E-E ends H-BC's winning streak
John Rittehouse photo
Hills-Beaver Creek senior linebacker Zach Wagenaar braces for impact with Edgerton-Ellsworth’s Blake Jauwstra during Saturday’s Section 3 Nine-Man Football playoff semifinal in Hills. H-BC’s 9-1 season came to an end with a 42-0 loss.

What was an undefeated football season for the Hills-Beaver Creek Patriots came to an end Saturday during the semifinal round of the Section 3 Nine-Man Playoffs in Hills.

H-BC, the tournament’s second seed, squared off against defending state champion Edgerton-Ellsworth in the second game of the postseason for both teams.

The Patriots took a nine-game winning streak into the game, which included a 34-28 victory over the third-seeded Flying Dutchmen in early September.

Ultimately, none of H-BC’s previous success seemed to matter on Saturday.

E-E opened a 20-0 lead in the first half and outscored the Patriots 22-0 in the second half to secure a 42-0 victory.

“We knew it would be tough to beat them again,” said H-BC coach Rex Metzger, who guided the Patriots to a 9-1 record this season.

“They have a big, physical team, and they were better than we were on Saturday.”

Although E-E won the game handily, the Patriots had some opportunities to make it a more competitive contest in the first half.

H-BC simply didn’t turn its scoring opportunities into points.

E-E drew first blood in a first quarter it largely dominated.

After forcing the Patriots to punt three plays into the game, the Flying Dutchmen turned their first offensive possession of the game into a 6-0 lead when quarterback Isaac Heard tossed a five-yard touchdown pass to Daniel Kramer.

The score remained 6-0 until the final 6:12 of the second quarter, when E-E scored 14 points to open a 20-lead.

H-BC had two opportunities to record a pair of second-quarter touchdowns as well, but the Patriots couldn’t reach the end zone.

Facing a 6-0 deficit early in the second quarter, H-BC advanced the ball to E-E’s 15-yard line before completing a fourth-and-six pass that would have been good for a first down inside the 10-yard line.

The completion was negated due to a holding penalty, and H-BC lost the ball on downs after tossing an incomplete pass during the next play.

“That was the turning point in this game,” Metzger claimed.

“We could have had a first down inside the 10, and scoring a touchdown at that point of the game would have given us some momentum. Anything could’ve happened after that.”

E-E seemingly seized the game’s momentum four plays later, when Blake Jouwstra broke free for a 60-yard touchdown run at the 6:12 mark of the second quarter.

When Jorge Lopez toted in the ensuing two-point conversion, E-E sported a 14-0 lead.

Lopez intercepted a pass to end H-BC’s next offensive possession and gave the Flying Dutchmen offense the ball on the Patriots’ 41-yard line.

Devin Hulstein scored on a four-yard run five plays later to up E-E’s lead to 20-0 with 3:06 left to play in the first half.

H-BC made a bid to cut into E-E’s lead late in the second quarter, but a drive that reached the Flying Dutchmen 19-yard line eventually stalled.

“We had some opportunities to score in the second quarter. We just didn’t take advantage of them,” Metzger said.

Any hopes of an H-BC rally in the second half were erased quickly.

H-BC’s kick to start the third quarter appeared to be headed out of bounds when the ball was scooped up by Jouwstra. Jouwstra proceeded to race 75 yards for a touchdown to give E-E a 26-0 advantage.

E-E put together a 21-play, 73-yard drive with its first offensive possession of the second half.

The march ended with Tyler Kurrasch scoring on a two-yard plunge and Heard running in the ensuing two-point conversion to make it a 34-0 game late in the third quarter.

E-E capped the scoring with 4:37 left to play, when another interception by Lopez set up a five-yard touchdown run by Jouwstra that was followed by a successful Heard-to-Jouwstra conversion pass.

Team statistics

H-BC: 108 rushing yards, 45 passing yards, 153 total yards, five first downs, seven penalties for 50 yards, two turnovers.

E-E: 258 rushing yards, 79 passing yards, 337 total yards, 14 first downs, five penalties for 35 yards, two turnovers.

Individual statistics

Rushing: Tate Bork 9-21, Dalton Bass 15-87, Dylan Gehrke 1-minus 4, Jeff Nelson 2-3.

Passing: Gehrke 4-18 for 45 yards.

Receiving: Jeff Sandbulte 2-20, Nathan Taubert 1-24, Justin Kerkhove-Brandt 1-1.

Defense: N.Taubert 10 tackles, Gehrke three tackles and one interception, Sandbulte 12 tackles, Bass 10 tackles, Bork seven tackles, Braden Ellingson four tackles, Caleb Vis two tackles, Zach Wagenaar 15 tackles and one interception, Nelson seven tackles, Jared Lingen three tackles.

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