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Wolves open season with 30-9 victory over CR-B

LAKE PARK, Iowa -- Chris Hemphill rushed for 129 yards and a trio of touchdowns Friday night, leading the Harris-Lake Park football team to a season-opening, 30-9 victory over Coon Rapids-Bayard.

Hemphill carried the ball 23 times, accounting for half of his team's rushes. The Wolves had 194 total rushing yards.

"This was a good way to start our football season," H-LP head coach Lane Gunderson said following the game. "Our offense moved the ball very well in the first half, and our defense played a solid game from start to finish."

H-LP's defense created the game's first points, as junior linebacker Matt Mayou sacked Johnny Schwaller in the end zone for a safety with 9:03 left in the first quarter to put the Wolves up 2-0.

The safety was set up after the Wolves downed Kyle Kruger's punt at the Crusaders' two-yard line.

Starting with the ball at midfield (the 40-yard line for eight-man football) following the safety and ensuing free kick, the Wolves needed just three plays to score the season's initial touchdown.

Hemphill busted off a 22-yard gain before Mayou gained three yards to move the ball to the Crusaders' 15. Hemphill took the next handoff from quarterback Kyle Ingwersen and broke to the outside for a 15-yard touchdown run.

Nate Brueggeman kicked the point after, and the Wolves had a 9-0 lead with 7:57 to go in the opening period.

The Crusaders, who used a shot-gun set and looked to pass on every play of the game, made it a 9-7 ballgame with 5:43 left in the first, as Schwaller found Zach Halstead with a two-yard touchdown pass, and Jacob Esdohr booted the PAT.

H-LP responded with a four-play, 62-yard drive to regain a nine-point advantage (16-7) with 3:58 showing on the first-quarter clock.

Following seven and 10-yard bursts from Mayou and Hemphill and a five-yard face-mask penalty, Ingwersen (9-for-15 passing with 104 yards and a touchdown) connected with Hemphill on a 33-yard pass play down the left sideline.

With the ball on the Crusaders' seven-yard line, Hemphill found his way into the end zone before Brueggeman added the extra-point kick.

"Our offense was very impressive in that first quarter," Gunderson said. "We didn't look very good in the second half, but our defense continued to play well and keep them from sustaining drives."

H-LP's defense was rewarded with two more points just fifty seconds following the touchdown, as a high snap sailed over Schwaller's head before he knocked it out of the back of the end zone for a safety.

With an 18-7 advantage after the first quarter, the Wolves didn't score again until there were 23 seconds left in the second quarter.

The reason why they didn't score until then was because they had the ball ever since the 10:00 mark.

A 19-play, 59-yard drive that lasted nine minutes and 37 seconds was capped when Ingwersen, on fourth-and-goal, found Brueggeman for a two-yard touchdown pass. The PAT kick was blocked, but H-LP had a 24-7 lead at halftime.

CR-B scored the third quarter's only points when Travis Becker blocked a punt, and the ball bounced out of the back of the Wolves' end zone for a safety, cutting the lead to 24-9 with 9:53 left.

Hemphill scored his third touchdown of the game -- an 11-yard jaunt -- with 5:48 left in the game, putting the Wolves up 30-9 and finishing the scoring. The point after kick was no good.

"Our defense played a great game against a different type of offense," Gunderson said. "We put a lot of pressure on their backfield, and just stuck with it the entire game."

CR-B 7 0 2 0 -- 9

H-LP 18 6 0 6 -- 30