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E-Hawks Battle from Behind to Claim 34-27 Win Over Algona

By Joseph Schany - | Sep 9, 2020

100 WINS - Head Coach Mike Dunlap earned his 100th win at the helm of E-Hawk football Friday night. Pictured above, Dunlap and son, quarterback Ben Dunlap, share a moment after the exciting 34-27 victory. -- Joseph Schany photo

by Joseph Schany

A second half offensive push and a strong defensive stand would spell all the difference for the Emmetsburg E-Hawks, claiming a 34-27 come-from-behind victory over the Algona Bulldogs in an exciting conclusion under the lights at Duane Twait Field.

The E-Hawks would struggle to move the ball early in the contest, going three and out on two offensive possessions in the first quarter, and missing a field goal attempt after driving the ball to the 23-yard line. Meanwhile, quarterback Tyler Manske and the Algona offense would put up two unanswered touchdowns to take a 14-0 lead minutes into the second quarter.

The E-Hawks would get on the board with 4:37 left to go in the half. The drive would begin with Lex Kassel fielding the kickoff and returning the ball 28 yards to the 42-yard line. Quarterback Ben Dunlap would hand the ball to both Colby Weir and Cole Shirk for two quick gains and a first down. Dunlap would then drop back to pass and hit Kassel for a 33-yard completion. From the 14-yard line, Shirk and Weir would take turns chipping away at the Bulldog offense until Weir would launch into the end zone from the 1-yard line for the touchdown. The E-Hawks would miss the point after (PAT) to make the score 14-6.

With time winding down in the second quarter, Algona would find success in their passing game and score with 51 seconds left on the clock. The E-Hawks would then take two quick offensive snaps and enter the break, down 21-6.

The Bulldogs would get the ball to start the second half. After a quick first down, the E-Hawk defense would come alive when Jordan Anderson dropped quarterback Manske for a loss of nine yards, eventually forcing a punt on 4th & 16.

Kassel would catch the punt for the E-Hawks and carry the ball close to midfield to begin another Emmetsburg scoring drive that would see runs from Shirk, Weir, and Grant Kibbie, and end on a five yard Dunlap pass to Matt Wirtz for the touchdown. The E-Hawks would go for the two-point conversion but come up just short to bring the score to 21-12 at the 6:04 mark.

With momentum building, the E-Hawk defense would take the field. Emmetsburg’s Cade Shirk would bring down QB Manske in the backfield for a four yard loss to set up a 2nd & 14, followed by a 10-yard sack by Seth Freeman to force another Algona punt.

Struggling to get footing on their first two downs, Emmetsburg would get a huge boost on 3rd & 17 when Kassel would catch a Dunlap pass to gain 31 yards and take the E-Hawk offense into the red zone. Lane Auten and Dunlap would each carry the ball for three yards, then Weir would score on a 10 yard sprint. A successful Cade Jacobson kick would bring Emmetsburg within striking distance of Algona, 21-19, heading into the final quarter.

Both offenses would trade unsuccessful possessions to start the fourth, until Algona picked up a 48-yard touchdown pass by Manske with 7:49 left in the game. The Bulldogs would miss the subsequent PAT to make the score 27-19.

Behind by eight, a fired-up E-Hawk offense would take the field. On 1st & 10 at midfield, Shirk would find room and carry the ball 45 yards to the Algona 5-yard line, setting up a Weir touchdown with 6:47 on the clock. Emmetsburg would go for two to tie the game and find success on another Weir short burst to bring the score to 27 all.

Algona’s offense would struggle on a quick three and out thanks to a holding penalty that forced a 4th & 17 punt.

The E-Hawk offense would once again go to work, starting their drive at midfield. With Weir, Shirk, and Dunlap runs chipping away at the Algona defense, Emmetsburg would march downfield to the 2-yard line and score on a Weir dive into the end zone. Jacobson’s kick would give the E-Hawks the 34-27 lead with 1:27 left to play.

Read the full article in The Reporter.