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Howard runs over Hanson

Howard's Michael Hofer carries the ball against Hanson on Friday in Alexandria. Howard's EJ Leetch (52) is in the background. (Ryan Deal / Republic)

ALEXANDRIA—Midway through its Aug. 24 defeat against Canistota/Freeman, Howard had what coach Pat Ruml called a "heart-to-heart," at halftime.

"It woke a lot of guys up," Ruml said. "Right now we are playing hard, physical football and we didn't have that in the first two games."

After dropping their first two games of the season, the Tigers are back at .500 with a convincing 50-8 win over Hanson on Friday. Howard (2-2) gashed the Beavers (0-4) to the tune of 278 rushing yards.

"I thought our backs ran great (Friday)," Ruml added. "But our offensive line did a superb job."

Howard's three-headed rushing attack of Michael Hofer (108 yards), Gavin Ericksen-Reisdorfer (78 yards) and Zach Pardy (55 yards) did most of the damage.

"It was really working well," Hofer said about the rushing attack. "The blockers were amazing (Friday). We love to run the ball."

The rushing attack set the tone immediately. Hofer plowed in for a two-yard touchdown on the game's opening drive, which chewed up almost five minutes off the clock and the Tigers ran on almost every play.

"We wanted to come out and be physical," Ruml said. "I just thought we ran it pretty good all night. That's what Howard football is and we have to run that way for our play-action pass to run and for our offense to work."

Hofer added a 28-yard touchdown run in the second quarter for a 16-0 lead. In the third quarter, Pardy and Lane Miller scored touchdowns, while the Tigers also blocked a punt for a safety sandwiched in between scores.

"They are a good, strong team," Hanson coach Jim Haskamp said. "We knew that coming in and we just got out-physicaled. Period."

Hanson got on the board with a Casey Haynes 37-yard screen pass to Brandon Mentele. Howard led 32-8 at halftime.

In the third quarter, Isaac Feldhaus connected with Pardy for a 20-yard touchdown reception, Ericksen-Reisdorfer scored a 60-yard touchdown and Jase Schwab scored a 13-yard touchdown for the final points of the game.

For Hanson, Mentele had 65 rushing yards on 14 carries. The Beavers finished with 38 rushing yards on 37 carries, while they had 37 passing yards on 3-for-7 passing. Hanson hosts Garretson on Sept. 14.

The Tigers finished with 57 passing yards and recorded 335 total yards in the win. Howard hosts Class 9AA No. 3 Irene-Wakonda on Sept. 14.

The Eagles handed the Tigers a defeat last season, but they are treating this year's matchup like another game, said Hofer.

"We are just going to prepare for it just like every other game," Hofer said.

Scoring summary

First quarter

HOW: Michael Hofer 2 run (E.J. Leetch pass from Isaac Feldhaus)

HOW: Hofer 28 run (Hofer pass from Feldhaus)

Second quarter

HOW: Zach Pardy 2 run (Feldhaus kick)

HOW: Howard team safety

HOW: Lane Miller 1 run (Feldhaus kick)

HAN: Brandon Mentele 37 pass from Casey Haynes (Simon Weber run)

Third quarter

HOW: Pardy 20 pass from Feldhaus (kick failed)

HOW: Gavin Ericksen-Reisdorfer 60 run (kick blocked)

HOW: Jase Schwab 13 run (conversion failed)

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