PLATTEVILLE – Black Hawk running back Colby Argall scored four touchdowns and quarterback Michael Flanagan threw for three more scores as the Warriors opened up the season with a bang, scoring 51 unanswered points to blowout the Owen-Withee Blackhawks, 51-14, in a non-conference clash at the 2017 Six Rivers Conference Jamboree at held UW-Platteville’s Ralph E. Davis Pioneer Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 19.
Argall rushed for 132 yards and three scores (12, 76 and 3 yards) and had a dazzling 89-yard punt return for another TD, while Flanagan completed 7-of-11 passes for 134 yards and connected with three different receivers on TDs for the Warriors (1-0 overall).
“It was a good day,” said Black Hawk head coach Cory Milz. “It was kind of an unknown game. We didn’t know what to expect from them, but we knew they had a great tradition in Owen-Withee. They’re a great program and well-coached, so you never know what they’ll bring.”
The Blackhawks (0-1), who have made the WIAA playoffs in each of the past six seasons, struck pay dirt first when quarterback Paul Heggemeier took an option keeper 58 yards into the end zone on the fourth play of the game to put the guests ahead 6-0.
“That was a good call by them. It was something we worked on, but our guy who was responsible for the quarterback tripped. That’s what happens when somebody falls down and misses an assignment on the option,” noted Milz.
The Warriors’ defense shook off that one play, holding the Blackhawks to just seven yards the rest of the first half and allowing only 49 total yards the rest of the game.
“I complimented them at halftime. They picked themselves up and didn’t let that one play drag them down. They forgot that play and continued to play hard,” Milz said.
After Owen-Withee’s score, the Warriors offense went to work, marching 66 yards in 12 plays to grab the lead. Flanagan hooked up with a leaping Jason Treuthardt on fourth down from the 7 to tie the score at 6-6, and Brody Milz punched in the first of four straight two-point conversion to put Black Hawk into the lead to stay at 8-6.
Treuthardt got the ball right back for the Warriors by picking off the lone Blackhawks’ pass attempt of the game; and, two plays later, Argall ran it in from the 12 for a 16-6 lead.
Argall raced in from 76 yards out on the first play of the second quarter to extend the advantage to 24-6, and Flanagan teamed with Jett Rufenacht on a 12-yard scoring strike on their fourth possession to make it 32-6.
Argall capped the Warriors’ first drive of the second half with a 3-yard TD run to complete the hat trick on the day; and then, two plays after a Nathan Hull fumble recovery, Rece Shelton hauled in a 50-yard TD catch from Flanagan to up the lead to 44-6.
Argall finished off his big opening day by weaving and dodging his way through a horde of would-be Blackhawk tacklers to complete an 89-yard punt return TD for his fourth score of the game.
The Warriors rolled up 455 yards of total offense in the game after rushing for 314 yards on 35 carries and passing for another 141 yards on eight completions.
B. Milz, who had three two-point runs and one two-point catch, ran 14 times for 132 yards to join Argall over the century mark. Shelton hauled in two catches for 73 yards and a TD, while Treuthardt had three catches for 28 yards and a TD.
“Being balanced is definitely something we emphasized in the off-season. We need to be able to throw the ball and do it with a good completion percentage. It was good we were able to do that. In our league, we have a couple of teams we’re not going to be able to run the football on every down, so we have to be able to throw the ball and we can’t be punting because we’re throwing incompletions,” replied Milz.
Defensively, B. Milz registered eight total tackles with two for loss to lead the Warriors. Mitchell Quinn added six tackles with two TFLs, while Kyle Lovelace made six stops and Cayden Milz made five stops.
Tyler Triem also recovered a fumble as the Warriors forced three turnovers in the game.
Black Hawk opens Six Rivers play on Friday, Aug. 25, by hosting first-year co-op Potosi/Cassville (1-0, 1-0), starting at 7 p.m. The Chieftains debuted with a 56-0 victory over Benton/Scales Mound last Friday.
“Our schedule is tremendous right off the bat. Our first four weeks are pretty difficult (against 2016 playoff qualifiers Owen-Withee, Potosi, New Lisbon and Pecatonica/Argyle), but we’re a bunch of seniors who are ready for the challenge. It’s going to be a great game,” said Milz.
Owen-Withee…. 6 0 8 0 – 14
Black Hawk…… 16 16 19 0 – 52
OW – Heggemeier, 58 run (kick failed)
BH – Jason Treuthardt, 7 pass from Michael Flanagan (Brody Milz run)
BH – Colby Argall, 12 run (Milz run)
BH – Argall, 76 run (Milz pass from Flanagan)
BH – Jett Rufenacht, 12 pass from Flanagan (Milz run)
BH – Argall, 3 run (run failed)
BH – Rece Shelton, 50 pass from Flanagan (kick failed)
BH – Argall, 89 punt return (Avery Baumgartner kick)
OW – K. Kitlica, 2 run (M. Kitlica run)
Team Stats: First Downs– OW 2, BH 15. Rushing– OW 33-117; BH 35-314. Passing– OW 0-1-1, 0; BH 8-13-141. Fumbles-Lost– OW 2-2; BH 1-1. Penalties- OW 2-11; BH 2-8.
Individual Leaders: Rushing (Att-Yds-Td)– Colby Argall, 11-132-3; Brody Milz, 14-132-0. Passing (Comp-Att-Int-Td-Yds)– Michael Flanagan, 7-11-0-3, 134. Receiving (Cat-Yds-Td)– Rece Shelton, 2-73-1; Jason Treuthardt, 3-28-1; Jett Rufenacht, 1-12-1.