In the 2017 Thunder Football season opener, the Thunder lost a close 13-6 battle against Ridgewater Community College. The home game was played on Saturday afternoon, September 2, at Spartan Field in Superior, Wisconsin.
Running back Lorine Parker led the Thunder offense with 198 rushing yards on 29 carries and scored the Thunder’s lone touchdown. The offense focused on running the ball and did not attempt to mount a significant passing attack. Parker carried the workload for the Thunder offense and did not fumble the ball during all of his rushing attempts. The Thunder outgained Ridgewater with 265 total yards but had to overcome three lost fumbles and one interception.
The Thunder defense held strong as team tradition expected, allowing just one passing touchdown during the game and forcing Ridgewater to punt seven times while holding them to just 148 total yards of offense.  Ridgewater’s winning touchdown came on a 66-yard punt return with about four minutes remaining in the game
Linebacker and Thunder team captain Jeff Andrew and defensive tackle Christopher Fitzpatrick led the team in tackles with five total each, and the Thunder defense recorded three sacks. Ridgewater was ranked fourth in the MCAC Coaches’ Poll entering the game.
Next up for the Thunder is another home game, this week at Duluth Public Schools Stadium at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 9, vs. Northland Technical & Community College.

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