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Warriors derail Zephyrs rushing attack
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     SOUTH WAYNE – Black Hawk’s defense found a way to slow down the Benton/Scales Mound high-powered rushing attack and backup quarterback Michael Flanagan stepped in and tossed three touchdown passes to lead the host Warriors over the Zephyrs, 22–6, in a Six Rivers Conference clash at Murphy Field on Friday, Sept. 11.

     “Black Hawk played very well and was the better team on Friday night. We turned the ball over too many times and did not score in four trips to the red zone,” said Zephyrs’ head coach Matt Wiederholt, who was selected at the Green Bay Packers Coach of the Week following his team’s 36–34 win over Shullsburg last week.

     Flanagan, a sophomore, was starting his first varsity game filling in for fellow sophomore Brody Milz, who was ejected from the Warriors’ 52–16 loss to Pecatonica/Argyle a week ago, but he looked at home under center after completing 9-of-14 passes for 192 yards and three scores.

     “Chip has a very good QB demeanor. He is calm and doesn’t get too high or too low. He throws a decent deep ball and gets the ball out of his hand quickly,” said Black Hawk head coach Cory Milz. “He is doing a fine job and will continue to get better as he gets more comfortable. We have some quality receivers, so it helps.”

     Flanagan broke a scoring stalemate in the second quarter when he connected with Chase Stietz on an 81-yard scoring strike to put the Warriors (3–1 overall, 3–1 SRC) into a 6–0 lead. That’s right where the score stood at the half.
Flanagan teamed with Jett Rufenacht on a 45-yard TD pass in the third quarter to put Black Hawk up 14–0, and the duo hooked up again on a 12-yard reception in the fourth quarter to extend the lead to 22–0.

     “We knew based on game film that their quarterback was going to be very capable of throwing the ball well down field,” commented Wiederholt.

     The Zephyrs (3–1, 2–1) came the night averaging 43 points and 380 rushing yards per game behind Kyle Pulvermacher, the state’s leading rusher with 760 yards, but the senior found the going tough on Friday night after being held to just 24 yards on 15 carries by the Warriors.

     The Zephyrs turned the ball over six times– four fumbles and two interceptions– and managed just 207 total yards and 107 yards on the ground for the game with 52 of those yards coming on Aaron Coffey’s touchdown run late in the fourth quarter that made the final score 22–6.

     “Black Hawk played very aggressive defense. They filled all of their run gaps very well and played great team defense,” Wiederholt noted.

     Coffey led the Zephyrs with 65 yards on six carries, and quarterback Kyle Wienen completed 6-of-11 passes for 100 yards.

     “We have been running option football for about 19 years now, so our kids have a pretty good understanding of how to defend option teams and understand the philosophy of the split back veer, so that was important,” noted Milz. “They were juiced to play Pulvermacher and did a good job of tackling both inside and on the perimeter. Benton has a nice team, so we were pleased with our defensive effort.”

     The Warriors rolled up 358 yards on the night, rushing for 166 yards on 36 carries and adding 192 passing yards.
Jacob Quinn ran for 88 yards on 17 carries to guide the ground attack, while Stietz hauled in four catches for 96 yards and a score and Ruefnacht made four catches for 89 yards and two scores. Flanagan added 46 rushing yards on nine carries, and Stietz had 32 yards on 10 totes.

     Defensively, Mitchell Quinn recorded 12 tackles with four tackles for loss and J. Quinn added 10 tackles for the Warriors, who finished the game with 13 TFLs and forced six turnovers. Austin Meier, Stietz, Rufenacht and J. Quinn each recovered a fumble, while Joe Quinn and Flanagan each intercepted a pass.

     “It was a very important win for us to get to our third win within the conference. It puts in a good spot to qualify for the playoffs, which is our team’s number one goal. Benton has a really nice team. Their inside linebackers and defensive tackles are really quality defenders, so it was a major statement for our team to beat what will be a playoff team. Our defense played pretty well and I thought our option responsibilities were pretty sound for the most part,” Milz stated.

     Black Hawk hosts Necedah (2–2) in a non-conference contest at Murphy Field on Friday, Sept. 18. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

     “It will be a game against what will be a Division 6 playoff qualifier. They are very big up front and we have struggled the past two weeks against big defensive tackles. We will need to get our running game going,” admitted Milz.

     The Zephyrs return to Swift Park to host Pecatonica/Argyle (4-0, 3-0) in a SRC contest on Friday, Sept. 18. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

     “Pec-Argyle is very big, fast, strong and athletic,” said Wiederholt.

 Benton-SM.... 0  0  0  6 –   6
Black Hawk... 0  6  8  8 – 22

BH – Chase Stietz, 81 pass from Michael Flanagan (kick failed)
BH – Jett Rufenacht, 45 pass from Flanagan (Flanagan run)
BH – Rufenacht, 12 pass from Flanagan (Jacob Quinn run)
BSM – Aaron Coffey, 52 run (conversion failed)
Team Stats: First Downs– BSM 9, BH 9. Rushing– BSM 30-107; BH 36-166. Passing– BSM 6-11-2, 100; BH 9-14-0, 192. Fumbles-Lost– BSM 4-4; BH 1-1. Penalties- BSM 5-65; BH 10-75.
Black Hawk Leaders: Rushing (Att-Yds-Td)­– Jacob Quinn, 17-88-0. Passing (Comp-Att-Int-Td-Yds)– Michael Flanagan, 9-14-0-3, 192. Receiving (Cat-Yds-Td)– Chase Stietz, 4-96-1; Jett Rufenacht, 4-89-2.