of the half and happened on a drive that followed Bemidji’s second failed field goal attempt of the night.
Then, in the opening minute of the second half, the Blizzard defense joined the scoring party as Paul Melicharek fell on a fumble in the end zone to extend the lead to 39-7.
Green Bay capitalized on a second consecutive Bemidji fumble as Wara connected with Avonte Jones for his only passing touchdown of the night — for 25 yards — to increase the lead to 46-7, the largest of the game.
Bemidji made the final score more respectable as Josh Aakre ran in three touchdowns in the final quarter.
Aakre completed 16 of his 32 passes for 192 yards and tallied five total touchdowns.
His favorite target was Josh Jarboe, who made six catches for 97 yards and a touchdown.
Ryan Balentine, who needed a big game to set the single-season IFL record for receiving yards, finished 95 yards shy of the record after being held to 19 yards on just two catches.
Wara completed 13 of his 20 passes for the Blizzard for 167 yards, while adding 48 yards on the ground.
Green Bay 52, Bemidji 35
Bem 7 0 8 20 — 35
GB 14 18 20 0 — 52
First Quarter: GB- Lucien 2-run. PAT, Trevino kick, 12:41.
GB- Wara 3-run. PAT, Trevino kick, 4:18.
B- Jarboe 34-pass from Aakre. PAT, Pulkinen kick, 3:43.
Second Quarter: GB- Trevino 21-field goal. 15:00.
GB- Wara 7-run. PAT, Trevino kick, 5:59.
GB- Wara 1-run. PAT, Trevino kick, :06.
Third Quarter: GB- Melicharek 0-fumble recovery. PAT, Trevino kick, 14:34.
GB- Jones 25-pass from Wara. PAT, Trevino kick, 11:37.
B- Lewis 33-pass from Aakre. 2-point conversion good, 4:31.
GB- Lucien 2-run. PAT, blocked, 2:21.
Fourth Quarter- B 15-run Aakre. PAT, 2-point conversion failed. 13:21.
B- Aakre 12-run. 2-point conversion failed, 6:11.
B- Aakre 4-run. 2-point conversion. 1:20.