Blackhawks beat Hornets in OT

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Prairie du Chien’s Jayden Johnson (55) blocks out three Richland Center defenders to allow Maddox Cejka to get the throw off. (Photos by Ted Pennekamp)

Maddox Cejka rolls out and looks to pass against the Hornets Friday night.

Bradyn Saint finds a big hole to run through against Richland Center.

Max Amundson catches a pass and turns upfield for a good gain.

Christian Black of the Blackhawks closes in on the Hornet quarterback.

Jon Nicholson scores on a pass versus Center.

Bradyn Saint gets ready to make contact versus the Hornets.

By Colton Thompson


The Prairie du Chien Blackhawks (3-3) played their first November game this year in Richland Center against the Hornets (2-3). Prairie du Chien was looking to keep Bradyn Saint going coming off of a big week at home against Lancaster where he was able to run the ball 51 times. PdC was able to combine their tough defense with big time plays to walk off the field with a 14-12 overtime victory.

Prairie du Chien was set to kickoff to start the game as Richland Center chose to receive. Joseph Xiya was able to kick a little squib kick over the first row of Center return men and Ryan Wall was able to jump on it and set the Hawks up with good field position as they would start at Center’s 36-yard line. The Hawks were able to manage a first down on a couple passes from Maddox Cejka but were unable to score any points as they were held to a turnover on downs. 

Richland Center was able to move down the field quickly on runs from Konner Ellenson and Bryce Hillers. The Hawks were able to hold them to a 4th and 3 at the Hawk’s 18-yard line when there was a bad snap that Konner Ellenson recovered and attempted to make something out of nothing but was unsuccessful as it resulted in a loss of 22 yards and turnover on downs. 

The Blackhawks started with the ball on their own  40-yard line for their second drive of the ball game. PdC marched down the field on big runs from Bradyn Saint and a completion to Garett Young from Maddox Cejka. When they reached Center’s 18-yard line, Maddox Cejka was able to connect with Jon Nicholson for an 18-yard touchdown. The PAT attempt by Joseph Xiya was unsuccessful and the Hawks jumped out to a 6-0 lead. 

When the Hornets got the ball for their next drive, they started on their own 41-yard line. The Hawks’ defense was ready for them as the entire drive only consisted of 6 plays for 13 yards and forced the Hornets to punt. 

Richland Center got the ball back with 8:04 left in the second quarter and put together a big drive as Bryce Hillers had 3 big rushes totaling 41 yards that set Center up with good field position. PdC was able to hold Center to a field goal that was hit by Bryce Hillers to put the Hornets within 3 and make the score 6-3. Both teams were able to hold each other as the Hawks had the last possession of the first half and chose to kneel it out with the score being 6-3.

The Hawks were able to start with the ball at the start of the third quarter at their own 24-yard line. They managed to move down the field on a 28-yard rush from Bradyn Saint but were unable to do much else as they were held and the drive resulted in a turnover on downs. The Hornets started the second half ready to go as Konner Ellenson led them down the field with a 32-yard run and a completed pass to Nate Fogo. However, PdC stopped the run and held them to only a field goal but this would tie the game up at 6-6. 

Neither team was able to gain any big momentum until the Hornets got the ball with 8:02 left in the fourth quarter. They started at their own 11-yard line after a 50-yard punt from Jon Nicholson. Once again, big rushes from Bryce Hillers moved Richland Center down the field as they were set to kick a field goal at Prairie’s 23-yard line. On the kick, Jayden Johnson was able to block the kick and PdC was able to recover it forcing a turnover and the Hawks’ offense came back out on the field. The drive was not long lasting as Maddox Cejka threw an interception to Easton Darling to give the Hornets the ball back at their own 47-yard line. The Hornets had to move down the field quickly with only 1:04 left in the 4th quarter. A 23-yard pass from Konner Ellenson to Easton Darling moved Center up close to field goal range where they ran a couple more plays to get closer to the end zone. With 23 seconds left, Center’s coach called a time out and called for a run play. They ran the ball and were held for no gain and sent the field goal team out with the clock still running. The field goal attempt was way short and the game went into overtime. 

Overtime starts with a coin toss to determine which team will get the ball first at the 25-yard line. After the toss, it was decided that PdC would start with the ball first. Maddox Cejka completed a pass to Jon Nicholson on the second play of the drive for 12 yards. Two plays later, he connected again and this time for a 14-yard touchdown to put the Blackhawks up 12-6. PdC went for 2 and once again Maddox Cejka was able to hit Jon Nicholson in the end zone to make the score 14-6. 

Richland Center started their drive with 3 runs from Nate Fogo, Aaron Davis, and Konner Ellenson for a total of 22 yards putting them on the 3-yard line. The Hawks were able to stop the Hornets for three consecutive plays and force a 4th and 1. The Hornets managed to score on an Aaron Davis 3-yard rushing touchdown to make the score 14-12. They still needed to convert the 2-point conversion. Konner Ellenson took the snap and rolled right where he met Chase Fisher and threw the ball in hopes of someone catching it but nobody did as the Hawks stopped the Hornets. The Hawks celebrated after a great game and walked away with a 14-12 victory.

Leading the rushers for PdC was Bradyn Saint with 22 rushes for 53 yards. The leading receiver was Jon Nicholson with 5 receptions for 76 yards, 2 touchdowns, and a 2-point conversion. Brady Russell had 1 catch for 9 yards and Garett Young and Seth MacEachern both had 1 reception for 8 yards. Maddox Cejka was 10-21 for 104 yards and 2 touchdowns. Bradyn Saint led the team in tackles with 13, Lucas Kramer had 12,  Brady Russell had 12 with a sack, and Chase Fisher added on with an interception.

Playoff game

The Prairie du Chien Blackhawks received a #1 seed and will host Westby Friday, Nov. 13 and will look to keep winning. Game time is 7 p.m.

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