E’Hawks Open Post Season With Win
The first game of the second season for the Emmetsburg E’Hawks proved to be more of a test than the final score indicated. Emmetsburg defeated the Warriors of South Winneshiek in Class 1A Substate play Wednesday night, Oct. 29. By virtue of the victory, the E’Hawks continue on the playoff trail, hosting the Rebels of Gladbrook-Reinbeck Monday night, Nov. 3, at Emmetsburg in the First Round of the Iowa High School Athletic Association Playoffs.
While the score looked like a one-sided affair on Wednesday, the Warriors of South Winneshiek were no pushover in any sense of the word. The Warriors actually out-gained Emmetsburg in total yardage, 490 to 434 yards, out-passing the E’Hawks by a nearly two-to-one margin in the contest.
Emmetsburg started the contest with authority, racking up four scores in the first quarter alone.
The E’Hawks took the opening kickoff and promptly marched 68 yards downfield to s core off an 11 yard run by Taylor Morris with 8:43 to play in the quarter. Matt Wellik’s kick made the score 7-0 and quiet the E’Hawks’ nerves.
South Winneshiek would get the ball and go nowhere, being forced to punt from their own 19 yard line. Taking over at their own 29 yard line, Emmetsburg would once again grind its way downfield, capping off this march with a 32 yard pass reception by Matt Wellik for the score. Wellik would kick his own conversion to put the E’Hawks up 14-0 with 3:48 to go in the quarter.
The Warriors started at their own 20 after the kick, but went backwards before Josh Wolfe saw a dream come true with an interception at the 21. The big lineman got a block from fellow lineman Adam Leuer and rumbled downfield, only to be tripped up at the one yard stripe.
On the next play, Taylor Morris Morris bulled his way into the end zone for the touchdown, giving the E’Hawks a 21-0 advantage after Wellik’s kick went right down the pipes.
With 2:50 to go in the first quarter, the game seemed destined to become a runaway, as the Warriors hadn’t been able to mount any kind of drive of length in their first two possessions.
Such would not be the case this time, as South Winn drove to the E’Hawks’ 25 yard line before stalling out and turning the ball over on downs.
It only took two plays.
On second and nine, quarterback Tyler Kliegl dropped back and floated one into the hands of Matt Wellik who raced 74 yards for the touchdown with :01 to go in the quarter. The conversion kick went wide, giving Emmetsburg a 28-0 lead to start the second quarter.
The second quarter became a defensive showdown, as South Winneshiek would start moving the ball, only to run into the defense of the E’Hawks.
However, the E’Hawks would fumble the ball on a pitch with just over 7:00 to go in the half, giving the Warriors a golden opportunity. The Warriors drove from their own 34 to Emmetsburg’s 38 yard line after the turnover, but couldn’t convert a fourth and one, giving the E’Hawks the ball back with 2:56 to go in the half.
Emmetsburg would drive and stall out, forcing a punt. the Warriors would be backed up inside their 10 yard line after a penalty, but time ran out with nothing to show for a lot of effort in the second quarter for the Warriors, and a 27-0 lead for the E’Hawks.
South Winneshiek took the kick to start the third quarter and was able to engineer a scoring drive of 76 yards, using short screen passes as the primary weapon, capping off the drive with a 44 yard keeper by Quarterback Jordan Andera with 10:23 to go in the quarter. The conversion run attempt was stopped by the E’Hawks, making the score 28-6.
Emmetsburg took the kick at its own 33 and 67 yards later had a touchdown to show for their efforts, coming off a five yard run by Taylor Morris with 6:42 to go in the quarter. Matt Wellik added the kick to make the score 34-6, but the Warriors weren’t ready to concede anything at that point.
South Winn started at their own 26 after the kick, but Trevor Dettmann intercepted an Andera pass at the Warriors’ 48 yard line, returning it to the 43, but a face mask penalty moved Emmetsburg down to the Warriors’ 28 yard line.
Using the penalty to their advantage, the E’Hawks drove quickly and capped off the effort with a 14 yard keeper by Tyler Kliegl for he score with 5:59 to go in the third. Matt Wellik put the kick through for a 41-6 advantage.
South Winneshiek would get the ball back, but a great defensive play by Kliegl forced a fumble that Langston Jones scooped up at the Warriors’ 48 yard line and returned it to the 34 yard line with 3:06 to go in the third quarter.
Emmetsburg took the turnover and started driving downfield to end the third quarter at the Warrior’s 17 yard line with a 41-6 lead.and the continuous clock in their favor.
Emmetsburg would tack on another score with 10:24 to go in the game when Langston Jones raced in from 13 yards out for the score. The conversion kick was blocked, making the score 47–6.
Emmetsburg’s reserves took over the turf at that point, and South Winneshiek exploited the opportunity, coming up with a 65 yard run by Andera on a keep with 9:04 to go in the game. The conversion kick by Pedro Cunha was blocked, making the score 47-12, but killing the continuous clock.
Emmetsburg would take the kickoff and the reserves drove the ball 80 yards, capping the drive with a six yard run by Keaton Carter for a score with 4:39 to go in the game. Matt Wellik’s kick was good, making the score 54-12.
South Winneshiek would take over and drove 80 yards to score a final “feel good” touchdown with :38 to play in the game off a 12 yard run by Dominik Lensing. Andera ran in the conversion for the 54-20 final score after an onside kick was recovered by the Warriors.
Emmetsburg would end up gaining 310 yards on the ground off 48 rushing plays, while South Winneshiek gained 243 yards off 34 plays. In the passing game, Emmetsburg had four passes for 124 yards while the Warriors had 11 of 26 with two picks for 247 yards.
Taylor Morris had 113 yards off 18 carries, while Langston Jones gained 94 yards off 16 rushes. Tyler Kliegl gained 61 yards off seven carries, while Joey Naig ran for 24 yards on two rushes. Keaton Carter had 12 yards on two carries and Tommy Kuecker had six yards on three carries.
Matt Wellik had two catches for 106 yards, while Trevor Dettmann had an 11 yard reception and Langston Jones had a seven yard catch.
The defensive efforts were led by Bobby Mortenson with 13 tackles and a sack, while Tommy Kuecker had 10 tackles. Josh Wolfe made seven tackles with two sacks while Matt Wellik, Taylor Morris and Jake Morris all recorded sacks. Langston Jones recovered a fumble and Trevor Dettman and Josh Wolfe both intercepted passes in the win.