Every coach wants their team to get out to a fast start against an opponent. E-Hawk Head Coach Mike Dunlap couldn't have gotten a much better start from his team on Friday against Okoboji. A turnover on the first play from scrimmage set up an Emmetsburg touchdown :30 into the game and started the scoring parade in a 72-13 win for Emmetsburg.
After kicking off to the Pioneers of Okoboji, Jake Jackson intercepted a pass at the E-Hawks' 37 on the first play from scrimmage and returned it to the Okoboji 44 yard line just seven seconds into the game. On second down, Brady Christensen got the ball and raced 36 yards for a score. Nick Merwald put the kick between the uprights and it was 7-0 Emmetsburg just :30 into the contest.
For Okoboji, the first quarter became a bad, bad dream. On the resulting kickoff, a fumble was recovered by Emmetsburg's Mitch Petersen at the Pioneers' 24 yard stripe with 11:21 to go in the quarter. On first down, Andrew Wellik did what he does best, running over tacklers to race into the end zone from 24 yards out for a score with 11:08 to play. Merwald added the kick for a 14-0 lead less than 1:00 into the game.
On Okoboji's next possession, Jake Jackson would come up with his second interception of the game, giving the E-Hawks the ball back near midfield.
Jackson would then guide the E-Hawks downfield, capping the turnover off with a four-yard run by Wellik for the score with 9:14 to go in the quarter. The kick was good for a 21-0 lead, but the E-Hawks were nowhere near finished.
Okoboji got the ball and managed to string togethers a couple of first downs, driving to the Emmetsburg eight yard line, but a penalty would back the Pioneers up and a strong defensive stand by the E-Hawks got the ball back on downs.
With 5:14 to go in the quarter, Jackson handed off to Brady Christensen, who broke a tackle and raced down the sidelines 92 yards for a score with 4:58 to go in the quarter. The kick was blocked, making the score 27-0.
On the next possession, Okoboji would fumble the ball, and Tanner Dahm came up with the loose ball at the Pioneers' 42 yard line.
Once again, the E-Hawks took advantage of the turnover, and Wellik would pound through the defense for a six yard score with :2:54 to go in the first quarter. The conversion try for two failed, making the score 33-0.
Okoboji would get the ball back on the kick and began a drive, but for the third time in the quarter, Jake Jackson snagged a pass for his third pick of the game and returned it 32 yards to the Pioneers' 31 yard line with :34 to go in the quarter.
A quick drive would ensue and with :02 to play in the first quarter, Austin McCartan hit paydirt from 10 yards away for the score. Merwald's kick was good, making the score 39-0 as the quarter came to close.
The Pioneers would go three and out to start the second quarter, and Emmetsburg got the ball at their own five yard line. A quick drive downfield would result in Mitch Petersen scoring off a five yard run with 11:16 to go in the half. The kick made the score 47-0 as the scoring blitz seemed like it would never end.
Okoboji would come up with a good return and marched downfield, but with 6:22 to go in the half, the drive was killed as Jake Jackson picked off his fourth pass of the game. A penalty on the return gave the E-Hawks the ball at their own 41 yard line and the resulting drive downfield was capped off with a 12 yard run by Mitch Petersen for his second score of the night with 4:47 to go in the half. The conversion kick was blocked, making the scored 53-0 for the E-Hawks.
With the E-Hawk reserve defense in the game at that point, Okoboji managed to get a good return to midfield, and managed to break their scoreless drought with a 30 yard run by Mark Nielsen with 1:03 to go in the half. The kick was blocked by Cody Henderson, making the score 53-6 at the intermission.
With the continuous clock rule in the effect for the start of the second half, The E-Hawks got the ball to start, with the second team offense on the field. Emmetsburg would get a good opening return from Jacob Kibbie and drove the length of the field, capping the drive off with a one yard dive by Aaron Bird with 7:09 to go in the third. Taylor Wegner's kick was wide, making the score 59-6.
On the resulting kickoff, Okoboji's Gabe Goehring fielded the ball at the 22 yard line and managed to thread his way through the E-Hawks for a 78-yard return for a score with :6:53 to go in the third. The kick by Jake Dodge was good, making the score 59-13.
Emmetsburg would take over on the resulting kick and wasted little time in answering the Pioneer's score with a 58-yard run from Allen Jensen with 5:12 to go in the quarter. The kick by Wegner was good, making the score 66-13.
Okoboji would get the ball back and drove downfield, but with :38 to go, Brady Bailey came up with a big interception at the one-foot line to kill a Pioneer scoring drive. Bailey would return the ball to the E-Hawk 22 to bring the third quarter to a close.
With the E-Hawk sophomores taking over the offensive and defensive duties in the final quarter, Emmetsburg would continue to march downfield after the interception, and capped the 78-yard drive off with a 20 yard run by Jacob Kibbie for a touchdown. The kick failed, making the score 72-13 with 8:21 to go.
Okoboji would turn the ball over on downs with 4:30 to go in the game, and Emmetsburg would run the clock out for the lopsided win.
Emmetsburg had 593 rushing yards off 42 attempts, while Okoboji managed 21 yards off 25 attempts. The E-Hawks had no passing yards, while Okoboji connected on 14 of 35 attempts for 156 yards with five interceptions.
Brady Christensen ran three times for 142 yards, while Mitch Petersen had 10 carries for 109 yards. Allen Jensen had four rushes for 81 yards ana Andrew Wellik added 80 yards on six rushes. Greg Wesley had 50 yards on three attempts and Tyler Henson had four rushes to gain 42 yards. Austin McCartan picked up 40 yards on three carries, while Cody Henderson had a 15 yard carry, Caige Elbert had a 14 yard carry and Aaron Bird added two rushes for 12 yards. Brandon Elbert had a nine yard run and Zach Anderson ran once to gain four yards.
Defensively, Jake Jackson made four interceptions for 70 yards and Brady Bailey had a 22 yard return of a pick.
Tanner Dahm recovered a fumble while Allen Jensen, Tayler Wegner, Tyler Henson, Jon Hesse and Joe Jackson all got in on quarterback sacks.
Mitch Petersen would come away with a total of seven tackles for the E-Hawks.