PREP FOOTBALL: Wolves dominate Hawks
LAKE PARK, Iowa -- Featuring an explosive aerial attack and forcing a total of seven turnovers Friday night, the Harris-Lake Park Wolves put on quite a show on both sides of the ball and claimed a dominant 62-13 victory over the Remsen St. Mary's Hawks in an Iowa 8-man high school football game to close the regular season in style.
H-LP improves to 7-2 overall and will host North Iowa in the opening round of the sub-state playoffs Wednesday night. The Wolves finished as the runner-up in District 1 after averaging 56.8 points per contest throughout their nine-game schedule.
"This was a great win to end the regular season," summed up H-LP head coach Lane Gunderson. "We did an excellent job defensively of containing their quarterback and had pretty good balance offensively, as well. We blocked well up front and gave our playmakers opportunities to create some different things in both the running and passing games."
Colin Brons was the triggerman for H-LP's big-play offense, completing 18-of-28 passes for 316 yards and firing five touchdown strikes to four separate receivers. He also ran the ball five times for 61 yards and a touchdown.
Eli Ihnen reeled in nine passes from Brons for 206 yards and scored a pair of touchdowns. Tanner Hiveley (four receptions for 58 yards), Kade Heikens (three catches for 21 yards) and Brady Van Iperen (two grabs for 31 yards) each had a touchdown snag for the Wolves, as well.
Heikens paced H-LP's running attack with 13 carries for 96 yards and two touchdowns, while Hiveley added a short scoring plunge.
Defensively, Ihnen finished with 16 tackles and an interception. Hiveley (fumble recovery) and Heikens (interception) both charted eight tackles, while Brons, Van Iperen and Dahlton Burdorf each intercepted a pass, and Skylar Cudmore recovered a fumble after recording a quarterback sack for the Wolves.
Wolves win high-scoring first quarter, 20-13; score 27 straight points in second quarter
Playing on an 80-yard field, there were bound to be some offensive highlights throughout the night. RSM (3-6) started the action with an exciting 79-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, as Michael Nasers ran untouched up the right sideline to put the Hawks up 6-0 (PAT no good) just 15 seconds into the game.
H-LP answered immediately with a 37-yard pass from Brons to Ihnen before Heikens capped a quick three-play, 45-yard scoring drive with a three-yard touchdown run on a sweep to the left. Brons kicked the extra point to lift the Wolves to a 7-6 lead at the 10:45 mark of the first quarter.
Hiveley then recovered a fumble on the first play of the Hawks' ensuing series, leading to a nine-yard touchdown pass on a rollout to the right from Brons to Heikens. The PAT kick, this time by Heikens, was good to increase H-LP's lead to 14-6 just 11 seconds later.
RSM's next drive also ended in a fumble recovery, as Cudmore pounced on a loose ball to keep the momentum on H-LP's side. Heikens then had a 21-yard burst before Hiveley smashed his way into the end zone for a one-yard touchdown to make it 20-6 (PAT no good) with 8:58 showing on the clock.
"We responded well after giving up the long kick return to start the game," Gunderson said. "We connected on some big plays offensively, and our defense gave us good field position by forcing a couple of turnovers. That was really nice to see."
The action slowed down a bit for the remainder of the first quarter, although RSM put together a four-play, 65-yard scoring drive to pull within 20-13 at the 1:01 mark. Tyler Delperdang scored on a one-yard touchdown run, and Elliott Conover booted the PAT for the Hawks.
A 45-yard keeper up the middle by Brons on the Wolves' ensuing possession helped set up another three-yard touchdown dash by Heikens. Ihnen then scored the two-point conversion to extend H-LP's lead to 28-13 just three seconds into the second quarter.
Burdorf picked off a pass in the end zone to halt a potential countering score for RSM, and Brons then launched a 60-yard touchdown bomb to Ihnen. Heikens booted the extra point through the uprights to widen the gap to 35-13 with 7:05 remaining.
An interception by Van Iperen, a 33-yard reception by Ihnen and an eight-yard touchdown run by Brons were the next highlights for H-LP, which led 41-13 (PAT no good) with 4:44 to go.
Brons and Hiveley hooked up for a 40-yard touchdown to complete the scoring in the first half, as the Wolves led 47-13 (PAT no good) with 1:40 left and carried that cushion into halftime.
"Colin throws the ball well, and we have a lot of weapons on offense," Gunderson said. "It's fun to coach these guys and watch them perform the way that they do."
H-LP stayed in command throughout the second half. Interceptions by Brons, Heikens and Ihnen prevented RSM from scoring, while the Wolves tacked on a couple of third-quarter touchdowns to create the final margin.
Brons found Van Iperen for a one-yard touchdown, and Ihnen scored the two-point conversion to make it 55-13 with 8:23 remaining. Ihnen then caught a 27-yard touchdown pass from Brons with 1:36 to go, and Heikens kicked the extra point to give the Wolves a 62-13 bulge.
"We have improved every week this season and now focus our attention to the playoffs," Gunderson said. "We're pleased with the way we have been playing on both sides of the ball and will look to carry over what we did tonight into our playoff game Wednesday night. It should be a lot of fun."
RSM 13 0 0 0 -- 13
H-LP 20 27 15 0 -- 62