E’Hawks Blank Spencer In Opener
SPENCER – When the final horn sounded, there were whoops of joy and cheers from the E’Hawk faithful as Emmetsburg handed the Class 3A Spencer Tigers a decisive 36-0 shutout loss in the season opening game of the 2008 football season. For Emmetsburg, the win was redemption for a narrow loss last season, and it was also a statement that the E’Hawks were ready to play their brand of football.
It took little time to establish their game, as the E’Hawk defense came out and limited Spencer to one set of downs before forcing a punt. When Emmetsburg got the ball with 7:48 to go in the first quarter, some jitters on the offense would result in a four and out, but the defense held firm and got the ball back off a punt at the Tigers’ 46 yard line.
This time, the results were more forthcoming. On second and nine, Langston Jones got the ball and rumbled 45 yards through the Tiger defense for the first touchdown of the season. Matt Wellik kicked the conversion for a 7-0 lead.
The Tigers would go nowhere in a hurry on their possession, and were forced to punt after a 10-yard loss off a sack by Adam Leuer. Spencer punted the ball near mid-field, and the E’Hawks’ Justin DeFord took the punt at the 22 yard line. DeFord jinked his way down the right side of the field and raced down the sidelines for a 78 yard punt return touchdown with :18 to go in the quarter. Wellik added the kick for a 14-0 lead at the end of the quarter.
Spencer went four and out to start the second quarter, and Emmetsburg got the ball at their own 45. Two plays later, Langston Jones erupted for a 50 yard dash to the endzone for his second score of the game. Wellik’s kick put the E’Hawks up 21-0 as the momentum was rolling all Emmetsburg’s way.
The E’Hawks would strike once again before the half, after overcoming some penalties, using a 51 yard pass from Tyler Kliegl to Trevor Dettmann that brought the E’Hawks to the 10 yard line.
With 1:43 to go, Jones raced to the end zone, carrying a Spencer defender on his back as he crossed the goal line. The conversion kick went wide, giving Emmetsburg a 27-0 lead at the intermission.
Emmetsburg took the opening kickoff and would punt to open the second half, but Spencer also returned the favor, giving the E’Hawks the ball at midfield. Kliegl would drive the E’Hawks downfield and with 5:07 to go in the third, Taylor Morris got the nod and scored off a six yard touchdown run. Kliegl would kick the extra point for a 34-0 lead as Spencer would take over and put together a drive that would conclude with a 52-yard field goal attempt by Sean Elliott that sailed wide left with 1:45 to go in the third.
Emmetsburg would take over and drive to their own 43 as the quarter ended with the 34-0 lead.
The reserves would take over in the fourth quarter, with Joey Naig calling the signals when the E’Hawks got the ball with 9:50 to go in the game. The possession didn’t pan out, as Spencer took over, but the E’Hawk defense played tough and forced a safety from the Tigers with 6:34 remaining in the game.
Leading 36-0, the E’Hawks now had the continuous clock on their side as the two teams would trade possessions to end the game with Emmetsburg celebrating the win.
Langston Jones would lead the offense with 12 carries for 171 yards rushing, while Taylor Morris ran 10 times for 38 yards, while Tyler Kliegl had 34 yards off eight carries and Tommy Kuecker added 32 yards from eight carries. Matt Wellik had 13 yards from two rushes, while Joey Naig gained three yards off two carries and Keaton Carter had a yard off one attempt.
Kliegl would complete two of three passes for 65 yards, with Trevor Dettmann making a 51 yard catch and Lucas Thomsen adding a 14 yard reception.
Defensively, Taylor Morris had seven tackles, while Tommy Kuecker had six and a half and Langston Jones had six stops. Taylor Morris and Adam Leuer would both record quarterback sacks for the E’Hawks, who will host Northwood-Kensett Friday.