Banged-up Hawks lose to Williamsburg

By Sports Dept.
Posted 10/7/99

Injuries have hampered the Golden Hawks’ season as Mid-Prairie lost to Williamsburg 29-6 last Friday in Wellman.

Unfortunately for the Hawks, the injured players are all starters in the …

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Banged-up Hawks lose to Williamsburg

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Injuries have hampered the Golden Hawks’ season as Mid-Prairie lost to Williamsburg 29-6 last Friday in Wellman.

Unfortunately for the Hawks, the injured players are all starters in the offensive backfield. Quarterback Seth Fisher went down in last week’s game against Solon with a knee injury and was sidelined for the Williamsburg game. Running backs Adam Kos and Mike Huston were banged up earlier in the season and fullback Levi Kelley left Friday’s game with a knee injury.

“When your injuries come all at the same position, that wipes your depth out,” Mid-Prairie coach Mark Dalton said.

Sophomore Nick Luke got the starting call this week and did an excellent job. Luke completed 12-of-20 passes for 128 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Dalton praised the sophomore for playing well in a tough situation.

“This is the first full week he has worked at quarterback,” Dalton said. “Earlier in the year he took some snaps, but he probably hadn’t for a month or so. He was thrown in to games to mop-up, but that was probably the only time he worked with the starting offense.”

The opening quarter looked as if the game would be a defensive battle between the two teams. The Hawks recovered a fumble deep in Raiders territory, but could not punch the ball in. On the ensuing field goal attempt, a low snap prevented the kick and gave Williamsburg the ball on downs.

Williamsburg drove the ball to the Hawks 33 yard line, but then the defense held the Raiders who turned the ball over on downs. Mid-Prairie then began to drive toward the goal when a bad route by a receiver caused an interception, giving Williamsburg the ball on their four yard line. The Raiders drove for two first downs, then punted the ball away to leave the first quarter scoreless.

In the second quarter, Williamsburg put together a 67 yard scoring drive, culminating with a 20-yard touchdown pass. Following the two-point conversion, the Raiders held a 8-0 lead.

Mid-Prairie took the kickoff and started their own march to the end zone. With the ball on the Raiders 39, Nick Luke was sacked and fumbled the ball, which was picked up by a Raider defender and ran 61-yards into the end zone. Later in the quarter, the Raiders completed a pass through three Mid-Prairie defenders, leading to the third Williamsburg touchdown of the second quarter.

The Hawk defense stepped up again in the third quarter, allowing only three yards of Williamsburg offense. However, Mid-Prairie was unable to take advantage offensively until the fourth quarter when the Hawks put together a 71-yard, six play scoring drive, ending with a Luke pass to Tyrell Gingerich for the touchdown. However, Williamsburg added another touchdown in the fourth to make the final 29-6.

Dalton reported that his team played solid football both on offense and on defense. The defense allowed only 185 total yards; 91 passing and 94 on the ground. Dalton credited the line and the linebackers for doing a good job of stopping the run.

“Janecek played another great game on defense, bringing down those guys when they get to the outside. Their longest run from scrimmage was about 12 yards, so our run defense played really well,” Dalton said.

The offense also had a good game with Luke in the starting quarterback role. Tight end Chad Showalter caught five passes for 32 yards, but the ball was spread around well with five receivers catching the 12 passes.

What got the Hawks this game was mistakes and letdowns which resulted in Williamsburg opportunities. The offense suffered through three dropped pass receptions and a high snap which resulted in a 30-yard loss, negating most of the rushing gains on the night.

“We would have a break down and miss an assignment, we wouldn’t pick up a blitzing linebacker or not pick up their nose. At times when we needed to make a play to score, something like that would happen—Nick would get sacked or our backs would get tackled for a loss,” Dalton reported.

“They also scored off of three pass plays, big plays that were as much luck as skill. If you take away about three pass plays that they had, the outcome may have been different.”

The key for Mid-Prairie is to get the backfield healthy. Both Fisher and Kelley will have their knees examined this week, and Kos and Huston are expected to play, albeit banged up, against Sigourney-Keota next week. Dalton is also considering bring up players from the JV squad and playing linebacker Chris Janecek at tailback and linemen Brian Hervey at fullback.

“Obviously we need to get kids healthy. Otherwise we may just have to line up with five receivers out there and throw on every down,” Dalton laughed.

Hawks JV out-battle the Raiders

The Mid-Prairie junior varsity football team defeated Williamsburg 26-20 in a tough, physical battle last Friday in Wellman.

“This was by far the most physical game we have played this year. Both teams were very aggressive,” Mid-Prairie coach Doug Koerperich said.

Williamsburg controlled the ball for most of the first quarter with a long 14-play drive. However, after the Raiders entered the red zone, the Hawks defense stepped up and denied Williamsburg the score.

Into the second quarter, Mid-Prairie set up their own drive culminating with a screen pass from Blake Hershberger to Lucas Casper, who then ran the ball into the end zone from 23-yards out. Williamsburg then stormed back with a nine play touchdown drive.

On the ensuing kickoff, Jon Knarreborg returned the ball 86 yards for the touchdown to make the score 12-6. On the following Williamsburg drive, Tyler Griffith intercepted the ball, setting Mid-Prairie back in motion toward the goal line. Unfortunately, time ran out in the half before the Hawks could convert.

Mid-Prairie came out in the third quarter out of synch, allowing the Raiders another touchdown. However, Mid-Prairie got themselves together and the momentum back when Jon Knarreborg ran the ball in for his second touchdown on the night. Jared Smith kicked for the extra point to make the score 19-12 in the fourth quarter.

The Hawks added another score when Hershberger hit Brandon TeBockhorst in the end zone on a 14-yard pass play. Smith then converted the PAT to give Mid-Prairie a 26-12 lead with time running out.

Williamsburg attempted a comeback with a touchdown and two-point conversion late in the fourth quarter. The Raiders then attempted an onside kick, however the Hawks covered the ball and were able to run out the clock for the 26-20 victory.

Hershberger completed 8-of-12 passes for 132 yards and two touchdowns on the night. Jon Knarreborg ran the ball 21 times for 90 yards and two touchdowns. Tyler Griffith caught three balls for 55 yards and Tristan Gingerich had three receptions for 40 yards. Coach Koerperich gave credit to the offensive line for the nights good offensive output.

“Our offensive line did a better job holding their blocks this week, which gave Blake a little more time to find his open receiver,” Koerperich said.

Defensively for the Hawks, Micah Peck led the team with eight solo tackles and five assists. Ryan Swartzendruber had seven tackles and three assists. Griffith recovered the only turnover of the night with his interception. Koerperich said that despite the defense playing well, there were still some things to work on.

“We still need to continue to improve on our open field tackling as we missed tackles on the backs.

“Overall, I feel we played and picked up our level of intensity. We need this to carry over into next week’s game against Sigourney-Keota,” Koerperich said.

From Fri, Oct. 1 at Wellman.

Williamsburg 0 22 0 7— 29

Mid-Prairie 0 0 0 6— 9

First downs_______W’Burg 13_______MP 10

Rushes-Yards______W’Burg 42-94____MP 31-(-18)

Yards passing______W’Burg 91_______MP 128

Comp-Att-Int______W’Burg 5-14-0___MP 12-20-1

Punts-Avg.-Long____W’Burg 5-25-38__MP 6-25-36

Fumbles-Lost_______W’Burg 4-2______MP 1-1

Penalties-Yards______W’Burg 8-75____MP 3-15

Individual stats

RUSHING— Adam Kos 16-38.

PASSING—Nick Luke 12-20-1-1.

RECEIVING—Brent Showalter 3-47, Chad Showalter 5-32, Tyrell Gingerich 2-41.

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