SOUTH WAYNE – Sturgeon Bay quarterback Ethan Knipfer had his Clippers sailing along in South Wayne on Saturday afternoon.
The junior signal-caller passed for 260 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 53 yards and two more scores to captain the visiting Clippers past Black Hawk, 36-22, in the Warriors’ Homecoming Game at Murphy Field on Sept. 24.
The Clippers (2-4 overall) scored touchdowns in the final minute of every quarter to keep the Warriors (4-3) at bay in the non-conference clash. Sturgeon Bay was a fill-in opponent for Cassville after the Comets were forced to forfeit their season due to low participation. The Clippers proved to be a formidable and physical foe for the Warriors.
The lead changed hands on every score in the first half with the Clippers pulling out to a 20-16 halftime advantage.
Knipfer had a 5-yard touchdown run and a 69-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Jacobson in the first quarter, while Trevor Jacobson scored on a 14-yard run with 17 seconds remaining in the half to put the Clippers ahead to stay.
Junior quarterback Michael Flanagan teamed with Jett Rufenacht on a 9-yard TD pass and hooked up with Jason Truethardt for the two-point conversion to put the Warriors up 8-7 in the first quarter, and junior running back Brody Milz rumbled in from 47 yards out and punched in the conversion early in the second quarter to give the Warriors a 16-14 lead at the time.
After the Clippers extended the lead to 23-16 on a 31-yard field goal by Brody Wodack, Milz gave the Warriors a chance to take another lead with a 10-yard TD run that cut the deficit to 23-22. However, the Clippers stopped the conversion this time around to hang onto the lead.
Knipfer gave his team a bit of cushion with a 7-yard TD pass to Connor Gajda with 1:29 remaining in the third quarter, but the Warriors blocked the extra point to keep the score at 30-22.
Black Hawk had a potential game-tying TD pass called back due to penalty midway through the fourth quarter and they never could threaten again.
Knipfer put the outcome out of reach with a 10-yard TD run with 1:14 remaining in the game.
The Clippers rolled up 412 yards on the day to the Warriors’ 287 total yards.
Milz ran for a team-high 118 yards on 13 carries with two TDs and had one catch for a team-high 26 yards to lead the Warriors, who gained 249 of their yards on the ground on 26 carries. Colby Argall added 73 yards on six carries, and Rece Shelton tallied 37 yards on three carries.
Flanagan went 3-of-12 passing for 38 yards with a TD, while Rufenacht hauled in two catches for 12 yards.
Defensively, Mitchell Quinn, Preston Bevins and Milz each recorded 10 tackles. Kyle Lovelace and Rufenacht each had an interception.
Black Hawk returns to Six Rivers Conference play with a tough game at Highland on Saturday, Oct. 1, starting at 2 p.m. The Cardinals (4-2, 4-1) are coming off a hard-fought 27-10 loss to unbeaten Pecatonica/Argyle last Friday.
Sturgeon Bay… 14 6 10 6 – 36
Black Hawk…… 8 8 6 0 – 22
SB– Knipfer, 5 run (Wodack kick)
BH – Jett Rufenacht, 9 pass from Michael Flanagan (Jason Treuthardt pass from Flanagan)
SB – R. Jacobson, 69 pass from Knipfer (Wodack kick)
BH– Milz, 47 run (Milz run)
SB– T. Jacobson, 14 run (kick blocked)
SB– Wodack, 31 FG
BH– Milz, 10 run (run failed)
SB – Gajda, 7 pass from Knipfer (Wodack kick)
SB– Knipfer, 10 run (kick failed)
Team Stats: First Downs– SB 13; BH 9. Rushing– SB 41-152; BH 26-249. Passing– SB 15-23-2, 260; BH 3-12-0, 38. Fumbles-Lost– SB 0-0; BH 2-2. Penalties– SB 16-110; BH 6-56.
Black Hawk Leaders: Rushing (Att-Yds-Td)– Brody Milz, 13-118-2. Passing (Comp-Att-Int-Td-Yds)– Michael Flanagan, 3-12-0-1, 38. Receiving (Cat-Yds-Td)– Jett Rufenacht, 2-12-1; Milz, 1-26-0.