Happy Homecoming For E-Hawks
Any time a team can outgain their opponent three-to-one in rushing yardage, you stand a pretty good chance of winning your ballgame. Add in the spirit of Homecoming week, and the Emmetsburg E-Hawks had all the ingredients for a Happy Homecoming with a 41-6 victory over South O’Brien Friday night.
The victory improves Emmetsburg’s record to 3-0 in the district and 5-0 on the season. However, the E-Hawks will face their toughest test of the season this Friday night when they make the long road trip west to face West Lyon.
It took a while to get the offense on track Friday night, as Emmetsburg struggled with an early fumble at the Wolverine 20-yard line to kill the opening drive of the game. The Wolverines would take over, but the E-Hawk defense would make a stop and get the ball back, allowing the offense to start a nice drive at Emmetsburg’s 31-yard line.
With :37 to go in the opening quarter, Andrew Wellik got the call from quarterback Cory Schultes and tucked the ball in for a three yard plunge into the end zone for a score. The conversion kick slipped wide, however, giving the E-Hawks a 6-0 lead at the end of the first frame.
South O’Brien was stopped on three plays and punted, but a near-block by the E-Hawks turned into a roughing the punter penalty that allowed the Wolverines new life and the start of a drive just a couple minutes into the second quarter.
But, with 9:42 to go in the half., Ben McCain stepped in front of a pass at the E-Hawk 13-yard line and returned the stolen ball to the 27 yard line. But, a penalty on the runback would bring the E-Hawks back to their own 18 to start the possession.
On the first down from scrimmage, Schultes handed off to Wellik, who picked his way through the Wolverine defenders and raced down the far sidelines for an 82-yard touchdown dash. The two-point conversion try failed, giving Emmetsburg a 12-0 lead with 9:25 to go in the half.
South O’Brien would try to get something going again, only to have their drive halted by an interception by Bobby Gappa with 9:14 to go in the half. Picking off the pass at the 42, Gappa returned it 20 yards to the Wolverines’ 22 yard line. Emmetsburg would drive down to the eight, but were turned away on downs by a determined defensive stand by South O’Brien.
It would be three and out for the Wolverines as they would punt after the big defensive stand, and the E-Hawks took over at their own 41 yard line.
Quickly, Schultes and the offense went to work, grinding out the yardage to cap off the 59-yard drive with a three yard plunge by Andrew Wellik with 5:04 to go in the half. Again, Emmetsburg went for two, and this time Schultes hit Austin Oppenheimer at the goal line for the conversion and 20-0 advantage.
The E-Hawk defense was fired up after the score, and shut South O’Brien down after a quick first down, forcing another punt. Emmetsburg would get the ball back with just over 1:00 to go in the half, but the Wolverines would come up with an interception of a Schultes pass with :10 to go at their own 20 yard line and knelt on the ball to end the first half, with Emmetsburg holding a 20-0 lead after the somewhat slow start.
However, there was still plenty of game to be played.
The E-Hawks kicked off to the Wolverines to open the second half and limited South O’Brien to three downs and a punt, giving the ball back to Emmetsburg near mid-field.
Starting at their own 42, the E-Hawks began chewing up the turf once again, eating clock in the process and with 7:02 to go in the third, Wellik found the end zone again from seven yards away to score. Ben McCain’s kick was true and the lead grew to 27-0.
After three quick downs and a punt by the Wolverines, Emmetsburg took over again, only to stall at the midfield stripe and punt. The stalemate continued as the defenses came up with big stops and the Wolverines had to punt in return, giving the E-Hawks the ball back to end the third quarter.
With a 27-0 lead to start the final quarter, Emmetsburg would strike quickly in the form of Marcus Akridge, who ran in from three yards out with 11:03 to go in the game. McCain’s kick was true again for a 34-0 lead.
South O’Brien would go backwards on their resulting possession and was forced to punt to the E-Hawk reserves.
Starting at the Wolverine 49 yard line, Ryan Kliegl took the throttle of the E-Hawk offensive machine but found the going a little tough to start, as Emmetsburg would stall out and turn the ball over on downs.
South O’Brien took advantage of the field position and the opportunity to put together a 54-yard scoring drive that would be capped off by a 21-yard run by Matt Williams. The Wolverines attempted a two-point conversion, bu the run was stuffed short of the goal line to make the score 34-6 with 4:36 to play in the contest.
Starting on their own 39 after the kick, Kliegl and the E-Hawks went back to work, and with mechanical precision, carved their way down field to score off a five-yard run by Jake Stubbs with 1:41 to go in the game. Ben McCain would come on to score the extra point for the 41-6 tally, which started the clock in the continuous clock mode to finish the game.
Emmetsburg would rack up an impressive 475 yards of rushing off 59 carries in the contest, while limiting South O’Brien to 100 yards off 39 rushing plays.
Andrew Wellik would run 19 times for 223 yards while Marcus Akridge picked up 90 yards on 15 carries. Brady Berkland added 50 yards off nine rushes in the game and cory Schultes would gain 43 yards from four carries.
Bobby Gappa picked up 26 yards from five rushes and Jacob Stubbs would gain 21 yards on four attempts, with Austin McCartan gaining 15 yards off one carry. Jake Carlson added five yards on one carry and Ryan Kliegl picked up two yards in his rushing attempt.
Schultes would complete two of six passes with one interception for eight yards, with Marcus Akridge grabbing a five yard catch and Austin Oppenheimer pulling in a three yard reception.
South O’Brien completed four of 12 passes for 46 yards with two picks on the night.
Defensively, Andrew Wellik made 11 tackles while Ben McCain and Bobby Gappa both added 10 stops and each had an interception. Jake Carlson and Tyler Clasing both added nine tackles to the winning effort for the E-Hawks.