Finally. After a bitter start to the season with three-straight losses, the Minnesota Freeze tasted sweet victory with a 23-13 home win over the Columbus Explorers.

“I’m so happy for the guys. They’ve worked so hard to get here,” said head coach Dave Dickenson. “I hope this is just the start of something positive.”

The Freeze started red hot, scoring all of the points they would need in the first half. They drove 72 yards on their opening possession, capping it off with a 31-yard pass from Mike Reilly to Antonio Callaway. Their next drive was just as fruitful, pushing 61 yards before Ito Smith punched it in from four yards out.

Rene Paredes extended the lead with a 28-yard field goal, and Corey Clement capped off their fourth-straight scoring drive with a 4-yard touchdown and a 23-0 halftime lead.

Columbus tried to stage a comeback, posting a third-quarter touchdown and two field goals in the fourth quarter, but the defense held strong and held them off.

Reilly finished the night 21 of 26 for 201 yards with 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions.

Clement ran for 67 yards and a score on 13 carries. Smith and Terron Ward added to a dominant rushing attack that piled up 204 yards.

Aaron Grymes led the defense with 9 tackles. They were held without a sack or interception.

Minnesota looks to make it two-straight wins this week on the road at the 0-4 Virginia Admirals.