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Seahawks blank Cubs

CHAMBERLAIN--It took one second-half play for Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan to advance to the second round of the Class 11B playoffs. Leading the Chamberlain Cubs 47-0 at halftime, Jamin Arend received the opening kick of the second half at the 19-yard...

Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan's Cole Gassman runs the ball during a Class 11B playoff game against Chamberlain on Tuesday in Chamberlain. (Eric Mayer/Republic)
Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan's Cole Gassman runs the ball during a Class 11B playoff game against Chamberlain on Tuesday in Chamberlain. (Eric Mayer/Republic)
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CHAMBERLAIN-It took one second-half play for Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan to advance to the second round of the Class 11B playoffs.

Leading the Chamberlain Cubs 47-0 at halftime, Jamin Arend received the opening kick of the second half at the 19-yard line and ran up the middle of field untouched for a 81-yard touchdown return.

The first play of the second half offered a short summary of how the first half went in favor of the Seahawks, who sealed a 53-0 first-round win on Tuesday in Chamberlain.

"We were looking forward to that playoff situation and we have some seniors that are hungry to keep things going," BEE head coach Jeff VanLeur said after the game. "I'm proud of our effort. The kids came in ready, we were intense, we knew our responsibilities, played together as a team and that's always fun."

The Seahawks (6-3) jumped out to an early 21-0 lead in the first quarter behind three Cole Gassman touchdowns. The 5-foot-10, 180-pound junior showed off his versatility, scoring on a 70-yard punt return, an 11-yard run and a 35-yard interception return in the first quarter.

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Gassman's punt return touchdown was a big blow for Chamberlain, who picked up a first down on the first drive of the game. The Seahawks took a 14-0 lead after another Chamberlain punt and then a Jazz Dominguez interception returned by Gassman put the Cubs in a big early hole.

"We left 21 points on the board on pure mistakes," Chamberlain head coach Jerry Rhodes said. "You can't do that against a good team. They played physical and we weren't quite as physical."

In the second quarter, BEE dominated the line of scrimmage, leading to four rushing touchdowns by the Seahawks. Gassman scored on runs of 38 and 26, while Sam Arend added a 6-yard touchdown run and Dustin Weber had a 22-yard touchdown run.

"The line made some good holes out there," said Gassman, who finished with 14 carries for 135 yards. "We knew they passed a lot and did a good job stopping it."

Chamberlain finished the game with 72 yards of total offense, rushing for 30 and passing for 42. Late in the second quarter, the Cubs marched down to the Seahawks' 10-yard line and threatened to score but another interception turned the ball back over to BEE.

"We made big plays when we needed to make big plays," VanLeur said. "Good teams do that. I thought we did a nice job of making plays when we needed to make plays."

The Seahawks recorded 228 yards of offense-all on the ground. Sam Arend had 46 yards on eight carries and one touchdown, while Jamin Arend had 24 yards on three carries.

For the Cubs, Dominguez went 7-for-13 for 42 yards passing and Rich Marone led the team with three catches for 22 yards.

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Gassman, Abiah Plastow and Jamin Arend each had an interception in the win for BEE.

The win booked a home playoff game for BEE, who host Sioux Valley on Monday in Bridgewater.

"That'll be sweet, we're looking forward to it," VanLeur said about the home playoff game. "We have to keep our intensity going. We need to keep enjoying football and keep playing hard. Good things happen when you play hard."

Chamberlain ended its season with a winning record at 6-3, but for the second season in a row fell short to the Seahawks in the playoffs.

"Hopefully, we'll learn from it, work hard in the offseason and get better," Rhodes said. "This is probably the strongest team that I've coached and they're young, so that's good. We're going to get better next year."

BEE 21 26 6-53

C 0 0 0- 0

Scoring summary

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First quarter

BEE: Cole Gassman 70 punt return (Jesse Grosdidier kick)

BEE: Gassman 11 run (Grosdidier kick)

BEE: Gassman 35 interception return (Grosdidier kick)

Second quarter

BEE: Gassman 38 run (Grosdidier kick)

BEE: Sam Arend 6 run (conversion failed)

BEE: Dustin Weber 22 run (Grosdidier kick)

BEE: Gassman 26 run (conversion failed)

Third quarter

BEE: Jamin Arend 81 kickoff return

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