Blackhawks blank Red Raiders, 14-0
WESSINGTON SPRINGS—On a night when scoring was at hard to find, two fourth-quarter touchdowns were just enough for the Woonsocket/Wessington Springs/Sanborn Central Blackhawks on Friday.
Woonsocket/Wessington Springs/Sanborn Central blanked Wagner 14-0 in a game filled with penalties and turnovers.
"We started off pretty slow," WWSSC wide receiver/defensive back Trey Ulmer said. "But we just started correcting things and things started to flow better and our morale was getting higher and higher throughout the game."
The Blackhawks' Seth Tebay broke the scoreless game with a 4-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter, while Ulmer later tacked on a 1-yard score with 2:34 left. Ulmer later sealed the win with an interception on Wagner's last drive of the game.
WWSSC held Wagner to 127 total yards and it forced three turnovers.
"The defense was huge," Ulmer said. "We made some huge plays on defense. I think we had about three fumble recoveries and one interception. The defense stepped up when we needed to."
The Blackhawks (1-0) also caught a couple breaks in the season opener. Wagner (0-1) blocked Noah Dickson's field goal attempt that would have given WWSSC a 10-0 lead with 4 minutes and 16 seconds left. On the very next play, Malcolm Janis hauled in an 80-yard touchdown reception on a double-reverse pass from K.J. St. Pierre. However, it was negated on offsetting offensive and defensive pass interference penalties.
"It hurt a little bit," Wagner coach Jason Knebel said. "You take that big momentum rush away from our guys when we score a touchdown like that ... that's a hard thing for a team to comeback from."
The Blackhawks later forced another fumble and Ulmer's touchdown iced the game.
"I thought our defense stayed pretty solid for the most part," WWSSC coach Jason Kolousek said. "We caught a break on the offsetting penalties, but overall, we were pretty pleased with that."
Neither team could get much going in the first half. Janis intercepted two WWSSC's passes, but Wagner failed to convert either into points. Janis almost hauled in a touchdown late in the second quarter on a fourth-down play, but he just stepped out of bounds.
"Our kids played tough all game," Knebel said. "Going into half 0-0, we had a couple opportunities. One back down here on the goal line and we just didn't get our foot in."
The Blackhawks, meanwhile, capitalized on their opportunities in the fourth quarter. After WWSSC recovered a Wagner fumble, the Blackhawks drove past midfield and were faced with a fourth down. Quarterback Logan Wolter connected with Dickson on the play to keep the drive alive and Tebay scored the game's first touchdown with 10:16 left.
"Noah is a good receiver and we knew we had to get him the ball and he made a big play down here to setup that first touchdown," Kolousek said.
The Blackhawks hung on from there.
"We have a pretty good idea what we need to work on," Kolousek said. "But our guys just kept playing. We caught a couple breaks. Most definitely we caught a couple breaks and we made some big plays when we absolutely needed to."
WWSSC finished with 204 total yards, including 125 rushing yards. Ulmer rushed for 96 yards on 22 carries. Wolter finished 6-for-19 for 79 passing yards and three interceptions. Dickson had 55 receiving yards on three receptions.
For Wagner, Jaden Peters went 8-for-12 for 76 passing yards and added 48 rushing yards. Preston Nedved had three receptions for 37 yards.
The Blackhawks play Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan on Friday in Bridgewater. The Red Raiders host Mount Vernon/Plankinton on Friday.
WWSSC: Seth Tebay 4 run (Noah Dickson kick)
WWSSC: Trey Ulmer 1 run (Dickson kick)