SOUTH WAYNE – Black Hawk quarterback Merick Meythaler has a lot of confidence in his receivers and that confidence paid off on Friday night as the junior signal caller threw for 278 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Warriors over the previously unbeaten and #12-ranked Highland Cardinals, 35-8, in a Six Rivers Conference contest at BHHS on Friday, Sept. 9.
Meythaler got the Warriors (3-1 overall and in SRC) on the scoreboard in the first quarter when he connected with senior wide receiver Hayden Schliem on an 80-yard bomb.
Schliem out-jumped a pair of Highland defenders to haul in Meythaler’s pass at midfield, turned and out-raced everyone to the end zone to put the hosts ahead for good. Michael Walker extra point made it 7-0 with 6:50 to play in the opening period.
Meythaler added a 17-yard scoring strike to Kyle Walters on the first play of the second quarter to make it 14-0, and he teamed with Schliem again from 23 yards out midway through the second period to extend the lead to 21-0.
Black Hawk finished the first half outgaining the Cardinals, 186-30, on their way to a 21-0 lead.
Meythaler hooked up with running back Jace Johnsrud on a 26-yard scoring strike on the Warriors’ first possession of the second half– a possession gained after Black Hawk’s opening kickoff glanced off a Highland player and Noah Thompson pounced on the loose ball at the Highland 40-yard line.
The Cardinals (3-1, 3-1) broke through with Tyler Kleist’s 11-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter, but that would be all they would get on this night against the stingy Black Hawk defense.
The Warriors capped the scoring with 3:14 to play on Kyle Woodruff’s 13-yard TD run. Cory Rupnow’s PAT push the final score to 35-8.
“It was a good win over a quality football team. Highland was a very physical group,” commented Black Hawk head coach Cory Milz. “Our defense and our ability to take advantage of some mismatches in the secondary were the keys to this win.”
Meythaler completed 11-of-18 passes for 278 yards and four scores to lead the Warriors on the night. Schliem hauled in five of his passes for 184 yards and two TDs to pace the receiving corps.
Johnsrud led the ground attack with 68 yards on 15 carries, while Woodruff added 47 yards on seven carries with a TD for the hosts.
For the game, the Warriors totaled 413 yards (278 passing, 135 rushing) to Highland’s 91 yards (66 passing, 25 rushing). Each team fumbled the ball away twice, and Black Hawk won despite being flagged 19 times for a whooping 180 penalty yards.
Defensively, Shawn Woodruff, Coltin Piefer and Walker all recorded nine tackles to lead the Warriors.
Tanner Sweeney added eight stops, including one and a half sacks; while Schliem registered a sack and a half and Dakota Meier had a sack for the Warriors. Thompson and Logan Stietz each recovered a fumble.
“We played outstanding defense. I was happy with our high effort and tackling,” noted Milz. “It could’ve gotten ugly (with all the penalties), but our boys– for the most part– showed class and displayed good sportsmanship.”
Black Hawk heads to Belmont (2-2, 2-2) to face the Braves in Six Rivers action on Friday, Sept. 16, at 7 p.m.
Highland….… 0 0 0 8 - 8
Black Hawk… 7 14 7 7 - 35
BH – Hayden Schliem, 80 pass from Merik Meythaler (Michael Walker kick)
BH – Kyle Walters, 17 pass from Meythaler (Walker kick)
BH – Schliem, 25 pass from Meythaler (Walker kick)
BH – Jace Johnsrud, 26 pass from Meythaler (Walker kick)
H – Kleist, 11 run (kick failed)
BH – Kyle Woodruff, 12 run (Cory Rupnow kick)
Team Stats: First Downs- HI 8; BH 12. Rushing- HI 33-25; BH 40-131. Passing- HI 6-11-0, 66; BH 11-18-0, 278. Fumbles-Lost- HI 2, BH 2. Penalties- HI 6-45, BH 19-180.
Individual Leaders: Rushing (Att-Yds-Td)- Jace Johnsrud 15-68-0; Kyle Woodruff 7-47-1. Passing (Comp-Att-Int-Td-Yds)- Merik Meythaler 11-18-0-4, 278. Receiving (Cat-Yds-Td)- Hayden Schliem 5-184-2.