SOUTH WAYNE – Homecoming King Brody Milz made sure his Black Hawk teammates had a happy Homecoming celebration.
The senior scored once on offense and once on defense to lead a 28-point first-quarter outburst as the #3-ranked Warriors rolled over the Highland Cardinals, 56-6, in a Six Rivers Conference prep football game played at Murphy Field on Saturday, Oct. 7.
It was the first Homecoming victory for the Black Hawk seniors, and the win secured the Warriors at least a share of the Six Rivers Conference title this season.
“It was good to get a win on Homecoming. This senior group has never won on Homecoming, so that was a first for them. You can add that to their legacy,” said Black Hawk head coach Cory Milz, who also happens to be father of the King. “I’m happy for the kids. They win at least a share of the conference championship, so that’s awesome for them to do that.”
The Warriors (8-0 overall, 6-0 SRC) can wrap up the title outright on Friday, Oct. 13, when they host Shullsburg (1-7, 1-5) in their regular season finale at Murphy Field. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
Milz capped a six-play, 51-yard scoring drive with a 3-yard touchdown run on the Warriors’ opening drive to put the hosts ahead for good just over three and a half minutes into the game. Junior halfback Colby Argall tacked on the two-point conversion to make it 8-0.
Senior wide receiver Jett Rufenacht took a reverse 30 yards for a score on the Warriors’ second possession to up the lead to 16-0 with 3:11 remaining in the first quarter, and then Black Hawk defense got into the scoring act by returning a pair of Highland fumbles for touchdowns on back-to-back offensive plays to extend the lead to 28-0 with 51 seconds remaining in the opening period.
B. Milz scooped up the first fumble and took it back 46 yards for a score, while Kyle Lovelace raced 38 yards with the second fumble for another score.
“Our kids were in the correct spots and they had the fortitude to pick (the ball) up and run with it,” commented Coach Milz.
The Cardinals (3-5, 2-4), who needed a win on Saturday to remain in the hunt for a playoff berth, got a 13-yard TD pass from Peyton Coyier to Zach Yanna midway through the second quarter to cut the Warriors’ advantage to 28-6.
Black Hawk extended their lead to 36-6 in the closing seconds of the opening half when senior quarterback Michael Flanagan found Je. Rufenacht wide open for a 54-yard scoring strike.
Argall struck pay dirt on a 41-yard run on the opening play of the second half to increase the lead to 44-6 and start the running mercy-rule clock.
Then, the Warriors’ second-team offense punched in scores on back-to-back drives to increase the lead to 56-6. Sophomore Jaylen Rufenacht bulled into the end zone from two yards out midway through the third quarter, and Lovelace hit junior Brandon Schiferl with a 2-yard TD pass early in the fourth quarter for the Warriors.
“In the first half, we were trying to explore some different things we don’t normally do and I think it bogged us down a little bit. It got us out of rhythm,” noted Coach Milz. “At halftime, the kids adjusted and learned. I thought our defense played a lot better in the second half, and I liked the way our second-team kids got in there, fought and played hard.”
Black Hawk finished the day with 383 total yards with 286 coming on the ground and 97 coming through the air.
Ja. Rufenacht led the rushers with 77 yards and a TD on eight carries. Argall added 59 yards and a score on eight carries, while B. Milz ran for 56 yards and a score on eight carries as well. Noah Metz also had eight totes for 40 yards in the game.
Je. Rufenacht tallied 30 yards and a TD on one carry and he had three catches for 93 yards and another score.
Flanagan completed 4-of-7 passes for 95 yards with a TD and an interception.
Defensively, Jason Treuthardt and Ja. Rufenacht each picked off a pass for the Warriors.
Highland……. 0 6 0 0 – 6
Black Hawk… 28 8 14 6 – 56
BH – Brody Milz, 3 run (Colby Argall run)
BH – Jett Rufenacht, 30 run (Rece Shelton pass from Michael Flanagan)
BH – B. Milz, 46 fumble return (pass failed)
BH – Kyle Lovelace, 38 fumble return (run failed)
HI– Yanna, 13 pass from Coyier (pass failed)
BH – Je. Rufenacht, 54 pass from Flanagan (Cayden Milz pass from Lovelace)
BH – Argall, 41 run (Milz run)
BH – Jaylen Rufenacht, 2 run (run failed)
BH – Brandon Schiferl, 2 pass from Lovelace (run failed)
Team Stats: First Downs– HI na, BH 15. Rushing– HI na; BH 39-286. Passing– HI na; BH 5-8-1, 97. Fumbles-Lost– HI 2-2; BH 0-0. Penalties– HI na; BH na.
BH Individual Leaders: Rushing (Att-Yds-Td)– Jaylen Rufenacht, 8-77-1; Colby Argall, 8-59-1; Brody Milz, 8-56-1. Passing (Comp-Att-Int-Td-Yds)– Michael Flanagan, 4-7-1-1, 95; Kyle Lovelace, 1-1-0-1, 2. Receiving (Cat-Yds-Td)– Jett Rufenacht, 3-93-1.