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E-Hawks Run Away From Pioneers In Second Half For Win

September 26, 2017
by Dan Voigt , Emmetsburg News

MILFORD - Emmetsburg's E-Hawks overcame a slow offensive start on Friday night in the first half of their game with Okoboji and dominated the second half of the contest to earn a 41-7 victory over the Pioneers. The win improved the E-Hawks to 2-1 in Class 1A District One play and 2-3 on the season as they enter Homecoming week and a matchup this Friday night against the Knights of Orange City Unity Christian.

Friday's game started out as a defensive battle for both teams, as Emmetsburg would make a stop on the Pioneers' opening drive, but would end up having to punt the ball away in their opening possession before the first quarter ended in a scoreless deadlock.

The E-Hawks would turn the ball over on downs early in the second quarter and Okoboji would take over. The Pioneers would drive down to the E-Hawks' 17 yard line and eventually set up for a 27-yard field goal which would be waved off on a penalty against the E-hawks.

Article Photos

INTERCEPTION! - Emmetsburg’s Corbin Saathoff intercepts a pass from Okoboji’s Jacob Allen during the second quarter of Friday’s contest at Milford. The E-Hawks would explode for 34 unanswered points in the second half of the game to tally a 41-7 win over Okoboji. -- Dan Voigt photo

Okoboji would take the gift and scored off a 14-yard run with 7:05 to go in the half. The conversion gave the Pioneers a 7-0 lead, but the lead wouldn't last very long.

Emmetsburg would take the resulting kick and mounted a drive that was capped off with 5:28 to go in the half when Corbin Saathoff found a seam and raced 17 yards for the touchdown. Connor Joyce kicked the conversion to tie the contest at 7-7.

On Okoboji's resulting possession, the Pioneers tried to pick up a big gain off a pass but Corbin Saathoff leaped in front of the defender at the E-Hawks' 33-yard line with 4:40 to go in the half.

Emmetsburg would drive downfield after the turnover and got to the Pioneers' 34-yard line before turning the ball over on downs and the defense would stop Okoboji to end the half with the score tied at 7-7.

The E-Hawks came out in the second half and struck quickly, as good field position played into Emmetsburg's hands. A pair of quick runs by Mason Griffin and Connor Joyce set up a nine-yard touchdown run by Corbin Saathoff with 11:07 to go in the third. The kick by Joyce gave Emmetsburg the 14-7 lead they would never look back from.

The E-Hawk defense turned up the pressure and got the ball back in short order as the offense took over and put the ball in Dylan Kibbie's hands for a nine-yard touchdown with 6:52 to go in the quarter. Emmetsburg got the two-point conversion as Mason Griffin ran it in after the kick was blocked but Okoboji was flagged for an offsides penalty on the try.

Okoboji would struggle on their next possession, in part from a quarterback sack that forced a fumble recovered by Blake VerMulm, and Emmetsburg would get the ball back with plenty of time left in the quarter.

The E-Hawks started at their own 35 and drove downfield, scoring off a 44-yard strike from Joyce to Saathoff for a touchdown with :38 to go in the quarter. The conversion kick was no good, giving Emmetsburg a 28-7 lead as the third frame ended.

Okoboji would end up turning the ball over on downs early in the final quarter as Zach Foxhoven broke up a fourth down pass attempt and Emmetsburg took over at their own 34.

The E-Hawks would grind their way down field once again, and with 6:45 to go in the contest, Corbin Saathoff got the handout and ran in from eight yards out for the score. The conversion kick was blocked, making the score 34-7.

The defense continued to play well against Okoboji, shutting the Pioneers down again and the E-Hawk reserves took over with just over 5:00 to play in the contest.

Alex Gramowski took over the ball carrying duties for the reserves as they steadily ground their way downfield and with 1:27 to go in the game, Gramowski ran in from a yard out to score. Jimmie Steffens sent the kick through the uprights for the 41-7 tally as Okoboji would try a final desperation drive that ended as the clock wound down.

The E-Hawks racked up 433 total offensive yards to Okoboji's 226 yards in the contest.

Corbin Saathoff had 118 yards off 15 rushes, while Dylan Kibbie added 73 yards off 14 carries and Mason Griffin had 62 yards off 12 rushes. Connor Joyce rushed seven times for 43 yards and added one of two passes for 44 yards, with Saathoff making the catch for a score.

Ethan Berven had 35 yards off two rushes and Alex Gramowski added 31 yards from five carries, with Spencer Griffin adding one run for 18 yards.

Defensively, Spencer Griffin had 12 tackles and Blake VerMulm added 10 stops and a fumble recovery.



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