Blackhawks blank Redhawks to advance in playoffs

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Prairie du Chien’s Dylan Coleman breaks up a GET pass with 2 seconds to go before halftime and the Blackhawks leading 10-0 Friday night. (Photos by Ted Pennekamp)

Traeton Saint follows the blocking of Bradyn Saint (31) and Isaac Avery (64).

Prairie’s Tyler Hannah (44) smashes for extra yardage versus GET Friday night.

Prairie du Chien’s Mason Kramer eludes a would-be tackler on a punt return Friday night against host GET in a Level 3 playoff game.

Braydyn Saint (31) gets a good block to allow Dylan Coleman (21) to get to the outside for a big gain against GET Friday night.

 

By Zach Mara

 

On Friday night, the #2 Prairie du Chien Blackhawks traveled to Galesville to take on the #1 Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau Redhawks in Level 3 of the 2019 WIAA Division 5 playoffs. The Blackhawks knew entering the game that the keys to victory would be stopping G-E-T RBs Bryce Burns and Luke Vance and finding ways to move the ball consistently on a cold, windy night. The Hawks were able to do just that, shutting down the Redhawks’ running game early while jumping out to a 10-0 halftime lead. The defenses would prove to dominate the second half, and the Blackhawks (11-1) held on to defeat the Redhawks (10-2) 10-0 in a high-intensity Level 3 playoff game.

G-E-T took the opening possession of the game and did what they’re known for, lining up in their run-dominant double-wing, double-tight formation. The Hawks, having prepared well for the match-up, were able to hold the Redhawk rushers to minimal gains on the drive that would end up stalling on the PdC 44-yard line. PdC took over for their first possession of the game with 4:14 remaining in the opening quarter. Nine plays later, Tyler Hannah barrelled up the middle for a 4-yard touchdown run.  Derek Grondin added the PAT, and the Hawks had a 7-0 lead as the first quarter came to a close.

After forcing a 3-and-out on G-E-T’s ensuing possession, the Blackhawks took over on their own 16-yard line. Thirteen plays later, the Hawks elected to try a 25-yard field goal, which Grondin executed perfectly to extend the lead to 10-0 with 3 minutes remaining in the opening half. The second quarter would come to a close after two huge defensive plays from Dylan Coleman: an interception in PdC territory with a minute to go followed by a deflection of the Red Hawks’ desperation pass to end the half.

Neither team was able to string together a successful drive on their first third-quarter possession, as PdC turned the ball over on downs and then forced another G-E-T 3-and-out. With 6 minutes remaining in the quarter, the Hawks took over on the Redhawk 41-yard line, looking to pad the lead. After a series of penalties and a controversial “incomplete” call on a potential TD pass to Ben Riter, the Hawks turned the ball back over to G-E-T on downs at the 20-yard line.

The fourth quarter started with another statement possession from the PdC defense, as  they got the ball back on downs in G-E-T territory. Unfortunately, the drive only went backwards for the Hawks on another holding call, and they were forced to punt for the third time in the game. After a fumble from each team, G-E-T took over on their own 7-yard line with just over 7 minutes remaining in the game. In a drive that used 5 ½ minutes, the Redhawks drove 81 yards on 15 plays before stalling out at the PdC 12-yard line. Four plays later, Dylan Coleman walked the Blackhawks up to the line in victory formation to finalize the 10-0 Level 3 victory.

Traeton Saint led PdC rushers with 16 carries for 106 yards. QB Dylan Coleman ran the ball 11 times for 81 yards, and Tyler Hannah carried the ball 8 times for 27 yards and a TD. Coleman was 5-for-12 in the air for 48 yards, and Ben Riter led the receivers, catching 3 passes for 31 yards. The Hawks’ defense was led by Tyler Hannah, who recorded 13 tackles in the game. Ben Riter added 12 tackles, and Dylan Coleman had 4 tackles, a fumble recovery, and one interception.

The Blackhawks will travel to McFarland on Friday night to take on the Lake Country Lutheran Lightning (11-1) in Level 4 of the 2019 WIAA Division 5 playoffs. This state semifinal game starts at 7 p.m.

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