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Wildcats run away from Patriots

HILLS -- Fueled by a punishing ground attack that netted 341 yards on 60 carries Saturday afternoon, the Southwestern United Wildcats earned a 27-12 Southwest Ridge Conference football victory over the Hills-Beaver Creek/Ellsworth Patriots.

Quarterback Tyler Timko (5-for-9 passing, 65 yards) and running back Tyler Obermoller (19 carries for 99 yards) rushed for touchdowns in the first quarter to help the Wildcats build a 13-0 lead.

H-BC/E (1-2) cut the lead to 13-12 when Caleb Ellington (9-for-15 passing, 138 yards) and Jordan Hinrichs (four receptions, 99 yards) hooked up on a pair of touchdown plays -- one in the second quarter and one in the third period.

SWU put the game away with two fourth-quarter scores, as Timko hit Ben Scheevel with a 10-yard touchdown pass, and Nick Ober (21 carries for 118 yards) plunged in for a one-yard touchdown.

"We played well on both sides of the ball today," SWU co-head coach Jeff Drent said. "We established the run early, and because of that, we were able to move the ball on the ground and through the air when we needed to late in the game."

SWU (2-0) opened the game with a nine-play, 71-yard scoring drive to take a 7-0 lead.

Timko completed two passes for 34 yards on the drive and ran for 19 yards on two carries, including a six-yard touchdown run with 8:51 left in the first quarter. Octavio Jimenez tacked on the point-after kick.

SWU scored again on its third possession, as Obermoller and Riley Van Westen (three carries for 85 yards) rushed for bursts of 12 and 14 yards, respectively, to begin the 62-yard march.

Obermoller capped the 10-play possession with a three-yard touchdown run with 59 seconds left in the first quarter. The extra-point attempt was no good, and the Wildcats led 13-0.

H-BC/E responded with a scoring play on the ensuing drive, as the Ellingson-Hinrichs duo gained 57 of the 62 yards the Patriots needed to get in the end zone.

Ellingson found Hinrichs for a 37-yard play to begin the drive, and after two Patriot rushes netted zero yards and a five-yard penalty on the Wildcats, Hinrichs made a leaping catch in the end zone for a 20-yard touchdown play. The PAT kick by Kale Leuthold was blocked by the Wildcats, leaving the score at 13-6 with 11:05 left in the second quarter.

H-BC/E's next drive ended when Scheevel came up with the first of his two interceptions, and the Wildcats looked to take advantage of the turnover beginning at their own 30-yard line.

Ober, Obermoller, Van Westen and Dustin Casper took turns rushing the ball, as the Wildcats reached the Patriots' 13-yard line.

However, on third-and-12 from the 15, the Patriots' defense swarmed Timko for a sack and a loss of nine. Jimenez then attempted a 41-yard field goal, but the try was no good.

The Patriots took over, and keyed by a 37-yard connection from Ellingson to Hinrichs, they reached the Wildcats' 27-yard line with just over a minute to play in the half.

However, the Patriots fumbled the ball on a sweep to the right, and Jake Smith recovered the ball for the Wildcats.

Joel Van Batavia (four receptions, 30 yards) intercepted a pass for the Patriots as the first half ended with the Wildcats leading 13-6.

Van Batavia then started the second half with a big play, as he took the opening kickoff and broke several tackles before scampering for a touchdown. However, a penalty on the Patriots nullified the score.

H-BC/E set up its offense at the Wildcats' 20-yard line following the penalty, and on the seventh play of the possession, the Patriots were down by just one.

On fourth-and-goal from the five-yard line, Ellingson threw to the back of the end zone, and Hinrichs made another leaping catch in traffic for the touchdown. The two-point conversion try was no good, and the Patriots trailed 13-12 with 8:41 to go in the third quarter.

"Give H-BC/E a lot of credit for having that kind of success with its passing game," SWU co-head coach Jason Fisher said. "I thought we had them covered pretty well for the most part, but they just made some nice catches and played well the entire game."

SWU scored again on the third play of the fourth quarter, as Timko rolled to his right and found Scheevel in the back corner of the end zone with a 10-yard touchdown pass. Jimenez's kick was good, giving the Wildcats a 20-12 lead with 11:10 left in the game.

Scheevel almost scored again on the Wildcats' next drive. After Van Westen reeled off a 30-yard gain on a reverse, Scheevel caught a 14-yard pass from Timko before being knocked out-of-bounds at the one-yard line.

Ober punched it in from there, and Jimenez made it 27-12 with 9:15 remaining.

H-BC/E then drove to the Wildcats' 33-yard line, but Scheevel came up with another interception to stop the Patriots.

H-BC/E had the ball one last time, but SWU's Cory Pelzel recovered a fumble to help seal the victory for the Wildcats.

Mike Stenzel led the Wildcats with 15 tackles, while Casper had eight tackles and a sack, and Tim Haberman had a sack.

H-BC/E gained just 19 yards on the ground on 27 carries.

SWU visits Lakeview Friday, while H-BC/E travels to Edgerton.

SWU 13 0 0 14 -- 27

H-BC/E 0 6 6 0 -- 12