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E-Hawks Close Out 2019 Season

October 31, 2019
By Joseph Schany , Emmetsburg News

By Joseph Schany

The 2019 football season ended for the Emmetsburg E-Hawks on Friday night after a 19-41 setback against the No. 3 in Class 1A, West Sioux Falcons. However, the final score of Friday's loss is an inadequate reflection of the game that took place on Duane Twait Field and the heart that the young E-Hawk football squad poured into each set of downs during the contest. These young men, especially graduating seniors Mason Griffin, Jon Lace II, Gerard Ruiz, Zachary Foxhoven, Bret Hoyman, Bradley Wirtz, and McCoy Helle, should be proud of their efforts against the Falcons and their time sporting the black-and-gold.

"I'm really proud of the way our team played," said Head Coach Mike Dunlap, "and I'm proud of our seniors. They're a class act. There's not a lot of them but they've played their tails off all season long."

Article Photos

ROOM TO RUN - Colby Weir finds room to run thanks to a leading block from Mason Griffin during Friday night’s loss to West Sioux. Weir would rush for 39 yards against the Falcons, while Griffin ran for 119 yards and two touchdowns. -- Joseph Schany photo

The first half of Friday's contest would see Emmetsburg's offense moving the ball at a steady pace, answering a Falcon first quarter touchdown with a score of their own after marching 80 yards downfield on first down runs from Cole Shirk, Colby Weir, and Griffin, and a nine yard bullet from Ben Dunlap to Ruiz for a 13 yard pickup, ending with a Griffin 10 yard sprint into the end zone and a Cade Jacobson extra point kick to tie the score at seven.

The subsequent Falcon possession to begin the second quarter would see quarterback Hunter Dekkers find open receivers in Kade Lynott and Bryce Coppock for quick, consecutive first downs, and end in seven points on a 12 yard Lynott touchdown run and point after kick by Jason Topete.

With 9:05 left in the half and 14-7 on the board. the E-Hawks would drive the ball out to their own 35-yard line with Shirk and Griffin runs, but stall with an incomplete pass on 3rd & 9, forcing a Dunlap punt on 4th down.

The Falcons would spend the next three minutes gradually moving the ball closer to midfield, until a 3rd & 10 Lace sack would force QB Dekkers into a 4th & 16 incomplete pass, resulting in a turnover on downs.

After a quick Emmetsburg three and out, the Falcons and E-Hawks would each trade turnovers, with Zach Foxhoven recovering a Blake VanBallagoyen fumble and Lynott catching an errant Dunlap pass immediately afterward. The half would end with West Sioux taking a knee and entering the locker room up by seven.

Each team would again trade touchdowns in the third quarter, with West Sioux scoring after two long Dekkers passes and the E-Hawks finding the end zone on a massive 67 yard Shirk breakaway sprint. Each team's extra point attempt would be blocked, resulting in a 20-13 score with 7:28 on the clock.

West Sioux would score 14 more points in the third on two 60+ yard passing plays, followed by a rushing touchdown midway through the fourth after recovering an Emmetsburg fumble, a turnover that stalled a very promising Emmetsburg offensive drive which included a Lex Kassel 13 yard catch and Shirk/Griffin first down pick ups that brought the ball to the Falcon 23-yard line.

After the touchdown, the E-Hawks would use their final possession to orchestrate another impressive 80 yard march into the end zone, seeing Griffin run up 67 yards in four plays, adding seven to the scoreboard.

West Sioux would take a knee to finish out the game with a 41-19 mark.

"We really played our best football against the best teams," said Coach Dunlap. "We just never put in all three or four quarters. We would put halves together but not whole games."

Coach Dunlap added, "They played with heart tonight, though. West Sioux is a team they could've quit on, or the guys could've quit on me, but they stuck it out and played really hard. I'm proud of each and every one of them."

The E-Hawks put up 323 total yards on offense, led by Shirk's 162 yard ground attack and Griffin's 119 rushing yards. Dunlap threw for 30 yards during the contest, with completed passes to Ruiz and Kassel.

Defensively, Emmetsburg was led by Dunlap and Griffin with six tackles each, followed by Weir and Matthew Wirtz with four. A Lace sack on Dekkers resulted in a loss of eight yards for West Sioux.

The E-Hawks finish their 2019 season 1-4 in district play, 3-6 overall.

Looking ahead to 2020, Coach Dunlap knows there is a lot of work to be done.

"Moving forward, we have a great core of returning guys next year. They all have to be active, they all have to work at it every single day. I certainly want them in other sports. I want them in the weight room. The core of our guys will do that. They will work hard to get better."

yards into the end zone, seeing Griffin run up 67 yards in four plays, adding seven to the score to finish the game with a 41-19 mark.



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