E’Hawks Claim District With Authority
Emmetsburg’s E’Hawks put the exclamation point on the regular season Friday night with a 51-6 thrashing of Lake Mills. The win gave the E’Hawks the district championship in Class 1A District Two with a perfect 7-0 mark and 9-0 record on the season.
But, the post season equalizes all as teams start with a 0-0 mark, and such is the E’Hawks’ next assignment, a substate game this Wednesday night, Oct. 28, at 7 p.m., as they host the Falcons of Aplington-Parkersburg at Duane Twait Field.
“We approach this game just like any other game,” noted E’Hawk Head Coach Mike Dunlap. “We just wat to be 1-0 at the end of Wednesday night. nothing more, nothing less.”
Friday’s matchup with the Bulldogs of Lake Mills was highly anticipated, as Lake Mills had hopes of coming up with an upset of the E’Hawks to force a three-way tie at the top of the District, along with St. Ansgar.
The Bulldogs won the toss but deferred, giving Emmetsburg the ball to start the game.
The E’Hawks would take the ball on a slippery, muddy field, softened by days of rain, but no rain fell during the contest.
Starting at their own 35 yard line, Emmetsburg worked their way with deliberation of the soft field to the 48 yard line. There, quarterback Cory Schultes handed the ball to Brady Berkland, who broke through the defense and outran a pair of Lake Mills defenders for a 52 yard scoring strike with 9:50 to go in the first quarter. Ben McCain’s kick for the conversion was good and the E’Hawks were off to the races, so to speak.
Lake Mills took over by was held to three downs and a punt, giving Emmetsburg the ball back at their own 37. Again, Schultes guided the E’Hawks down the field, and with 4:28 to go in the quarter, Schultes found tight end Nick Weubker in the flat and delivered a 10 yard strike that Wuebker brought to the end zone for the score. McCain’s kick made the score 14-0 and Emmetsburg was rolling.
Another three and out was the fortune for the Bulldogs, and Emmetsburg finished the quarter at the Lake Mills 31-yard line, looking pretty much unstoppable as the second quarter started.
Schultes would take to the air again, firing 22 yards to Nick Wuebker once again to set up a 10-yard run by Berkland with 11:13 to go in the half. ?However, the PA PAT?kick was partially blocked, making the score 20-0.
Lake Mills would try to mount a drive after the kick, but Nate Brown jumped up to steal a pass near the mid-field stripe with 9:41 to go in the quarter and returned it to the Bulldogs’ 27 yard line to kill the drive.
With the ball in ideal position, the E’Hawks slipped and slid downfield on the legs of Joey Naig and Brady Berkland, before Naig bulled in from a yard out to score with 6:57 to go in the half. Emmetsburg went for two on the conversion, and Schultes kept the ball to tally the deuce for the 28-0 advantage.
Again, Lake Mills tried to mount a drive, and facing a fourth and three at their 44 yard line, the Bulldogs elected to go for the first down, only to be stopped a yard short by the E’Hawk defense.
With the short field to work with, Emmetsburg worked downfield, getting down to the one yard line, but Brady Berkland was stopped a foot short of the goal line with :25 on fourth and goal, turning the ball over to Lake Mills.
With a first down at their own one yard line, Lake Mills was looking at big trouble. The snap went to star tailback Jake Brekken, who approached the line but was met by the entire Emmetsburg defensive line and buried in the end zone for a safety with :18 to go in the half.
With a 30-0 lead, the E’Hawks ran the clock out to end the half with the game safely in hand.
The Bulldogs got the ball to start the second half, starting at their own 30, and soon faced a fourth and three at their own 37. Lake Mills lined up to punt, but faked the punt and got a first down offensively of the game. However, the E’Hawks would stop the drive when Bobby Gappa picked off a pass at Emmetsburg’s 35-yard line and brought it back to the 49 yard line.
With the turnover in hand, the E’Hawks worked into Bulldog territory and with 6:10 to go in the quarter, Schultes kept the ball for a 29 yard run and score. Ben McCain split the uprights for a 37-0 lead, and starting the continuous clock.
Lake Mills would go three downs and punt, giving Emmetsburg the ball back with 2:04 to go in the quarter. The reserves took over the game for the E’Hawks at that point, and opened the fourth quarter by driving down under the guidance of quarterback Matt Ballman to come up with a score, as Ballman kept the ball on the option play and ran in from 10 yards out with 9:51 to go in the game. Bobby Gappa would tack on the conversion kick for a 44-0 lead as the E’Hawks were emptying the bench.
Gappa lined up for the kickoff after the score, but with the footing treacherous at best, he slipped on his approach to the ball and the kick was shanked, squibbing to the 50 yard line, where it bounced off a startled Lake Mills player.
Emmetsburg quickly fell on the loose ball and was awarded possession on the midfield stripe.
With the early Christmas gift, the E’Hawks started towards the end zone again, and with 4:55 to go in the game, Bobby Gappa would run in from six yards out to score, and then kicked his own conversion for the 51-0 tally.
On the resulting kickoff, Lake Mills finally found some luck, as Alex Gruhnvod would manage to pick his way through the defense and mud to return the kick 80 yards for a score. The conversion kick was blocked by the E’Hawks to make the score 51-6 and the E’Hawks were content to run the clock out to claim the district title.
Emmetsburg had an outstanding defensive night, as they limited Lake Mills’ Jake Brekken to just one yard of rushing in the game, while the Bulldogs gained a total of 52 yards, 30 rushing and 22 through passing.
The E’Hawks piled up 440 yards off 65 rushes in the contest. Joey Naig had 182 yards off 25 carries, while Brady Berkland added 107 yards on 12 carries. Jacob Stubbs came up with 41 yards on seven carries, while Bobby Gappa added 37 yards on seven carries. Cory Schultes added 26 yards on five carries, while Marcus Akridge had 23 yards on four rushes. Matt Ballman added 20 yards on two carries, while Nick Leewright gained seven yards on two carries and Ryan Kliegl picked up three yards on one rushing attempt.
Schultes completed three of three passes for 35 yards, with Nick Wuebker making two catches for 32 yards and Joey Naig adding a three yard catch.
Tommy Kuecker tallied 11 tackles, while Nate Brown and Bobby Gappa both made interceptions.