MANNING - Call it what you want - rout, pummeling, or just a good old fashioned, hard-hitting football game, but the end result of Friday's Class 1A Quarterfinal was a 55-7 victory for Emmetsburg's E-Hawks. The victory over Irwin-Kirkman-Manilla (IKM) Manning advances the E-Hawks into a re-match with last year's semi-final opponent, St. Albert's of Council Bluffs. That renewal of pleasantries will take place at 1 p.m. this Saturday, Nov. 10, at the UNI Dome in Cedar Falls.
In the post season, Emmetsburg has gotten off to strong starts in its games against Ridge View and Fort Dodge St. Edmonds. E-Hawk Head Coach Mike Dunlap knew that tactic was vital to keep Emmetsburg on track for a return to the Dome.
The E-Hawks didn't disappoint their coach.
STRIP?IT! - Emmetsburg’s Jacob Kibbie hits IKM’s Evan Dreessen in the backfield and forces a fumble in the closing minutes of Friday’s Class 1A Quarterfinal game at Manning. Teammate Greg Wesley would scoop up the ball and return it 61 yards for a touchdown to seal the 55-7 E-Hawk victory. -- Dan Voigt photo
After receiving the opening kickoff at their own 22 yard line, Emmetsburg opened the game with it's tried and tested effort - a handoff to Andrew Wellik, who, on first down, would race down to the IKM 22 yard line before being hauled down. A quick play would set up a nine yard dash by Wellik into the end zone with 11:24 to play in the first quarter, Nick Merwald punched the ball right down the pipes for the 7-0 lead as the Wolves were suddenly exposed to E-Hawk football.
IKM?would get the ball in Emmetsburg territory after a good return, but would end up turning the ball over on downs at the E-Hawks' 31 yard line.
Emmetsburg would take over, but the first of several procedure penalties by the E-Hawks would back the team up five yards. But, under the guidance of quarterback Jake Jackson, Emmetsburg started marching.
The E-Hawks used their stable of backs, handing the ball to Allen Jensen, Nick Schany and Wellik to roll downfield, capping the drive off with a 21-yard run by Wellik to score with 6:29 to play in the quarter. Merwald's kick made the score 14-0 as the E-Hawks appeared to have gotten their good start.
The Wolves would take over after the kickoff but were forced to punt again, giving Emmetsburg the ball as the first quarter ended with a 14-0 Emmetsburg advantage.
The E-Hawks opened the second quarter facing a third and goal at the Wolves two-yard line, and Wellik delivered the pigskin into the end zone with 11:52 to go in the half. The kick by Merwald put Emmetsburg up 21-0 as it appeared the game was out cruise control.
But IKM had other ideas. After starting at their own 31 on the kick, a double handoff caught the E-Hawks off-guard, springing Sam Wegner loose for a 63-yard touchdown with 10:28 to play in the half. The conversion kick by Dillon Muhlbauer was good, making the score 21-7.
The score got the E-Hawks' attention in a big hurry as IKM suddenly had stolen the momentum of the game. Emmetsburg stalled out on their possession after the kick and was forced to punt. But on the reception, Nick Schany laid a hit on the returner, who fumbled the ball, which was recovered by Greg Wesley at the Wolves' 34 yard line with 8:54 to go in the half.
On first down, Jackson put the ball in Wellik's hands and the senior blew through the defense to score from 34 yards out. Merwald's kick was on the mark again, giving Emmetsburg a 28-7 advantage with 8:24 to play in the half.
But Emmetsburg was just getting started.
IKM?went backwards on their possession and punted, but the punt only went 15 yards, giving the E-Hawks the ball at the Wolves' 21 yard line.
It took two plays this time for a score, but on second and seven, Jackson spotted Nick Schany and dropped a 25-yard strike into Schany's arms for a score with 5:30 to go in the half. Merwald added the kick for a 35-7 lead and the rout was on.
IKM?would be held to just two yards on their next possession and punted, which Emmetsburg took at their 40. But, a series of procedure penalties would back the E-Hawks up. However, Emmetsburg refused to submit, and kept battling. But with 2:53 to play in the half, Andrew Wellik took off with the ball for a game of "follow the leader"?as he raced 56 yards through the Wolves' defense with defenders in pursuit to score his fifth touchdown of the game. Nick Merwald capped the effort with a PAT for a 42-7 lead.
Once again, Emmetsburg's defense was less than generous, allowing IKM?to gain just three yards on the possession before forcing another punt.
Starting at the 50, Jake Jackson went to the air again, this time hitting Cody Henderson with a 50-yard strike for a score with 1:44 to go. Merwald put an end to the outburst with his kick for a 49-7 lead at the intermission.
With Emmetsburg holding a 42-point lead, the clock ran continuously in the second half as the E-Hawks kicked off to the Wolves. IKM?would get a break off a pass interference call against the E-Hawks, but Taylor Wegner came up with an 11-yard sack of quarterback Scott Opperman that would force a punt to end their drive.
Emmetsburg got the ball at their own 20 and with the second team offensive unit taking over, the E-Hawks would get to their own 40 before having to punt. The quarter would end with IKM on their own 46 yard line, still trailing 49-7.
The Wolves would get a first down to start the final stanza, but the E-Hawk second team defense stepped up. On fourth and three at the E-Hawk 30, Jacob Kibbie would shed his blocker and got to Evan Dreessen in the backfield, Kibbie knocked the ball loose and teammate Greg Wesley raced in, scooped up the loose ball without breaking stride and took off for the end zone, racing 53 yards for the touchdown on the fumble recovery. Taylor Wegner booted the extra point to make the score 55-7, effectively ending the game.
The two teams would trade possessions and punts to finish the game as the E-Hawk sophomores would get into the contest to finish out the game in the 55-7 win.
Emmetsburg would rack up 419 yards rushing off 39 attempts, while IKM managed to gain 131 yards off 41 attempts.
The E-Hawks added 75 yards passing for a total offensive output of 494 yards, while IKM had no passing yardage and ended the game with 131 yards of offense.
Andrew Wellik racked up 279 yards from 20 carries and added five touchdowns to the effort, while Nick Schany had five carries for 49 yards and Allen Jensen had 48 yards off five rushes. Jacob Kibbie made five rushes for 22 yards, with Jake Jackson adding two runs for 11 yards. Caige Elbert ran once for eight yards, with Austin McCartan adding a five yard run to the effort.
Jake Jackson completed two of three attempts for 75 yards, with one a 50 yard touchdown strike to Cody Henderson and the other a 25 yard throw to Nick Schany for a touchdown.
Defensively, Assistant Coach Joe Carter's troops racked up 91 tackles in the contest, with Mitch Petersen making 12 stops. Nick Schany and Greg Wesley each added seven stops, with Schany forcing a fumble and Wesley recovering two fumbles for the E-Hawks. Jacob Kibbie forced a second fumble. Taylor Wegner added a quarterback sack to the E-Hawks' defensive effort.