PREP FOOTBALL: S-O falls big to H-M-S
SIBLEY, Iowa -- Combining a big-play offensive attack with a stifling defensive effort Friday night, the Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn Hawks opened the 2012 Iowa high school football season with an impressive 43-0 victory over a young and inexperienced Sibley-Ocheyedan Generals' squad.
H-M-S (1-0) rushed the ball for 275 yards and gained 86 yards through the air, racking up a total of 361 yards and scoring four of its six touchdowns on plays of 35 yards or longer. The Hawks also limited S-O (0-1) to just 100 yards of total offense -- 99 passing and only one rushing.
"That was a fun way to open the season," H-M-S head coach Steve Waechter said after the game. "We did a lot of things very well and took advantage of the opportunities that the game presented. Our defense created a few turnovers, and our offense cashed in by putting some points on the board."
The Generals, who have just six seniors and six juniors on their 37-man roster, were plagued by turnovers and penalties for most of the night. But S-O did have the game's initial scoring chance on the opening possession of the first quarter.
Starting with the ball at their own 23-yard line, the Generals moved into Hawks' territory on the third play of the beginning series. Owen Wiese (7-for-16 passing, 99 yards) fired a 38-yard strike to Dalton Frick to give S-O a first down at the H-M-S 37.
Wiese later completed an eight-yard pass to Dylan Brockshus on a screen play up the middle to help the Generals move the chains again, setting up a first down at the 27.
However, a holding penalty and a quarterback sack pushed S-O back to midfield. A false-start infraction and an incomplete pass ensued, forcing the Generals to punt the ball away.
"We made some costly mistakes at the wrong times," S-O head coach Jordan Menning said. "That opening drive was a good example of how things went for us -- anything bad that happened took place at unfortunate moments. We started out well, but were unable to finish and things kind of fell apart from there."
H-M-S immediately capitalized on its second offensive play following the punt, as Logan Rozeboom used a nifty cutback move and snapped off a 66-yard touchdown dash. Julian Dittmann kicked the extra point through the uprights, giving the Hawks a quick 7-0 lead with 5:43 showing on the first-quarter clock.
Casey Dorhout helped H-M-S maintain the early momentum by intercepting a pass on S-O's following possession. That turnover helped tilt the battle for field-position in the Hawks' favor, leading to the game's second scoring play a bit later.
The Generals were pinned inside their own 10-yard line after a punt and fumbled the ball on a running play, falling on it in the end zone for a safety. H-M-S's James Van Oort was applying pressure on the play, helping lift the Hawks to a 9-0 margin at the 2:38 mark.
H-M-S then assembled a six-play, 61-yard scoring drive to go up 15-0 early in the second quarter. Dorhout's 36-yard burst on a quarterback keeper highlighted the march, while Rozeboom capped it with a 15-yard touchdown scamper around the right edge.
Dittmann's PAT kick was no good, leaving the score at 15-0 with 11:45 remaining in the first half.
"We played hard, and I feel like the game was closer than what the final score indicates," Menning said. "We have some guys playing at the varsity level for the first time, and we made some typical early-season mistakes -- which we can certainly fix through more hard work in the upcoming weeks."
S-O was never really able to get untracked offensively for the remainder of the game, as H-M-S stayed in command and padded its lead with four more touchdowns -- including two late in the second quarter and two early in the third quarter -- to build a 43-0 bulge.
Dorhout connected with Blake Simons for a pair of touchdowns to extend the gap to 29-0 by halftime. Simons snuck behind the defense and reeled in a 52-yard scoring strike at the 1:44 mark, and after an interception by teammate Jacob Clark, Simons caught a 35-yard touchdown pass from Dorhout with 14.1 seconds remaining.
Dittmann was perfect on both of those PAT kicks and tacked on two more extra points in the first three minutes of the third quarter following the last two Hawks' touchdowns of the game.
Hunter Kuehl broke several tackles and scored on a 63-yard touchdown run just a minute in the second half, and Clark found the end zone from 10 yards out two minutes later to make it 43-0 with 9:01 left in the third quarter.
The rest of the second half was played near midfield with a running clock, as neither team threatened to score again.
Jose Olvera (10 total tackles), Josh Wagenaar (seven tackles, one sack) and Dillon Thies (seven tackles, one sack) led the Generals' defense.
S-O plays at Okoboji next Friday, while H-M-S hosts West Sioux.
H-M-S 9 20 14 0 -- 43
S-O 0 0 0 0 -- 0