E-Hawks Open With Big Win
ESTHERVILLE – Going into Friday’s season opener at Estherville Lincoln Central, Emmetsburg’s E-Hawks had a sour taste in their mouths – one from a pair of losses to the Midgets in the last two meetings of the ballclubs.
Even though none of the current E-Hawk players had taken the field in those losses, there’s a little matter of unfinished business for the E-Hawk tradition that needed to be addressed.
It was addressed, in spades, as the E-Hawks simply blew past the Midgets after a slow start, taking a 29-0 win in their season opening contest.
The game started out with the E-Hawks taking the opening kick and being forced to punt against a determined Estherville Lincoln Central defensive unit. However, Emmetsburg’s defense held up its’ end of the bargain and forced the Midgets into a three and out as well.
But, Emmetsburg would end up having to punt the ball away once again, only to return the favor to the Midgets j ust before the end of the quarter.
When the opening quarter of the season ended, the E-Hawks had taken over the football and had worked their way out to their own yard line with no score in the contest.
After a scoreless first quarter, one had to think something was bound to give eventually in the contest, but it gave right out of the blocks. On the first play from scrimmage of the second quarter, quarterback Cory Schultes dropped back, sought out his big tight end, 6’9” Nick Wuebker, racing down the sidelines, and floated a picture-perfect strike to Wuebker, who sidestepped two tackle attempts to race to the end zone for the first score of the season. Ben McCain whistled the kick through the uprights and Emmetsburg had a 7-0 lead with 11:49 to go in the first half.
ELC?would string together a pair of first downs, but would punt the ball back to the E-Hawks, but Emmetsburg would have to punt the orb as well.
The Midgets would go nowhere on their next possession and punted, giving Emmetsburg the ball at their own 30 yard line.
Once again, the E-Hawks went to work, and on third down, Schultes called his own number and raced down the ELC?sidelines for a 62-yard jaunt to score with 4:28 to go in the half. The PAT?kick by McCain was good again for a 14-0 lead as the E-Hawks were finally getting the machine running smoothly.
The E-Hawk defense stepped up its efforts another notch and held the Midgets to three downs and a punt, putting the E-Hawks at their own 34 yard line with 2:20 to go in the half.
Once again, ?Schultes began driving the E-Hawks down the field and with :39 to go in the half, Wuebker made an 18-yard grab and fell over the goal line for his second score of the night. The conversion kick was partially deflected, giving Emmetsburg a 20-0 advantage at the intermission.
While it had taken a quarter for the E-Hawks to find their offense, penalties had found the E-Hawks early as well, a fact to be expected in the first game of the year.
Emmetsburg kicked off to start the second half, and ELC?took over at their 35 after the kick went out of bonds. This time, it was ELC’s turn to be hit with penalties, which killed the drive.
A great punt by the Midgets would pin Emmetsburg at their own one-yard line, where Marcus Akridge tried to bull his way out of danger, getting to the nine yard line before Jake Stubbs would line up in the end zone and punt the ball away.
ELC?took over but went backwards in their possession and the E-Hawks took over at their own 40. It didn’t take long as the E-Hawks marched down field and capped the drive off with a five yard plunge by Akridge with 2:44 to go. McCain’s kick was good, making the score 27-0 as E-Hawk Head Coach Mike Dunlap brought the reserves into the game.
The defense came up big once again, after the kickoff, as the trio of McCain, Akridge and Jake Jackson would power through the ELC?line and drop quarterback Joe Clayton in the endzone for a safety with 1:00 to go, making the score 29-0 at the end of the third quarter.
Emmetsburg’s reserves would play the final quarter of the game against ELC’s starters and kept the Midgets at bay for the pleasing win.
Marcus Akridge would lead the rushing attack with 20 carries for 136 yards, while Cory Schultes had 74 yards on five carries. Brady Berkland added 52 yards off six rushes, with Arthur Heldt adding 32 yards on five carries. Jake Stubbs rushed three times for 18 yards, while Bobby Gappa had three carries for 10 yards and Jake Carlson had two rushes for 10 yards and Andrew Wellik added a nine yard carry.
Schultes completed three of eight passes for 53 yards. Nick Wuebker had two catches for 61 yards, while Brady Berkland lost eight yards on one catch.
The E-Hawks had 351 rushing yards and 53 passing for a total of 404 yards, while ELC?had 48 rushing yards and 14 passing for 62 total yards of offense.
Marcus Akridge had seven tackles, while Brady Berkland had six, along with a quarterback sack and Andrew Wellik recovered a fumble for the E-Hawks in the winning effort.