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Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan’s Wade Miller tries to fend off Menno/Marion’s Dylan Lehr during a run at a Class 9AA football game Friday afternoon in Ethan. (Brooke Cersosimo/Republic)

Late touchdown lifts Seahawks over Menno/Marion

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BY OWEN REITZEL

The Daily Republic

ETHAN — Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan used fourth-quarter field position to score its only second-half touchdown as the Seahawks edged Menno/Marion 28-22 in a Cornbelt Conference battle Friday afternoon.

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After a number of punts from both teams, Wade Miller returned a Menno/Marion punt to the Razorback 33-yard line for the Seahawks.

Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan only needed two plays to traverse the 33 yards, and with 1:56 left in the game, Miller scored on a 13-yard run to break a 22-22 tie.

The Razorbacks’ last-chance play failed on a pass intercepted by the Seahawks Blake Bartscher.

“I thought we won the field position in the second half,” said Seahawk coach Jeff VanLeur. “I was proud of our kids to keep it on their end of the field. I thought if we can keep it on our side of the field and keep giving ourselves a chance, I thought we would make something happen.”

Menno/Marion co-coach Jason Pasco said there wasn’t much his team could do about the field position.

“We put ourselves in that position and it was hard to punt against the wind,” he said. “I thought the kids fought hard but they got the points and we didn’t.”

Menno/Marion (3-2) forced a Seahawk punt on the first drive of the game and Chet Peterson raced 73 yards for a touchdown on its first play from scrimmage, giving the Razorbacks the 6-0 lead.

The Seahawks (5-1) answered on the next drive, going 62 yards on nine plays — capped with a 10-yard run by Miller. The two-point conversion was good and Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan led 8-6.

The Razorbacks once more needed only one play to score as Nick Gortmaker rumbled 67 yards with 5:17 left in the opening quarter. With a successful two-point conversion, the Razorbacks regained the lead 14-6.

“We had some missed assignments and the kids knew it,” said VanLeur of the Razorbacks’ two early scores. “They were down on themselves a bit. But our kids stuck our nose in there and calmed ourselves down and played four quarters of ball.”

The second quarter saw the Seahawk defense stiffen and penalties slow down the Razorback attack. Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan scored on a 6-yard run by Bartscher and a 13-yard run from Jordan Grosdidier to take a 22-14 lead at halftime.

Miller led the Seahawk attack with 147 yards on 25 carries followed by Bartscher with 102 yards on 14 carries. Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan, which is ranked third in Class 9AA, had 321 rushing yards and 32 yards passing for 353 total yards.

The defense was led by Ethan Riggs with 18 tackles, while Jaden Weber and Bartscher had eight tackles apiece.

Jacob Eddy had 26 carries for 189 yards for the Razorbacks. Menno/Marion had 327 yards rushing and 37 yards passing for 364 total yards.

Menno/Marion travels to Alexandria to take Hanson Friday, while the Seahawks host Freeman Friday in Bridgewater.

First Quarter MM: Chet Peterson 73 run (conversion failed)

BEE: Wade Miller 10 run (J.D. Shape pass from Blake Bartscher)

MM: Nick Gortmaker 67 run (Peterson run)

Second Quarter BEE: Bartscher 6 run (Miller run)

BEE: Jordan Grosdidier 13 run (conversion failed)

Third Quarter MM: Gortmaker 26 run (Peterson run)

Fourth Quarter

BEE: Miller 13 run (conversion failed)

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