Rollin’ Into The Quarterfinals
There’s a saying in football that offense wins games, but defense wins championships.
If you apply that logic to the Emmetsburg E’Hawks, the current season is like a dream coming true. The E’Hawk defense sent Gladbrook-Reinbeck packing in a first-round Class 1A Playoff game Monday night, with Emmetsburg posting a 42-0 shutout over the Rebels.
Assistant Coach Joe Carter’s defense played less-than-perfect host to the Rebels, as the E’Hawks allowed GR just seven yards rushing and 46 passing yards for a total offensive performance of 53 yards, while on the other side of the ball, Coach Mike Dunlap’s offense was racking up 433 yards on the ground, with eight yards in the air.
However, all that is past history.
The task at hand, come Friday night, is to host the Falcons of Aplington-Parkersburg in a Class 1A Quarterfinal game at 7 p.m.
“They are the real deal,” E’Hawk Head Coach Mike Dunlap said of the Falcons. “They run basically the same offense that we do. They’ll line up and run right at you, with the toss, sweep, quick side sweep, quick side toss, and when they pass, the use the bootleg.”
While some sources have the Falcons as the leading rushing team in the state, the E’Hawks are right in the mix as well, ranked third by some sources.
“We know they are a very physical team, there’s no doubt about that,” Dunlap said. “Defensively, they’ll use a 5/2, so really everything they do we’ve seen or are familiar with.”
Knowing that, the E’Hawks have one advantage over the Falcons when the game starts on Friday night – E’Hawk Pride.
“We’ve played every game all season long as if it were the most important game of the season, and this Friday night is no different,” Dunlap said. “We have to be on top of our game, control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball and play to our potential. We must execute, avoid mistakes and play with passion.”
The E’Hawks showed they could do all those things on Monday, as they scored twice in the opening quarter of their game with Gladbrook-Reinbeck. After an early exchange of punts to start the game, Emmetsburg took over at their 27 and scored off a 50 yard blast by Langston Jones with 6:01 to go in the quarter. Matt Wellik’s kick made the score 7-0 as the E’Hawks were off and running.
An odd possession that required three punts in once series due to penalties finally gave the E’Hawks the ball with 2:37 to go in the first.
Starting at their own 45, a steady drive downfield ended with an 11 yard keeper from Tyler Kliegl with 1:36 to go. Wellik’s kick made the score 14-0 to end the first quarter.
After a punt to start the second quarter by GR, the E’Hawks started at their own 20 on a touchback, but got a 67 yard run by Kliegl to the Rebels’ 18 yard line. However, a couple of miscues forced the E’Hawks into a fourth and four at the eight yard line with 8:30 to go in the half. Kliegl took the snap and was flushed from the pocket, but spotted Justin DeFord in the endzone and fired. DeFord pulled the ball in for the score with 8:26 to go in the half. Wellik’s kick made the score 21-0 as the rout was on.
An exchange of possessions would follow before Kliegl came up big with an interception at the Rebels’ 24 yard line and returned to the 22. With the gift in hand, Emmetsburg quickly cashed in, getting a one yard score from Taylor Morris with :28 to go in the half. The kick made the score 28-0 as the ReRebels had no answer for the E’Hawk onslaught as the first half ended.
The E’Hawks would kick off to start the second half, but the E’Hawk defense had lost none of its intensity during the break. After forcing a punt, the e’Hawks got the ball back on a touchback at their own 20.
With 11:00 to go in the third quarter, Emmetsburg started a time consuming drive downfield, that was capped off with a seven yard run by Jones with 6:48 to go, but the score was waved off due to a motion penalty on the E’Hawks.
Starting at their own 12 yard line, it took just two downs before Jones returned to the end zone from a yard out with 5:53 to go in the quarter. Matt Wellik added the kick for a 35-0 lead and a continuously running clock.
Gladbrook-Reinbeck would try to mount a drive on the resulting kickoff after the kick sailed out of bounds, giving the Rebels the ball at their 35.
A holding penalty backed the Rebels up, and a tackle for loss gave the Rebels a first and 33 as quarterback Clint Dinsdale fired off a pass, only to have Tyler Kliegl grab the pass after it was tipped by Trevor Dettmann and returned it to the 37 yard line with 2:38 to go in the quarter.
The E’Hawk reserves took over the game at that point, running three plays to end the quarter with the 35-0 lead.
A miscue on fourth and five resulted in a fourth and 10 for the E’Hawks to start the final quarter, and the reserves would turn the ball over to the Rebels at GR’s own 27 yard line.
The Rebels would pick up a couple of first downs on the possession, but then seemingly shifted into reverse, going backwards to face a fourth and 33 at their own 24 and punted.
The E’Hawks took over again at their own 37 and got a huge 50 yard run from Tommy Kuecker to set up a one yard plunge by Kuecker with 3:11 to go in the contest. Ben McCain came in and kicked the extra point to make the score 42-0. McCain then kicked off, burying the Rebels at their own 32 yard to start the possession, but a sack would send them back to their own 23 yard line before time expired.
Langston Jones would lead the E’Hawks’ two-pronged attack as he ran the ball 16 times to gain 135 yards, while Taylor Morris pounded the inside for 134 yards off 22 carries on the night.
Tyler Kliegl picked up 81 yards off four rushes in the win, while Tommy Kuecker added 65 yards off six attempts. Joey Naig had nine yards off two rushes, while Matt Wellik had a six yard carry and Keaton Carter carried the ball once for a three-yard gain.
Tyler Kliegl completed just one pass on the night for eight yards, while Langston Jones made a half-back pass for no gain. Justin DeFord had the lone reception, the eight yard catch for a touchdown.
On the defensive side, Bobby Mortenson would make seven tackles in the win, while Joey Naig added six stops and Tommy Kuecker and Josh Wolfe both added five stops. Tyler Kliegl intercepted two Gladbrook-Reinbeck passes, while Joey Naig, bobby Mortenson and Travis Ring all recorded quarterback sacks.