Warriors struggle to stop Hawks in 66-0 loss

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Nick Deitchler readies to throw the ball in the Sept. 24 game. (Photos by Bev Hamann)

Elliot Kelly, Noah Diersen and William Moser combine for a tackle against Kee. The Warriors struggled to stop the undefeated Hawks, losing 66-0.

By Willis Patenaude, Times-Register

 

“We need to be physical on the line this week. Both sides of the ball. Kee High is a very physical team and we have to be physical with them and eliminate that factor.” 

 

That was one of coach Joe Koehn’s biggest concerns as the Central football team prepared to take on the undefeated Kee Hawks on Sept. 24. The Warriors were focused on stopping the Hawks’ running attack, which averages almost 300 yards and five touchdowns a game. In an effort to combat this, the team “switched a few things up on defense and with alignments and some assignments,” Koehn said.  

 

“We have moved a few individuals around from one position to another. It’s nice having a bunch of kids who can play different positions because it makes it easy to mix people around when people can’t be at practice or are to be out for an extended period of time,” he added. 

 

But despite the effort of the coaching staff and hard work put in by the players, the Hawks simply overpowered the Warriors en route to a 66-0 victory. 

 

The loss, according to Koehn, is attributable to a number of things. First and foremost, the Hawks’ defensive line “won the battle up front,” and the Warriors’ offensive line just couldn’t get its “feet moving,” he said. 

 

The Warrior defense gave up 30 points in the first quarter and 23 in the second. 

 

Koehn said the Hawks built the early lead, in part, because “heads weren’t in it and lack of people flying to tackles and getting to their assignments.” 

 

It also stemmed from a lack of penetration from the defensive line. That lack of pressure makes it problematic for the linebackers to “get to their spots,” he explained. 

 

“It’s a little bit of everything. Big part of it was that we need to be mentally tough and keep our mind as positive as possible and not give up when the going gets tough,” Koehn said. 

 

The Warriors struggled in every facet of the game, starting with passing, as the team completed just five of 18 attempts for 72 yards. Elliot Kelly led the team with four completions for 64 yards, but the offensive line struggled in pass protection, leaving Kelly without time to throw the ball and always throwing under pressure. 

 

One standout was Evan Schroeder, who caught all five passes for 72 yards, but the passing game was unable to carry the load. The Warriors’ run-first scheme was shut down by the Hawks, managing just 24 carries for -19 yards and no touchdowns. 

 

The defense could not stop the Hawks, allowing 317 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns, as well as 79 passing yards and three passing touchdowns. The Warrior defense recorded no sacks and zero tackles for a loss, and finished with 33 total tackles for the game. 

 

Kelly had a team high 10 tackles, followed by Noah Diersen with seven and four other players with two apiece. 

 

On special teams, the Warriors received nine kickoffs and returned them for a total of 122 yards, with Sean Wilwert leading the way with 43 of them. 

 

When asked to sum up the loss, Koehn said, “You don’t. You look at film on Monday and then get to work and get ready for the next game. We had a few kids get dinged up, so we need to get them healed and ready for Midland on Friday.”

 

The 2-3 Warriors will look to return to the win column when they travel to Midland (2-4) on Friday, Oct. 1. The game is scheduled to start at 7 p.m.

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