E’Hawk Machine Rolls Over West Hancock
BRITT – It was almost like someone brought a snowplow to break through the West Hancock defense on Friday night. Emmetsburg’s E’Hawks plowed their way through West Hancock on their way to a 47-0 shutout in the district opener for both teams.
The E’Hawks improved to 3-0 overall, 1-0 in the District, while West Hancock is 0-3, their first such start since the 1950’s.
Emmetsburg’s defense put up another outstanding effort on Friday, limiting the Eagles to a scant 71 yards of total offense, 66 of those yards coming off four passes, and just five yards of rushing off 31 rushing attempts.
While the defense was having its way with the Eagles, the offense sputtered on a couple of occasions, but still came through with flying colors overall.
The game started with an uncharacteristic three and out for the E’Hawks, but after returning the favor to the Eagles, Emmetsburg got the ball back at West Hancock’s 32 yard line after a great punt return by Justin DeFord.
On the first down play, Langston Jones raced 32 yards to score with 8:01 on the clock and the show was on. Matt Wellik hit the conversion kick for a 7-0 lead as the defense went to work.
Matt Wellik came up with a quaterback sack for a seven yard loss on the Eagles’ second down play, and Emmetsburg would get the ball back off a punt.
Once again, Justin DeFord fielded the punt and this time raced in from near midfield, only to have the score nullified by a penalty, forcing the E’Hawks to start at the Eagles’ 38 yard line.
Emmetsburg shook off the penalty and marched downfield, capping off the possession with a five yard run by Taylor Morris with 4:06 to play in the opening quarter. The conversion kick sailed wide, making the E’Hawk lead 13-0.
The two clubs would trade possessions as the quarter wound down, and West Hancock got a nice pass to end the first quarter at Emmetsburg’s 32 yard line.
Emmetsburg’s defense would stand firm to open the second quarter and got the E’Hawks the ball back. A quick, methodical drive downfield ensued and after a 42 yard reception by Matt Wellik at the 16 yard line, quarterback Tyler Kliegl called his own number and dived over the pylon at the sideline to score with 9:13 to go in the half. Emmetsburg elected to go for the two-point conversion and Langston Jones provided the points for a 21-0 lead.
The E’Hawks would strike again on their next possession, using a 23 yard reception by Trevor Dettmann to set up a one yard plunge by Taylor Morris with 4:56 to go in the half. The conversion kick failed for a 27-0 lead, but the defense would come up big on the next series for the E’Hawks.
After forcing West Hancock into a punting situation, the snap was muffed by the punter, who tried to pitch the ball out of danger, but ended up losing five more yards, giving Emmetsburg the ball at the Eagles’ 23 yard stripe.
Emmetsburg took over and this time, Kliegl would keep the ball and race 23 yards for the touchdown. Wellik hit the kick this time to give Emmetsburg a 34-0 lead with 2:48 to go in the half.
West Hancock would try to mount a drive, only to have their quarterback sacked by Josh Wolfe for an eight-yard loss. On third and 18 at their own 19 yard line, the Eagles put the ball in the air, but Trevor Dettmann stepped in front of the receiver and stole the pass at the 31 yard line and returned it for the defensive touchdown. The conversion try failed, giving Emmetsburg a commanding 40-0 lead with 1:06 to go in the half as West Hancock let the clock run out on the half.
The clock was the E’Hawks’ friend in the second half, running continuously under the 35-point rule. West Hancock would take the opening kickoff of the half and drive to the Emmetsburg 31 yard line before turning the ball over on downs.
With the second team offensive unit taking over, the E’Hawks would grind away before punting with 2:50 on the clock. West Hancock would keep the ball to end the quarter, but after getting to their 44 to start the final quarter, a pass was intercepted by Joey Naig at the Emmetsburg 45 and returned to the Eagles’ 42 yard line with 11:32 to go in the game.
Emmetsburg would work its way downfield after the turnover, and with 7:34 remaining in the contest, Naig would keep the ball and race 20 yards for the final score of the contest. Tyler Kliegl added the conversion kick for the 47-0 final score as West Hancock would get the ball back and work on a drive before time ran out.
The offensive attack of Emmetsburg was well-balanced, with Langston Jones slashing his way through the Eagles for 96 yards off eight carries, while Tyler Kliegl added 56 yards off five rushes. Keaton Carter gained 32 yards off four carries and Tommy Kuecker came up with 29 yards off six carries.
Taylor Morris rushed for 28 yards on nine rushes, while Joey Naig added 25 yards off four carries and Cory Schultes attempted one carry with no gain.
Tyler Kliegl completed two of four passes on the night for 65 yards, with Matt Wellik making a 42 yard reception and Trevor Dettmann hauling down a 23 yard catch.
Emmetsburg would rack up 266 yards on the ground to go with the 66 passing yards for 331 total yard offensive effort.
West Hancock was limited to five yards of rushing and just 66 yards passing for 71 yards in the face of the E’Hawk defense.
Bobby Mortenson would pace the defense with 13 tackles, while Tommy Kuecker added 12 stops and Matt Wellik added 10 tackles. Trevor Dettmann and Joey Naig both intercepted passes for the E’Hawks and Matt Wellik and Josh Wolfe both recorded quarterback sacks in the victorious effort.
The E’Hawks will return home to the friendly confines of Duane Twait Field on Friday to host the Saints of St. Ansgar in Class 1A District Two play.