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E-Hawks Fall to Western Christian, 28-7

October 23, 2019
By Joseph Schany , Emmetsburg News

By Joseph Schany

HULL - Emmetsburg would fight hard against the top-ranked Wolfpack, but a stagnant offensive effort and big passing plays by Western Christian would spell the difference in a 28-7 setback for the E-Hawks. The loss brings Emmetsburg to 3-5 on the season, 1-3 in district play.

"Our kids played really hard," said Head Coach Mike Dunlap.

Article Photos

FIGHTING FOR INCHES - Emmetsburg’s Jon Lace II pushes through the pile to pick up three yards during Friday night’s loss to Western Christian. The E-Hawks would struggle to move the ball against a tough Wolfpack defense. -- Joseph Schany photo

"I thought we played really well in the first half, especially on defense. Offensively, we struggled to move the ball again this week."

The Wolfpack would be the first to put points on the board when, late in the first quarter, a high snap on a Ben Dunlap 4th & 17 punt attempt would allow the Wolfpack to recover the ball on the Emmetsburg 19-yard line. From there, Western Christian drove to the end zone in four quick running plays, ending on a three yard carry by Tristan Mulder for the touchdown and tacking on an extra point with a Kobi Baccam kick for a 7-0 score.

After a few traded possessions, the E-Hawks would have an answer in the final minute of the second when the Wolfpack mishandled their own punt attempt and Emmetsburg recovered on the Western Christian 7-yard line. Three quick runs from Mason Griffin and Colby Weir would lead to a 4th & goal one yard carry from Dunlap for the touchdown and a Cade Jacobson extra point kick.

However, with a tied 7-7 score and 30 seconds left in the half, Western Christian would orchestrate a 53 yard touchdown drive in three passing plays, scoring on a 29 yard pass from quarterback Tyson Boer to Cole Zevenberger as time expired. The extra point kick would send the Wolfpack into the locker room with a 14-7 lead.

"We put up some points, but giving up that touchdown at the end of the second quarter obviously hurt us." said Coach Dunlap.

The second half would be all Wolfpack as their offense put up 14 points in the third quarter and the defense forced Emmetsburg into multiple 4th & long situations throughout the half. An end zone interception by Western Christian early in the fourth would stop a promising E-Hawk drive in its tracks.

Emmetsburg would answer with an interception of their own four plays later, when Lex Kassel snagged a jump ball in the end zone for a touchback, but a Wolfpack defensive attack on the subsequent possession would force the E-Hawks into lost yardage and a 4th & 20 punt.

A quick three and out by the Wolfpack would give the ball back to the E-Hawks with 4:55 left in the game, only to see another blistering defensive push by Western Christian force a 4th & 3 turnover on downs a few plays later.

Western Christian would take a knee to end the game.

Throughout the contest, the struggling Emmetsburg offense would convert only one third down out of 11 attempts. However, the young men never gave up the fight.

"These kids have great character," said Coach Dunlap, "and they give tremendous effort. They stayed in the fight and never gave up, never got to that point. They've had a brutal schedule but they don't complain. They are resilient. They are great kids."

Emmetsburg put up 74 yards on the ground, with Weir rushing for 57, Griffin for 25, and Cole Shirk for 17. Through the air, Dunlap threw for 21 yards on two passes to Gerard Ruiz.

The E-Hawk defense was led by Bret Hoyman who racked up 11 tackles, forcing a fumble and seven yards for loss, while Jon Lace II made eight tackles, including two sacks for 15 yards. The defense held the Wolfpack to 51 yards of rushing on the night, though key passes for Western Christian would lead to 198 yards through the air.

"We really handled the run pretty well, but gave up some big passing plays," said Coach Dunlap.

"We've just got to go back to work on Monday and keep getting better day by day. We are getting ready to play another good football team on Friday."

Emmetsburg will finish out the regular season on Friday, Oct. 25, hosting the 7-1 Falcons of West Sioux at Duane Twait Field.



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