Knights Claim Homecoming Win Over Wolverines
GRAETTINGER – A couple of adages in football include the idea that you never want to take on a team that has just suffered its first loss, and secondly, you don’t want to do that on that team’s home turf.
Add in the fact that it was also their Homecoming game, and something about playing a long-standing bitter rival, and you had all the ingredients for Friday’s 64-20 outburst for the Graettinger-Terril Knights over West Bend-Mallard. The contest made for some shuffling in Eight Man District Two, as the Knights knocked West Bend-Mallard out of its share of the lead, and created a tie for second place in the district, as both the Knights and Wolverines stand at 3-1 in district play and 5-1 overall.
With the Knights looking to redeem themselves after a costly loss to Armstrong-Ringsted the week before, the orange and black took their frustrations out on the Wolverines, keeping West Bend-Mallard from getting into any kind of offensive flow during the game.
Penalties due to the Knights’ defense dogged West Bend-Mallard through the game, as several false-start penalties would rear their heads to stymie the Purple and Gold.
Both teams actually had their first offensive drive stall out to start the game, including the Knights, who would fumble the football on their second snap of the contest.
After losing the ball to the Wolverines, the Knight defense picked up the pace of the game, as Eric Hatland picked off a Mitch Bonstetter pass to kill a Wolverine drive.
Graettinger/Terril drove down the field, but the Wolverine defense made a big stop on fourth down to halt the Knights, only to fumble the ball back to G/T on the next play.
The turnover would lead to the first score of the game as a determined drive towards the goal line almost failed after a big sack of Knight quarterback Eric Hatland on third down.
Farcing fourth and goal at the 28, Hatland launched a true “Hail Mary”?towards the end zone, where Nate Howard and West Bend-Mallard’s Mitch Bonnstetter both went up for the ball, with Howard coming down with the reception for the score. Howard would add the conversion run to put Graettinger/Terril up 8-0 midway through the first frame.
The Wolverines were stopped on their next possession and G/T took over. With some nifty running, Howard found a route down the sideline to race into the end zone from 37 yards away for a 14-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
West Bend-Mallard would get on the scoreboard in the second quarter, as Mitch Bonnstetter put the ball up in the air for a 35-yard touchdown strike.
But, Graettinger/Terril would respond quickly.
The Knights handed the ball to Howard, who would race 38 yards to score. A quick three and out followed for the Wolverines and the Knights took over again.
This time, Howard threw a halfback pass to Beau Craig for a 45-yard scoring strike. Howard ran in the conversion for both of the second quarter scores, and then wrapped up the half with a 38-yard dash to the end zone and a short. three-yard run. Blaze Alesch threw a conversion pass to Craig after the big run and Eric Hatland added the extra point for the 45-12 halftime lead.
In the third quarter Howard added a 50-yard touchdown and Hatland kicked the extra point. Heath Marchand would add a 12 yard run for a score late in the third quarter and the Knights would round out their scoring with an 11 yard run by Tym Hart for the 64-20 final tally.
For Graettinger/Terril, Nate Howard ended the night with 152 yards off 14 carries along with two receptions for 97 yards. Howard also completed one of one passes for 45 yards.
Trent Lundgren had 39 yards rushing from three carries and recovered two Wolverine fumbles.
Eric Hatland completed four of seven passes for 134 yards. Beau Craig caught two passes for 58 yards and Colin Leiting came up with one catch for 24 yards.
Eric Hatland also picked off two interceptions and Blaze Alesch had one pick for the Knights.
For West Bend-Mallard, Mitch Bonnstetter racked up 105 yards off 16 carries, and completed five of eight passes for 80 yards with two interceptions. Ryan Banwart attempted two passes and had one interception on the night.
The Wolverines’ scoring came from Jordon Knobloch, ‘Greg Mader and Collin Thatcher in the one-sided affair.
Defensively, Tanner Breullman made 10 tackles for the Wolverines, while Ryan Banwart added seven stops. Collin Thatcher made six tackles, while Matt Goeders and Logan Streit both had five stops and Tony Bruellman had five tackles and a QB sack.