The opening of a new high school football season at Mid-Prairie produced a new look, a new head coach and even a new hilly sideline Friday night.
It all worked out just great for …
The season opener was just so new for Mid-Prairie’s football team.
Entering last Friday’s game against Wilton, just a handful of Golden Hawks had played varsity football.
Junior quarterback Brady Weber started his first game.
Sophomore running back Hudson Ehrenfelt, same thing.
And following a 13-0 loss, one of the first things Weber did postgame was approach Coach Daren Lambert, himself making his debut as a head coach in football, for a one-on-one conversation.
“Brady already came up to me and said he’s got to be better,” Lambert said afterwards. “But like I told him, it’s his first varsity start and there’s a lot going on. The game moves a lot faster, but I thought he did great leading us at certain times. I know that he’s going to go do his homework and see where he can improve.”
Weber ran for 50 yards and passed for 114 yards, but was intercepted twice.
Ehrenfelt rushed 19 times for 85 yards and his determined twisting runs in the second half helped the Golden Hawks establish long offensive possessions.
“He runs angry and you kind of saw that,” Lambert said. “It’s one of those things where as a coach when you’re trying to pick apart positives of the night, that’s a guy you’re going to be able to lean on the rest of the season.”
Ehrenfelt also had a game-high 4 catches for a game-high 57 yards.
Wilton junior running back Owen Hassell scored twice in the first half on touchdown runs of 2 and 5 yards. Hassell and quarterback Drew Keith each topped 100 yards in rushing, combining for 253 yards.
Hassell put the Beavers in front with a 2-yard scoring run with 4:17 left in the opening quarter. He added another touchdown run with 8:15 left in the second quarter.
The Golden Hawks shut down Wilton after that and nearly tightened the game up on their first possession of the third quarter, driving 59 yards to the Wilton 26-yard line before failing on 4th-and-8.
“We’ve got to finish drives,” Lambert said. “We kind of found our groove. You make adjustments and try to figure out how you’re going to move the ball. We’ve just got to finish drives. There were, I think, at least two drives where we ended a yard short. Just didn’t get the extra yard to keep the drive going.”
Mid-Prairie had some defensive stops of its own, including fumble recoveries by Grady Miller and Kurt Schneider in the final quarter.
“I feel like the guys kept fighting,” Lambert said. “There wasn’t a point in time where I was like, ‘Man, we’ve given up.’ Got some late turnovers.”
Kaden Kos, a sophomore, led the Golden Hawks with 13.5 tackles.
“We brought in a lot of new guys,” Lambert added. “Proud of the effort.”
The Golden Hawks face a challenging road before their 2A district opener Sept. 15. Friday night, they go to Iowa City to face Regina Catholic, which opened its season with a 44-6 win over West Liberty and drilled Mid-Prairie by 28 points last year. A week later, the Golden Hawks travel to Sigourney to meet 2022 1A state quarterfinalist Sigourney Keota.
WILTON 13, MID-PRAIRIE 0
Wilton 7 6 0 0 -- 13
Mid-Prairie 0 0 0 0 -- 0
W: Owen Hassell 2 run (Gatlin Rogers kick)
W: Hassell 5 run (kick failed)
PASSING: Mid-Prairie, Brady Weber, 14-20-114, 2 INT; Wilton, Drew Keith, 8-15-88, 0 INT.
RUSHING: Mid-Prairie, Hudson Ehrenfelt, 19-85; Weber, 10-50; Landry Gingerich, 5-10; Wilton, Keith, 14-130; Owen Hassell, 30-123, 2 TDs.
RECEIVING: Mid-Prairie, Ehrenfelt, 4-57; Cobi Hershberger, 4-27; Grady Miller, 3-11; Ace Peck, 2-15; Kaden Kos, 1-4; Wilton, Gatlin Rogers, 3-47; Cade Southrada, 2-26.
LEADING TACKLERS: Mid-Prairie, Kaden Kos, 13.5; Lukin Rediger, 8; Dylan Henry, 5.5.
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