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Bringing Home The Gold – E’Hawk Style

By Staff | Nov 25, 2008

LINEMEN DO CRY - Lineman Adam Leuer is greeted by fellow linemen Jake Morris, to the left, JC Rezabek and Robbie Myers at the center of the field after the E’Hawks claimed the state championship in a thrilling 3-0 win over West Lyon on Saturday. The E’Hawks would win the title and finish the season with a perfect 14-0 mark as they claimed their ninth state championship.- Dan Voigt photo

CEDAR FALLS – There are two ways to tell the story of Emmetsburg’s 3-0 win over West Lyon for the Class 1A State Championship on Saturday. The first is to lay out the numbers and the play by play.

But perhaps the best way is to let some of the principles tell it through their experiences and words.

Just moments after the final horn sounded, senior Taylor Morris ran to the sidelines and hugged Head Coach Mike Dunlap in celebration. At the same time, senior lineman Adam Leuer stood near midfield, eyes glistening, with teammate JC Rezabek at his side with his arm around his friend, reassuring him, “we did it.”

The E’Hawk fans roared their approval from the stands, filling the UNI Dome with whistles and cheers.

For senior Matt Wellik, the game was the realization of a dream.

TURNING THE CORNER - Emmetsburg quarterback Tyler Kliegl rounds the corner with West Lyon’s Wil Van Hill in close pursuit, while E’Hawk Josh Wolfe tries to get the angle for a block to spring his teammate. Kliegl would finish the championship game with 47 rushing yards off 11 caries and completed three of eight passes for 29 yards, wit Langston Jones making two catches for 18 yards and Lucas Thomsen adding an 11 yard catch in the win.- Dan Voigt photo

“At the beginning of the year, I didn’t think I’d kick PAT’s, and during the season I struggled on them. But when Kliegl put the ball down, I just kicked it and watched it go straight through. It was just great.”

Wellik paused. “You dream

about things like this but you never really think they’ll happen.”

After watching West Lyon miss one field goal that could have tied the game, the E’Hawk defense had to continue their relentless attack against the Wildcat offense, even as the Wildcats moved downfield with time running down. A pass play that could have been a touchdown was broken up by Tyler Kliegl.

“We expected they were most likely going to throw for the endzone, that’s what anyone would do,” Kliegl said. “All we could do was play back and try and stop them. We got lucky and did.”

THE KICK IS UP -- With the offensive line giving him time for the block, Emmetsburg’s Matt Wellik calmly ran up, kicked the football out of Tyler Kliegl’s hold from the far hashmark and then watched as time stood still before the orb sailed cleanly through the uprights for a field goal with :37 to go in the first half. The 34-yard field goal would prove to be the winning score in the Class 1A State Championship game Saturday as Emmetsburg defeated West Lyon by a 3-0 score to win its ninth state championship, and become the second team in the state to win titles in three classes of competition, as well as winning the lowest-scoring Championship Game in playoff history. -- Dan Voigt photo

The contest was a battle from the opening whistle to the final horn, evidenced by the exhaustion that tried to overtake the E’Hawks, who refused to succumb.

“Right before their field goal, I remember watching Jesse Wolfe and Bobby Mortenson over at the edge of the field, throwing up, but they were giving absolutely everything they had,” Kliegl said.

“Our linemen did a heck of a job all night long,” Taylor Morris said. “Their defense was tough, so we did as much as we possibly could.’

But Head Coach Mike Dunlap summed it up best.

“This is just a pretty special feeling.