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A Score that Fails to Tell the Tale

October 23, 2018
By Darren Fraser , Emmetsburg News

by Darren Fraser

In its final regular season game Emmetsburg motored 100 miles to West Sioux to square off against the Falcons and played its most spirited game of the season in the loss.

West Sioux owned the first quarter, pasting the E-Hawks for 23 points. On its side of the ball, Emmetsburg's offense was stalled. Quarterback/punter Connor Joyce had four first-quarter punts.

Article Photos

E-PURSUIT - Game stats do not display heart and heart characterizes how Emmetsburg played its final regual season game. Above, Jon Lace II and Calvin heart home in on a Falcon. --Darren Fraser photo

A downtrodden squad manifests its displeasure in different ways. They slouch, they chirp, they hang their heads. Emmetsburg was having none of it. On its first possession in quarter two, the E-Hawks marched down the field. Emmetsburg relied on its ground game-the team passed for 55 yards-to wear down the Falcons' defensive line. Joyce handed off to Nick Schany or Corbin Saathoff for short gains, no gains or losses. But Coach Mike Dunlap stuck to what his team does best and maintained its assault against the West Sioux's D-line. With 8:12 to go in the second, the strategy paid off. After Saathoff picked up a short gain, on the ensuing play-and deep in Falcons' territory--, Joyce dropped back in the pocket and hit Schany for quick out. From there, it was a short run for #44 to take it over the goal line. Cade Jacobson added the point after to make the score 23-7.

The E-Hawks' defense stepped up, forcing the Falcons to punt on its next possession. Emmetsburg kept on the ground, with Joyce handing off to Ethan Berven, Jon Lace II, Schany and Saathoff. The drive briefly stalled when Joyce fumbled on a quarterback run, but the QB was sufficiently self-possessed to recover his fumble. On the next play, Joyce handed the ball to Saathoff on the Falcons' 16. #12 did the rest, taking the ball into the endzone for a 13-yard TD. Jacobson added the PAT to make the score 23-14.

West Sioux recalibrated. Relying on the run and quick outs, the Falcons marched into E-Hawks' territory. With just over two minutes left in the half, QB Hunter Dekkers connected with Victor Hernandez for a 43-yard completion and TD. West Sioux kicker Jason Topete made the PAT to increase the Falcons' lead to 30-14.

Emmetsburg failed in its next possession, resulting in another Joyce punt. With a minute to go in the half, West Sioux turned to its pass game to advance the ball. Dekker went seven for nine in passes on the drive, which culminated in another Hernandez catch and score. With seven seconds left, Topete completed the drive to put the Falcons up 37-14 going into halftime.

The third quarter was a back-and-forth affair, with both teams' defenses negating opposing gains with tenacious tackling. The score remained unchanged until the 4:44 mark in the third. On its first drive of the quarter, West Sioux's dynamic duo, Dekker and Hernandez, teamed up again. With the ball at the E-Hawks' 41, Dekker dropped back and found Hernandez at the 38. Hernandez shook off the defense and took in the ball for a 38-yard TD. Topete added the PAT to make the score 44-14.

Emmetsburg sputtered on its ensuing drive, resulting in yet another Joyce punt. What the game stats fail to accurately document is the tone of the E-Hawks' play. West Sioux has some large lads on its squad and it became apparently early in the game the Falcons were trying to establish physical dominance over Emmetsburg. There were a number of end-of-the-play scrapes between the teams; to its credit, Emmetsburg would not be bowed. Despite trailing by 30 points late in the third, the E-Hawks repeatedly proved their mettle. West Sioux racked up over 500 total yards, but those yards were hard won.

The score remained 44-14 until 28 seconds left to go in the third. Following an Emmetsburg punt, West Sioux used the run and pass to press into E-Hawk's territory. Dekkers followed up a 15-yard completion to Chase Koopmans by handing off the ball to Kade Lynott at the 11. Lynott took it from there, running into the endzone. Topete added the point after to make the score 51-14.

The score remained the same until nine seconds to go in the game. Ben Dunlap took over as Emmetsburg QB. Dunlap handed off on successive plays to Berven, both resulting in 16-yard gains and culminating in a late-game TD. Jacobson added the PAT to make the final score 51-20.

Joyce was three for nine passing for 55 yards. He was also nine for 12 on the ground, amassing 12 yards. Saathoff led the ground assault with 104 yards on 24 carries. Berven had 65 rushing yards and Schany contributed 45. Zach Foxhoven led E-Hawks' receivers with 35 yards.

Dunlap led the defense with solo tackles. Spencer Griffin racked up three solo and six assisted tackles to lead the defense in takedowns.

The referees were busy, meting out 185 penalty yards. West Sioux picked up 16 penalties for 130 yards, including an unsportsmanlike conduct infraction.

The Emmetsburg faithful made their presence known. often out-cheering the home fans.

Emmetsburg's overall record is 4-5; the E-Hawks are 3-2 in conference play.



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