BLANCHARDVILLE – Sophomore Jayden Rufenacht ran for 217 yards and three touchdowns and senior Jace Johnsrud added three more touchdown runs as Black Hawk ran down Pecatonica/Argyle, 44-27, in their Six Rivers Conference finale at Blanchardville’s McKellar Park on Friday, Oct. 14.
“It was a big game for us just to regain some confidence going into the playoffs. Pec presents a balanced offense that challenges the defense to always being adjusting to formations, while having to play the option. It was a good primer for playoffs,” noted Black Hawk head coach Cory Milz.
Rufenacht ripped off a 70-yard scoring jaunt early in the first quarter and it was off to the races for the Warriors (7-2 overall, 6-2 in SRC), who ended up third in the final conference standings after Highland knocked off Potosi, 22-14, in their finale to forge a tie for the conference championship.
Johnsrud added a 1-yard TD run later in the first quarter to extend the advantage to 12-0, but the Vikings (4-5, 4-4) followed with a 1-yard sneak by quarterback Jon Hendrickson in the second quarter to cut the gap back to 12-7 by the intermission.
The Warriors started to pull away in the third quarter after Johnsrud (39 yards) and Rufenacht (19 yards) sandwiched a pair of TD runs around a 6-yard scoring strike from quarterback Kyle Walter to Dejay Warrell to open up 30-7 advantage.
Then, victory seemed well at hand when Johnsrud broke loose on a 51-yard scoring scamper early in the fourth quarter to complete the hat-trick by pushing the lead to 36-7.
However, the Vikings were far from done after a pair of Warrior turnovers opened the door for a fourth-quarter rally.
A 10-yard TD run by Alec Treuthardt was followed by a 6-yard TD run by Hendrickson and a 14-yard hook-and-lateral from Dillon Conwell to Jared Johnson as P-A cut the deficit down to 36-27.
A missed PAT by the Vikings after Johnson’s score kept the Warriors up by two scores, and then Rufenacht put the game away with a late 49-yard TD sprint.
The Warriors finished the night with 379 rushing yards on 49 carries. Following Rufenacht’s breakout 217-yard performance, Johnsrud chipped in with 86 yards on 18 carries and Walters added 53 yards on eight totes to aid the victory.
Hendrickson tallied 60 rushing yards on five carries and added 23 yards on 5-of-17 passing to guide the Vikings’ 154-yard effort.
Shawn Woodruff registered 12 tackles– eight solos– to lead the Black Hawk defense. Kyle Woodruff, Noah Thompson and Coltin Piefer each recovered fumbles, and Michael Walker intercepted a pass for the Warriors.
The Warriors open the WIAA Division 7 playoffs by facing Trailways Small runner-up Rio (7-2) at Portage High School on Saturday, Oct. 22, at 4 p.m.
“Well, it is nice to play someone new. Rio is a double-wing offense, which has two very good running backs. They are averaging over 30 points a game. We traditionally haven’t done very well against that type of offense, so it will be an exciting test,” Milz added.
Black Hawk… 12 0 18 14 - 44
Pec/Argyle….. 0 7 0 20 - 27
BH – Jayden Rufenacht, 70 run (kick failed)
BH – Jace Johnsrud, 1 run (kick failed)
PA – Hendrickson, 1 run (Severson kick)
BH – Johnsrud, 39 run (kick failed)
BH – Rufenacht, 19 run (kick failed)
BH – Dejay Warrell, 6 pass from Kyle Walters (kick failed)
BH – Johnsrud, 51 run (kick failed)
PA – Treuthardt, 10 run (Severson kick)
PA – Hendrickson, 6 run (Severson kick)
PA – Johnson, 14 hook and lateral from Conwell (kick failed)
BH – Rufenacht, 49 run (Logan Stietz run)
Team Stats: First Downs- BH 10, PA 6. Rushing- BH 49-379; PA 24-111. Passing- BH 2-5-0, 12; PA 7-24-1, 43. Fumbles-Lost- BH 3; PA 3. Penalties- BH 7-62, PA 4-35.
Individual Leaders: Rushing (Att-Yds-Td)- Jayden Rufenacht 16-217-3; Jace Johnsrud 18-86-3. Passing (Comp-Att-Int-Td-Yds)- Kyle Walters 2-4-0-1, 12. Receiving (Cat-Yds-Td)- Dejay Warrell 2-12-1.