SOUTH WAYNE — Belmont wasn’t going to let Black Hawk running back Shawn Woodruff ran all over them like he did two weeks ago. Lucky for the Warriors, they had plenty of other weapons at their disposal.
Senior wide receiver Jodan Monson hauled in three touchdown catches and junior Jacob Quinn ran for two scores to lift the #4-seeded Warriors over the #5-seeded Braves, 40–8, in a WIAA Division 7 Level 1 football playoff game at Murphy Field on Friday, Oct. 24
Woodruff, who was the leading Division 7 rusher in the state going into the night, still managed to gain a game-high 96 hard-earned yards on 22 carries and ran for a score and threw for another for the Warriors, but it was a far cry from his 379-yard, four-touchdown performance in Black Hawk’s 48–20 victory over Belmont in their regular season meeting on Oct. 10.
The Warriors (7–3 overall) teamed up to run the ball 56 times for 254 yards and added another 156 yards through the air to roll up over 400 yards of total offense on the visiting Braves (6–4).
“I thought our kids prepared very well and were focused,” said Black Hawk head coach Cory Milz. “Belmont gambled a bit in their fronts, and they eliminated the inside gaps. I thought our offensive line did an outstanding job of cutting off penetration in the gaps. We had a lot of one-on-one opportunities with our receivers and Jordan made plays when he needed to.”
Monson hauled in a 39-yard scoring strike from senior quarterback Heath Butler to put the Warriors on the scoreboard in the opening quarter.
Woodruff added a 2-yard TD run and a two-point conversion in the second quarter to put the defending D7 champs up 14–0 at the half, while Quinn scored from nine yards out early in the third quarter to extend the advantage to 20–0.
Butler connected with Monson on a 21-yard TD pass later in the third quarter and Woodruff tossed an 80-yard pitch-and-catch to his classmate in the fourth quarter to add to the hosts lead, while Quinn tacked on a 5-yard TD run and conversion later in the fourth quarter to put the Warriors ahead 40-0.
Belmont, which was limited to just 79 total yards on the night by a stingy Warrior D, avoided getting shutout for the first time this season when senior fullback Mitch Ray punched in a score from four yards out and added the conversion to close the scoring in the game.
“We made a ton of mistakes. You can’t make that many mistakes when you play a good team like Black Hawk,” said Belmont head coach Jason Weittenhiller. “We did a nice job stopping the run, but we seemed to forget to defend against the pass though. We had a lot of fun this year. We had a great group of kids to work with.”
Ray finished 37 yards on eight carries to lead the Braves, who ran just 26 plays and gained only two first downs in the game.
Belmont ran 16 times for 49 yards and completed 4-of-10 passes for just 30 yards. Belmont’s junior quarterback Jon Bahr, who had 209 yards passing and 64 yards rushing two weeks ago, managed just 30 yards passing and 12 yards rushing last Friday.
“We talked about eliminating alignment mistakes on defense and preventing the explosive plays. Our kids did pretty well in that regard. I was very proud of the way we played defensively. We had routes covered up well and we leveraged the ball well. It was well executed by our guys,” stated Milz.
Monson caught three passes for 140 yards and three scores to lead the Warriors. Butler completed 3-of-6 passes for 65 yards and two scores, and he added 54 yards on 12 rushes. Quinn ran 12 times for 74 yards and two scores, while Woodruff went 1-for-1 passing for 80 yards and a score.
Tayler Rupnow and Beau Holland had six tackles apiece for the Warriors with Holland registering three tackles for loss. Blaine Wollf, Ryan Quinn and J. Quinn each had an interception, while Brody Milz and J. Quinn each recovered a fumble for the hosts.
Playing in their final prep game for the Braves were seniors Lucas Haag, Mitch Ray and Tucker Wedig.
“We lose three seniors. Two of them have been three-year starters for us. They put in a lot of work over the past four years. They will be hard to replace and truly missed,” Weittenhiller commented.
The Warriors advanced to Level 2 of the D7 playoffs where they will face off against Ridge-and-Valley champion and #1-seeded Ithaca (10–0) at IHS on Friday, Oct. 31. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
WIAA Division 7 Level I playoff game
Black Hawk 40, Belmont 8
(from Friday, Oct. 24 @ South Wayne)
#5 Belmont 0 0 0 8 — 8
#4 Black Hawk 6 8 12 14 — 40
BH: Jordan Monson 39 pass from Heath Butler (run failed)
BH: Shawn Woodruff 2 run (Woodruff run)
BH: Jacob Quinn 9 run (pass failed)
BH: Monson 21 pass from Butler (run failed)
BH: Monson 80 pass from Woodruff (pass failed)
BH: Quinn 5 run (Quinn run)
B: Mitch Ray 4 run (Ray run)
First downs — B 2, BH 20. Rushing — B 16-49, BH 56-254. Passing Yards — B 30, BH 156. Passing — B 4-10-0, BH 5-8-0. Fumbles–lost — B 2-2, BH 0-0. Penalties-yards — B 2-10, BH 3-35a.
Rushing — B: Mitch Ray 8-37; BH: Shawn Woodruff 22-96. Passing — B: Jon Bahr 4-9-3, 30; BH: Heath Butler 3-6-1, 65. Receiving — B: Lucas Haag 1-15; BH: Jordan Monson 3-140.