HARTLEY - Emmetsburg's E-Hawks pitched a shut-out on a cold Friday night to old rivals Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn for a 42-0 decision to stay tied atop Class 1A District One. The victory sets up the district title game this Friday night when Emmetsburg will host South O'Brien, who also is undefeated in district play and holds an identical 6-1 overall mark on the season.
At Hartley, the E-Hawks took the opening kickoff and scored first after a nice, 80-yard drive that was capped off by Brady Christensen's 17 yard run with 8:50 to go in the first quarter. The conversion kick attempt failed off a muffed snap, giving Emmetsburg the early 6-0 lead.
The E-Hawk defense would take over and force Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn into a three-and-out, but after the punt, Emmetsburg would also go three and out. But, the Hawks would also be forced to punt with 2:51 to go in the quarter, giving the E-Hawks the ball at their own five yard line.
After a first down play went no where, on second down, quarterback Jake Jackson put the ball in Andrew Wellik's hands. Wellik jinked and weaved his way across the field to clear the defense and outraced a safety 95-yards for the touchdown with 1:26 to play in the quarter. On the conversion attempt, kicker Nick Merwald picked up the ball and threw to Nick Schany in the end zone for the two-point conversion to make the score 14-0 to end the first quarter.
HMS?would end up starting the second quarter with a punt after engineering a small drive, The E-Hawks would take over, but couldn't sustain a drive off the possession and were forced to punt with 8:27 to go in the half.
HMS fielded the punt, but the ball fell out of the receiver's hands and was recovered by Nick Schany at the HMS?44 yard line. Emmetsburg took over after the turnover and started to drive, only to fumble and lose the ball at the Hawks' eight-yard line with 6:15 to go in the half.
The Hawks were unable to move the ball against the E-Hawk defense on their possession and ended up turning the ball over on downs at their 15 yard stripe with 4;26 to go in the half.
Just two plays later, Wellik would get the pigskin and bull into the end zone from five yards out with 4;09 remaining in the half. Nick Merwald drilled the PAT?kick to give Emmetsburg a 21-0 lead.
Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn would take over after the score but would end up having to punt from their own 38 yard line. The punt was partially blocked and rolled out of bounds at the HMS 47.
The E-Hawks would take over but would end up turning the ball over on downs, leaving HMS to end the half in their own territory trailing by a 21-0 score.
Emmetsburg kicked off to open the second half and the defense held the Hawks to just one yard in the possession before forcing a punt. The E-Hawks fielded the punt at their own 34 yard line and on first down, Andrew Wellik found a momentary seam. The senior slipped through the seam, stepped out of the grasp of two defenders and then took off to the end zone, 66 yards away for his second long-distance touchdown of the game with 8:05 to go in the third frame. The conversion kick from Merwald was good, making the score 28-0.
HMS would go nowhere on their resulting possession and tried to go for a fourth and 15, only to turn the ball over to the E-Hawks at the HMS?15 yard line. On first down, Jake Jackson fired over the middle to Nick Schany, who made the catch in the end zone for the score with 6:50 to go in the third frame. The Merwald kick made the score 35-0, starting the continuous clock on the 35-point rule.
Once again, HMS?would be held to three downs and a punt, giving the E-Hawks the ball at their own 44 yard line with 3:00 to go in the quarter.
The E-Hawks would use a pair of downs to cross the midfield stripe and with :26 to go, Brady Christensen would break outside and race down the sideline for a 41 yard touchdown score. The conversion kick would make the score 42-0 to end the third quarter of the contest.
Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn would start the final quarter at their own 42 yard line, and managed to string together a drive that would run to the E-Hawk 25 yard line with 6:17 to play in the game.
Facing fourth and 11, the Hawks set up to attempt a 41-yard field goal, but the kick fell short underneath the cross bar, giving Emmetsburg the ball back at their own 25 yard line.
The E-Hawks would run the clock out to preserve the 42-0 shutout victory.
Emmetsburg would end up gaining 402 yards off 43 rushing attempts, while HMS gained 125 yards off 48 attempts.
Andrew Wellik would lead the Emmetsburg effort with 222 yards off 18 carries, while Brady Christensen added four rushes for 76 yards. Cody Henderson gained 61 yards off seven rushes and Jake Jackson picked up 17 yards off five carries, but lost five 12 yards. Allen Jensen carried the ball three times for 11 yards.
Brandon Elbert had a nine yard carry while Aaron Bird had two rushes for eight yards. Mitch Petersen gained six yards off one carry, while Greg Wesley had two rushes for six yards.
Jake Jackson completed three of five passes for 43 yards, while HMS?had three of six completions for a negative two yards.
Nick Schany had two catches for 26 yards and Austin McCartan had a 17 yard reception for the E-Hawks.
Defensively, Emmetsburg was led by Nick Schany's 10 tackles and fumble recovery. Austin McCartan added nine tackles, while Mitch Petersen had eight tackles and a quarterback sack. Jake Jackson made six tackles and Taylor Wegner added six tackles and a half a sack shared with Brady Garrelts.
The E-Hawks will host South O'Brien this Friday night in Emmetsburg.