BENTON – Every week in the Six Rivers Conference there is a test you have to pass. This year, if you pass more tests than you fail, you’ll be in the playoffs.
Black Hawk had a little trouble with their first two tests; but; like a good student, the Warriors have been working hard and learning more each and every week.
The Warriors put together their third straight passing effort against Benton/Scales Mound on Saturday, using an emerging passing game to their advantage to knock off the host Zephyrs, 40-14, on Homecoming Day at Benton’s Swift Park.
Senior quarterback Merik Meythaler threw for 188 yards and tossed four touchdowns to four different receivers to lead the Warriors (2-3 overall, 2-3 SRC) to their third consecutive victory.
“Another win is a good win. Any time you get those in the Six Rivers it’s good,” said Black Hawk head coach Cory Milz.
The Zephyrs (1-4, 1-3) grabbed an early 7-0 on senior Franki Carlborg’s 4-yard touchdown run, but the Warriors answered back with a 52-yard pass from Meythaler to Tanner Sweeney to knot the score at 7-7 in the first quarter.
A 1-yard TD run by Logan Stietz put Black Hawk ahead 14-7 early in the second quarter, and then Meythaler hooked up with Tyler Peterson on a 12-yard scoring strike with 1:18 remaining in the first half to extend the Warriors’ lead to 20-7.
The Zephyrs tried to take away some of the Warriors’ steam by scoring just 38 seconds later on a 35-yard pass from Stephen Korte to Josh Korte, however Black Hawk needed just 31 seconds to grab the momentum back as Meythaler connected with Kyle Walters on a 19-yard TD pass with just nine seconds remaining in the half to put the Warriors ahead 27-14.
“Any time you have that kind of turn of momentum, it’s huge. It’s a confidence builder. (BSM) went into the half kind of dejected, and it gave us confidence that we could move the ball any time we wanted,” Milz said.
The Warriors tacked on two scores in the second half– one on a 3-yard pass from Meythaler to Cory Rupnow midway through the third quarter and another on an 18-yard TD run by Jayden Rufenacht in the fourth quarter– to push their lead to 40-14.
Black Hawk’s defense did its part by pitching a second-half shutout.
The Warriors out-gained the Zephyrs on the ground, 219-95, and through the air, 188-127, on the day. Sweeney ran 11 times for 93 yards and caught two passes for 59 yards and a score to lead the Warriors, and Peterson ran twice for 51 yards and caught three passes for 61 yards and a score.
Rufenacht had 46 yards on six carries and Stietz added 31 yards on 11 totes, while Walters hauled in three catches for 61 yards.
Carlborg led the Zephyrs with 73 yards on 23 carries, while S. Korte went 9-of-20 for 127 yards through the air with a TD and three interceptions. J. Korte had two catches for 84 yards and a TD.
Defensively, Coltin Piefer recorded 14 tackles and intercepted a pass for the Warriors. Cuyler Meier added 11 tackles and Shawn Woodruff registered a sack, while Walters and Seth Butler picked off passes and Taime Paul recovered a fumble for the guests.
Black Hawk can get playoff eligible when they host Cassville (1-4, 1-4) in the Warriors’ Homecoming Game at Murphy Field on Saturday, Sept. 29, starting at 2 p.m.
The Comets are coming off a 14-7 win over Ridge Ridge last Friday night.
Black Hawk… 7 20 7 6 - 40
Benton-SM.… 7 7 0 0 - 14
BSM – Carlborg, 4 run (S. Korte kick)
BH – Tanner Sweeney, 52 pass from Merik Meythaler (Cory Rupnow kick)
BH – Logan Stietz, 1 run (kick failed)
BH – Tyler Peterson, 12 pass from Meythaler (Rupnow kick)
BSM – J. Korte, 35 pass from S. Korte (S. Korte kick)
BH – Kyle Walters, 19 pass from Meythaler (Rupnow kick)
BH – Rupnow, 3 pass from Meythaler (Rupnow kick)
BH – Jayden Rufenacht, 18 run (kick failed)
Team Stats: First Downs- BH 10, BSM 8. Rushing- BH 37-219; BSM 36-95. Passing- BH 10-16-1, 188; BSM 9-20-3, 127. Fumbles-Lost- BH 1-0; BSM 4-1. Penalties- BH 3-20, BSM 1-5.
Team Individual Leaders: Rushing (Att-Yds-Td)- Tanner Sweeney 11-93-0. Passing (Comp-Att-Int-Td-Yds)- Merik Meythaler 10-16-1-4, 188. Receiving (Cat-Yds-Td)- Kyle Walters 3-61-1; Tyler Peterson 3-61-1; Sweeney 2-59-1.