E’Hawk Defense Stuffs Cardinals
GARNER – One game at a time.
That has been the mantra for Emmetsburg E’Hawk Football this season, and so far, the mindset has paid off. The E’Hawks made another positive step Friday night with a 42-7 win over Garner-Hayfield in Class 1A District Two action. The win keeps Emmetsburg alone on top of the district at 4-0, 6-0 on the year.
The E’Hawks turned in another outstanding defensive effort in the contest, limiting Garner-Hayfield to five yards of rushing offense on the night while the E’Hawk ground game racked up 380 yards in the win. The Cardinals would pick up 225 yards in the air, while Emmetsburg gained 35 yards.
It didn’t take long for the E’Hawks to strike, as they took the opening kickoff and engineered a 69-yard drive that would pay off with a 34 yard jaunt by Langston Jones with 8:23 to go in the opening frame. Matt Wellik drilled the extra point kick for a quick 7-0 lead.
Assistant Coach Joe Carter’s defense took over the turf and forced a punt, but the E’Hawks and Cardinals would trade possessions to end the first quarter.
The Cardinals had to punt to start the second and Emmetsburg quickly turned the punt into points. An 80-yard drive was capped off by quarterback Joey Naig running in from four yards out with 6:07 to go in the half, but Wellik’s kick went wide, making the score 13-0. Garner-Hayfield would take their attack to the airways, and were able to drive into the red zone. Facing a fourth and seventh at the Emmetsburg 15 yard line, Cardinal quarterback Jake Young fired, only to have the pass tipped by Langston Jones at the five yard line. The ball sailed into the hands of Tommy Kuecker at the two yard line and Kuecker raced out to the 18 yard line for the interception, killing the Cardinal threat.
However, the turnover would be for naught, as the E’Hawks stalled out and had to punt. The punt was partially block by Young, and gave the Cardinals the ball at their 25. Garner-Hayfield made several quick slant and screen passes to work downfield before Matt Hiscocks would pull in a 10 yard reception for a touchdown with :41 to go in the half. The conversion kick by Young made the score 13-7, but on the resulting kickoff, Emmetsburg killed the Cardinal’s celebration.
Bobby Mortenson fielded the kickoff at the E’Hawks’ 18 yard line and picked he way down the far sideline for an 82 yard return for a touchdown. Tommy Kuecker carried in the conversion to give Emmetsburg a 21-7 advantage at the end of the first half.
Garner-Hayfield got the ball to start the second half, but were forced to punt as the E’Hawk defense used a blitz by Mortenson to back the Cardinals up.
Emmetsburg took over at the Cardinals’ 40 and worked their way downfield, capping off the drive with a five yard run by Taylor Morris with 7:52 to go in the third period. Matt Wellik nailed the kick for a 28-7 lead as the momentum seemed to be on Emmetsburg’s side of the field.
The Cardinals refused to surrender, and managed to eat up nearly 6:00 before being forced into a punting situation at their own three yard line, facing a fourth and 17 with 1:00 to go in the quarter.
After a time out, the Cardinals lined up for the punt, but with Young standing at the back of his own end zone to punt, the snap sailed over his head, giving Emmetsburg the two-point safety with :59 to go in the third quarter and a 30-7 lead.
Emmetsburg’s started the final quarter at their own 45 and worked their way down field, until Joey Naig handed the ball to Taylor Morris with9:30 to go in the game. Morris ran over and through the Cardinal defenders and then simply ran away down the far sideline for a 40 yard touchdown. The conversion kick was blocked, making the score 36-7.
Garner-Hayfield would go nowhere on their resulting possession, and would turn the ball over on downs. Emmetsburg would take over, but fumbled the football back to the Cardinals with 3:48 to go in the game.
The turnover would bear no fruit for the Cardinals, as E’Hawk lineman John Ruddy blew through the line and sacked Young for a big loss, setting up a fourth and 21 punt by the Cardinals.
Emmetsburg’s reserves took over at their own 49 yard line and on second and seven, quarterback Cory Schultes called his own number and raced 46 yards for the final score of the contest. Even with the conversion being blocked, the E’Hawks held a 42-7 lead, forcing a continuous clock for the final :59 as the E’Hawks began their celebration.
Taylor Morris would have the monster night on the ground, rushing 23 times to gain 200 yards and score two touchdowns. Langston Jones added 14 carries for 80 yards and a touchdown, while Bobby Mortenson had 21 yards off four carries and a TD off his 82 yard kickoff return. Joey Naig gained 16 yards off six rushes and completed one of six passes for 35 yards in the contest.
Mall Wellik had nine yards off four carries and Keaton Carter picked up four yards off one attempt.
Langston Jones would make the lone reception on the night, a 35 yard catch.
On the defensive side, Bobby Mortenson tallied 12 tackles, including a pair of quarterback sacks in the game, while Tommy Kuecker added six tackles and an interception. John Ruddy added a sack to the effort for the E’Hawks.
Emmetsburg will take to the road once again on Friday night when they journey down Highway 69 to Belmond-Klemme to renew an old acquaintance with the Broncos.