PREP FOOTBALL: Dutchmen down Pats
EDGERTON -- Driving 75 yards in 10 plays to score on the opening drive and later converting a pair of turnovers into touchdowns Friday night, the top-ranked Edgerton/Ellsworth Flying Dutchmen built a 22-0 halftime lead and went on to claim a well-earned 36-20 victory over the fourth-ranked Hills-Beaver Creek Patriots in a crucial Southern Confederacy Conference high school football clash.
Both teams came into the 9-man showdown undefeated with perfect 5-0 records, and an electric, playoff-type atmosphere was present on a windy night. Fans packed each sideline from goal line to goal line and were treated to lots of exciting action.
Blake Jouwstra scored three touchdowns to pace the Flying Dutchmen (6-0), who led 28-0 after the third quarter. H-BC's Jordan Larson tossed a trio of touchdown passes in the fourth quarter, as the Patriots (5-1) rallied to create a thrilling finish.
E/E, though, stayed in command in the final period thanks to a 25-yard touchdown dash by Derek Voge and a consistent, balanced ground attack. The Flying Dutchmen rushed for 198 yards on 42 carries and also limited H-BC to 92 yards rushing on 30 attempts.
"This really was an excellent win for us over a fantastic team in H-BC," E/E head coach Andrew Fleischman said after the game. "We played very well defensively, and for us to shut them out for three quarters is really a great job. I was also pleased with how we played up front on both sides of the ball, as our offensive line created some running room for our backs to be aggressive and run hard -- which helped us move the ball."
The Flying Dutchmen displayed their ability to move the ball right away, starting the game at their own 25-yard line. Quarterback Isaac Heard (9-for-21, 138 yards) connected with Johnny Menning for a 26-yard gain on the first play, initiating a 10-play, 75-yard scoring drive going into the wind.
Jouwstra, Voge and Devin Hulstein each carried for positive yardage on the series to get E/E moving. Heard completed two more passes -- one to Casey Schilling for a leaping six-yard reception and another to Voge for a 17-yard diving grab -- to help set up a first-and-goal from the 10-yard line.
Voge followed with a four-yard run before Jouwstra barreled up the middle and into the end zone for a six-yard touchdown, giving E/E a quick 6-0 lead with 7:58 on the clock. Heard then flipped a pass to Voge for the two-point conversion, as the Flying Dutchmen were up 8-0.
H-BC, which punted after just three plays on its first series, picked up a pair of first downs on its second possession. Larson, who was 11-for-22 with 185 yards through the air, completed passes to Taylor Reese (12 yards) and Taylor Leuthold (14 yards) to help the Patriots move the chains twice late in the first quarter.
But the Patriots turned the ball over on downs at E/E's 26-yard line, and the Flying Dutchmen -- with the wind now at their back in the second quarter -- started to win the battle for field position. Schilling punted three times in the period, and his third kick pinned the Patriots at their own one-yard line.
E/E converts two turnovers into touchdowns to take control
H-BC ran the ball for a pair of one-yard gains before electing to pass on third-and-eight from the three. E/E's Wade Gunnink (two sacks) jarred the ball loose with a sack, and teammate Austin Mertens recovered the fumble in the end zone for a touchdown.
The Patriots stopped the two-point conversion, but the Flying Dutchmen were suddenly up 14-0 with 1:55 remaining in the second quarter.
E/E extended the margin moments later, as Jouwstra recovered a Patriots' fumble on the ensuing possession. A short 20-yard scoring drive followed, as Heard completed two passes to Voge -- including an eight-yarder on a falling, one-handed catch.
Jouwstra capped the five-play series with his second touchdown run, breaking a couple of tackles and streaking into the end zone from seven yards out. Voge crashed in for the two-pointer, pushing the Flying Dutchmen's lead to 22-0 with 59 seconds to go.
"All of our running backs did a nice job of getting four or five yards per carry," Fleischman said. "That's tough to do against a defense as good as H-BC's, but we wanted to stay consistent and have several guys contribute by running the ball.
Voge gained a team-best 98 yards on 16 carries, while Hulstein (11 carries for 53 yards) and Jouwstra (10 carries for 64 yards) provided E/E with a balanced attack on the ground.
"There's a reason why E/E is so good, as they can do so many different things," H-BC head coach Rex Metzger said. "They run the ball effectively in a variety of ways, and they can also stop the run defensively. They packed the box against us and made us a one-dimensional offense, as we had trouble getting anything going in the running game."
H-BC's Dalton Bass, who leads the league in rushing, did gain 88 yards on 18 carries -- accounting for all but four of the Patriots' yards on the ground.
Patriots get aerial attack in gear, rally in fourth quarter
Two defensive stops by E/E to begin the third quarter were followed by the Flying Dutchmen's fourth touchdown of the night. Menning (three receptions for 90 yards) reeled in a 31-yard strike from Heard to set up a three-yard touchdown run by Jouwstra with 5:35 on the clock.
The Flying Dutchmen, who failed to tack on the two-point conversation, were up 28-0 at that point.
H-BC, though, made some noise with the wind at its back in the fourth quarter. Following a strong punt return by Bass, the Patriots got on the board when Larson connected with Seth Nuffer for a 53-yard touchdown along the right sideline.
The two-point attempt was no good, leaving the score at 28-6 with 9:35 to play.
H-BC recovered an E/E fumble on the ensuing drive and found the end zone on another pass play. Larson targeted Bass with a short pass to the right, and Bass turned on the jets -- cutting across the field -- on his way to scoring a 27-yard touchdown.
Bass added the two-point conversion with a hard-charging run, trimming the gap to 28-14 with 8:31 left.
However, E/E responded with a seven-play, 68-yard scoring drive -- all on the ground. A 13-yard burst by Voge, a 12-yard surge by Hulstein and a nine-yard dash by Jouwstra preceded a 25-yard touchdown scamper by Voge.
Heard drilled a pass to Schilling for the two-point conversion, lifting the Flying Dutchmen to a 36-14 advantage at the 4:55 mark.
The Patriots answered with a quick-strike touchdown drive, beginning when Larson launched a 50-yard aerial to Reese (three catches for 66 yards) down the left sideline.
Larson then found Nuffer (four catches for 67 yards) for an eight-yard gain before connecting with Brady Vaughn for a seven-yard touchdown (two-point no good), completing the game's scoring at 36-20 with 4:03 remaining.
"We were able to have some success passing the ball going with the wind," Metzger said. "But we couldn't throw into the wind and we didn't run the ball well consistently. E/E put us into some tough situations with their defensive pressure and won the battle for field position."
The Flying Dutchmen sealed the victory by picking up four of their 17 first downs on the final drive, keeping the ball in the hands of Voge, Jouwstra and Hulstein on the ground.
Voge and DC Claar both had 10 tackles to lead E/E, while Devin Klarenbeek (one sack) and Jeff Sandbulte each had 10 stops for H-BC. Leuthold added nine tackles for the Patriots, who play at Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Martin Luther on Friday.
E/E travels to play Westbrook-Walnut Grove next week.
H-BC 0 0 0 20 -- 20
E/E 8 14 6 8 -- 36