SOUTH WAYNE – Black Hawk didn’t go into Saturday’s Homecoming Game firing on all cylinders, but the Warriors left the game on cruise control after throttling the visiting North Crawford Trojans, 46-0, in a non-conference prep football game at Murphy Field on Oct. 8.
Injuries and mistakes had slowed down the Warriors’ offense the last few weeks, but on Saturday they put it all together with five different players reaching the end zone to navigate the rout.
Senior Jace Johnsrud rushed for 152 yards and three touchdowns, and new starting quarterback Kyle Walters tossed two touchdown passes to lead the Warriors’ 400-yard offensive onslaught against the struggling Trojans (1-6 overall).
Black Hawk (6-2) fumbled away the ball on their first drive of the game, then poured it on from there scoring on seven of the next eight possessions to open up a 46-point advantage.
Walters– in his first start for 1,000-yard passer Merick Meythaler, who will miss the rest of the season due to a foot injury– hooked up with wideout Hayden Schliem for a 31-yard touchdown on his first pass attempt to get the Warriors rolling on the gridiron.
Senior Dejay Warrell added the first of his four extra point kicks to put the hosts up 7-0 just four minutes into the game.
Johnsrud scored on runs of 22, 47 and eight yards in the first half to fuel the Warriors’ rushing attack, and Walters connected with Cory Rupnow on a 39-yard catch-and-run on his second pass attempt to extend the lead to 33-0 at the halftime intermission.
“We kind of got caught with our pants down against Cassville. I thought (Kyle) did a good job of managing the game for us today,” said Black Hawk head coach Cory Milz. “It was a point of emphasis all week to be more physical running the football.”
Sophomore Jayden Rufenacht added an eight-yard TD run for the Warriors in the third quarter, and the Warriors’ second-team got into the scoring act later in the quarter with junior Logan Stietz capping a seven-play, 65-yard drive with a 4-yard TD run to close the scoring at 46-0.
“We basically told the line we were going to put it on their shoulders this week. We needed to run the football and for the most part we were able to do that,” stated Milz.
The Warriors finished with 333 rushing yards on 40 carries led by Johnsrud (11 carries for 152 yards), Rufenacht (eight for 73) and Stietz (seven for 73). Walters went 2-for-2 through the air for 70 yards and two TDs.
“I was very happy with our offensive line, and all the backs were running hard,” Milz said.
And, as impressive as the offense was, the defense was just as stout, limiting the Trojans to just 50 total yards for the game, including minus-six yards rushing on 29 carries, en route to their first shutout of the season.
Quarterback Joe Childs was 8-for-16 for 56 yards, but he was picked off three times by the Warriors, who held the Trojans to zero or negative yards on 20 of their 45 plays.
Shawn Woodruff led Black Hawk with nine tackles, while Coltin Piefer and Cuyler Meier chipped in with six stops apiece.
Piefer and Warrell each had a sack and an interception for the Warriors, while Johnsrud and Tanner Sweeney registered sacks and Seth Butler added an interception.
“It’s always nice to get a victory on Homecoming. It’s a lot of fun for the kids, and it was even better since we got everyone in to play,” commented Milz.
Black Hawk closes out the regular season by facing Pecatonica/Argyle (1-6) at Blanchardville’s McKellar Park on Friday, Oct. 14. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
The Vikings need a win to solidify their playoff position, but the Warriors– who are already in the playoffs– would like nothing better than to deny their old rivals a post-season opportunity while earning a possible seed and a home playoff game themselves.
“It will be a good challenge for us next Friday,” admitted Milz about going up against the balanced Viking attack. “We need to have a crisp game going into the playoffs.”
North Crawford… 0 0 0 0 - 0
Black Hawk…….. 14 19 13 0 - 46
BH – Hayden Schliem, 31 pass from Kyle Walters (Dejay Warrell kick)
BH – Jace Johnsrud, 22 run (Warrell kick)
BH – Johnsrud, 47 run (kick failed)
BH – Cory Rupnow, 39 pass from Walters (Warrell kick)
BH – Johnsrud, 8 run (kick failed)
BH – Jayden Rufenacht, 8 run (kick failed)
BH – Logan Stietz, 4 run (Warrell kick)
Team Stats: First Downs- NC 7, BH 12. Rushing- NC 29-(-6); BH 40-333. Passing- NC 8-18-3, 56; BH 2-4-0, 70. Fumbles-Lost- NC 3-0; BH 1-1. Penalties- NC 4-22, BH 9-60.
Individual Leaders: Rushing (Att-Yds-Td)- Jace Johnsrud 11-152-3. Passing (Comp-Att-Int-Td-Yds)- Kyle Walters 2-2-0-2, 70. Receiving (Cat-Yds-Td)- Cory Rupnow 1-39-1, Hayden Schliem 1-31-1.