Playoffs Begin With Win For E-Hawks
A strong start is always a plus in any football game, let alone a playoff contest. For Emmetsburg’s E-Hawks, an interception on the first play from scrimmage in Wednesday’s playoff opener with Ridge View set the tone for the remainder of the night. The E-Hawks flew away from the Raptors to earn a lopsided 48-7 win to propel them into a second round rematch with Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn on Monday night, Nov. 1, at Duane Twait Field in the second round of the Class 1A Playoffs.
With near gale-force winds blowing across Duane Twait Field on Wednesday, one might have though passing would have been ill-advised in anyone’s game plan.
After getting the opening kickoff at their own 31-yard line, Ridge View, the collaborations of Galva-Holstein and Schaller-Crestland, immediately tried to pass into the fierce winds.
E-Hawk defender Ben McCain stepped right into the path of the throw at the Raptors’ 41-yard line on the first play from scrimmage, stunning the visitors with just :12 gone in the contest.
Emmetsburg took over after the interception and needed just over a half a minute to score, as Andrew Wellik raced to the end zone off a 36-yard dash for a score with 11:12 to go in the quarter. McCain would add the conversion kick and give the E-Hawks a 7-0 lead.
The quick strike was merely a harbinger of what was to come in the first half.
Ridge View would manage a first down on their next possession, only to be forced into a punt that the E-Hawks returned to the mid-field stripe.
Once again, with favorable field position, the E-Hawks attacked again. Andrew Wellik took the handoff from Quarterback Cory Schultes and went on a little jaunt of 50 yards to score with 9:44 to go in the quarter. The kick by McCain was good, making the score 14-0 as Ridge View was beginning to wonder what they had gotten into.
The E-Hawks would strike again with7:31 to go in the quarter, as Schultes kept the ball and ran 25 yards, only to have the run called back for a holding penalty. Shaking off the penalty, Emmetsburg came back and turned to Marcus Akridge for a 16-yard run to paydirt with 6:55 to go in the first frame. Ben McCain added another kick through the uprights to make the score 21-0 with plenty of time to go.
Another three and out followed for Ridge View and Emmetsburg took over at their own 42-yard line and started marching down the field. Once again, it would be Marcus Akridge’s turn to score, this time off a 15 yard run with 4:03 to go in the first quarter. McCain added the conversion for a 28-0 lead as the momentum of the game was solidly in the E-Hawks’ pocket.
After a three and out for the Raptors, Emmetsburg got the punt to end the first quarter, and started the second frame at the Raptors’ 18-yard line. Despite a holding penalty, Emmetsburg would put the ball in the end zone soon after the start of the quarter off a four-yard run by Brady Berkland with 10:47 to play in the half. The winds caught the conversion kick, sending it wide, forcing Emmetsburg to settle for a 34-0 advantage.
After the kickoff drifted out of bounds, Ridge View began at their own 35 yard line and put the ball in the air again. Unfortunately for the Raptors, the result was the same, as the E-Hawk defense tipped the pass, which fell into the hands of Jake Carlson. Carlson wheeled around and took off for the end zone and scored off the 35-yard interception return. Ben McCain added the kick to make the score 41-0 with 10:06 to play in the half.
Ridge View would not concede anything, however, as they managed to spark a drive off a couple of pass completions that put them deep into E-Hawk territory at the six-yard line. Facing a first and goal at the six, the Raptors tried to punch the ball into the end zone, but saw three passes fall incomplete from excellent defense before turning the ball over on downs at the four-yard line with 8:58 to go in the half.
The E-Hawks took over but a motion penalty killed a nice gain that would result in the E-Hawks turning the ball over on downs at their own eight-yard line with 7:10 to play in the half.
The Raptors, looking at a golden opportunity, could only advance one yard on their next four plays and gave the ball back to the E-Hawks with 6:21 to go.
With a long way to go, the E-Hawks finally got out of the shadow of their own end zone off a 69-yard run by Marcus Akridge to the 12 yard line on the opposite end of the field.
Setting up in the Red Zone, the E-Hawks would add their final score with 3:51 to go in the half when Arthur Heldt dashed into the end zone off a seven yard run for the score. McCain would add the conversion kick for a 48-0 advantage.
Ridge View went three and out after the kick and the E-Hawks ran the clock out for the 48-0 lead at the intermission.
With the clock running continuously in the second half, Emmetsburg’s reserves took over on the gridrion and got to their own 47 yard line before turning the ball over on downs.
Ridge View took over and managed to score off a 47 yard run by Tyler Kenny with 5:41 to play in the third quarter. The kick by Seth Johnson was good, erasing the goose egg for a 48-7 score.
The Raptors successfully completed an onside kick and got the ball, prompting the return of the E-Hawk starting defense, which quickly stopped Ridge View in its tracks. The E-Hawk JV took over on offense and ran the clock out to end the third frame with Emmetsburg holding a 48-7 advantage.
The clock continued to run non-stop in the final frame as the E-Hawks would turn the ball over on downs near midfield with 11:26 to play, but the defensive reserves would stop the Raptors and get the ball back without much change of real estate.
Emmetsburg would eat up the clock as they gradually carved their way downfield, but would turn the ball over on downs with just :29 to go inside the 20 yard line of Ridge View. The Raptors could do little but get off a snap as the clock wound down for the E-Hawk victory.
Emmetsburg dominated the contest with 490 total yards of offense, all of it coming on the ground. Marcus Akridge ground out 173 yards off 13 rushes, while Andrew Wellik added 110 yards from seven rushes. Jake Jackson added 64 yards off 10 carries, while Brady Berkland had 42 yards on eight runs. Arthur Heldt picked up 52 yards of 12 carries and Austin McCartan gained 27 yards from four rushes. Cory Schultes picked up 24 yards from five rushes and Jake Carlson had nine yards on two rushes. Clayton Henderson lost three yards on two carries and Mitch Peterson lost eight yards on one carry.
Cory Schultes attempted two passes with no completions.
On the defense, Jake Carlson had an interception for a 35 yard touchdown and Ben McCain added an interception and six tackles to the effort.
Jake Jackson would come away with four tackles, while Adam Williams made three tackles, as did Brady Berkland, Skyler Rice and Clayton Henderson.
Emmetsburg was whistled for nine penalties, totalling 65 yards, while Ridge View was flagged four times for 35 yards in penalties in the contest.
The E-Hawks moved into a second round game aginst HMS on Monday night.