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Nighthawks run past Pirates for first win

Tripp-Delmont/Armour/Andes Central/Dakota Christian's Jace Faulkner (20) stiff arms Avon's Riley Rucktaeschel on Friday in Avon. TDA/ACDC's Cade Gemar (11) blocks and Avon's Jason DeJong is in the background. (Ryan Deal / Republic)

AVON—The Jace Faulkner-to-Daaron Tronvold connection was working early and often for the Tripp-Delmont/Armour/Andes Central/Dakota Christian Nighthawks on Friday.

The senior duo hooked up for three passing touchdowns and the Nighthawks won their first game of the season with a 50-6 romp over Avon. The Nighthawks rolled up 417 yards of total offense in the victory.

"Our offense really clicked (Friday)," Faulkner said. "Unlike all the other nights."

Faulkner threw for 225 yards and connected with Tronvold for touchdown receptions of 67, 59 and 65 yards. Faulkner added two rushing touchdowns, while Tronvold also ran one in. Faulkner hauled in four receptions for 202 yards.

"Daaron, he will just go get it," Faulkner said. "If I need him, he will just go get it. That's my go-to man right there."

But for the Nighthawks (1-2), it all started up front, said coach Mark Gemar. He stressed all week the team needed to win the line of scrimmage.

Mission accomplished on Friday.

"(Friday) was definitely the best night we have had up front, both on the offensive side and defensive side," Gemar said. "We got up early right away and I think that just gave us a little bit of confidence and our guys started rolling and we just started playing downhill."

The downhill play started right away. On the first play from scrimmage, Faulkner hooked up with Tronvold for a 67-yard touchdown reception. The Nighthawks recovered an onside kick and a few plays later, Faulkner scampered 41 yards for a touchdown.

"If you come out scoring touchdowns, that's always great," Faulkner said.

The scoring didn't stop there. Tronvold added a 39-yard score in the second quarter. Faulkner later hit him for a 59-yard touchdown reception and a 26-0 lead.

Avon (0-3) scored its first touchdown of the season on an Ashton Frank eight-yard pass from Riley Rucktaeschel. Faulkner added a four-yard touchdown for a 34-6 halftime lead.

In the third quarter, Micah Lau intercepted an Avon pass and returned it for a touchdown. The Nighthawks forced five turnovers and four interceptions.

"We got some pressure up front," Gemar said. "We had pretty good coverage all night, just man-to-man coverage. We got beat a few times, but we kept telling them 'Lock in, you are man-to-man. Pick up your guy' and we did a good job."

In the fourth quarter, Faulkner hit Tronvold on a 65-yard touchdown strike for the game's final touchdown.

Defensively, Faulkner, Tronvold and Tyler Swanson all recorded interceptions. Cade Gemar had 6 1/2 tackles. For Avon, Rucktaeschel threw for 129 yards and Frank had 74 receiving yards. Kory DeJong had 14 carries for 31 yards. The Pirates finished with 188 total yards.

The Nighthawks play at Centerville on Friday, while the Pirates play Gayville-Volin in Gayville.

Scoring summary

First quarter

TDAACDC: Daaron Tronvold 67 pass from Jace Faulkner (conversion failed)

TDAACDC: Faulkner 41 run (run failed)

Second quarter

TDAACDC: Tronvold 39 run (Cliff Johnson pass from Faulkner)

TDAACDC: Tronvold 59 pass from Faulkner (run failed)

A: Ashton Frank 8 pass from Riley Rucktaeschel (pass failed)

TDAACDC: Faulkner 4 run (Gabe Baas pass from Faulkner)

Third quarter

TDAACDC: Micah Lau interception return (Faulkner run)

Fourth quarter:

TDAACDC: Tronvold 65 pass from Faulkner (Lau run)

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