|8/30/2019 11:28:00 AM|
Pec-Argyle stays with Arrows, but loses
Playing in a 2019 season-opener Friday night and mere feet from the south bank of the winding Pecatonica riverway, coach John Hoch's Lancaster Flying Arrows survived the efforts of a young, competitive Pec-Argyle unit, outlasting coach Blake Bukowski's Vikings 14-7 in prep non-conference football opener.
Was it pretty? Well, no, but initial games of seasons rarely are. Without a doubt, both football teams displayed opening night jitters, played poorly at times and made typical first game mistakes. However, by the time the final whistle was blown, both head coaches knew they possess teams capable of playing very competitive football over the course of the current season.
Pec-Argyle players led in the game at one brief point in time, scoring their first points of the season (and sole touchdown of the game) on an electrifying, well-timed interception play by Vikings' defensive back Mason Waage. When Lancaster signal-caller Hayden Knapp telegraphed a toss to the right flat, intended for receiver Weston Pink, Waage stepped in front, hauled in the pass at the 47 yard line and then out sprinted everyone, on a straight line scamper to the end zone. Teammate and placekicker, Bo Hendrickson, gave Pec-Argyle a 7-0 lead, slightly more than three minutes into the game - and the new season.
But the advantage would quickly be erased at the 7:22 mark of the first quarter when the Flying Arrows scored on a 29 yard running play to paydirt by 6', 195 yard senior running back Corey Hahn. Hahn crashed through Pec-Argyle's defensive line and linebackers' corps and once clear, outsprinted four Viking defenders on his path to the end zone. Isaac Oyen's PAT kick knotted the score at 7-7.
The Vikes would struggle the rest of the way on offense, thwarted on occasion by tough defenders and at other times by their own self-inflicted penalties. Pec-Argyle's offense was not as productive as coaches would like and in fact, never crossed the goal line, at least not officially. Quarterback Dalton Turner did connect on an impressive early second quarter pass play TD to receiver Chevy Hughes - only to have the 38 yard TD play negated by one of Pec-Argyle's several holding penalties.
The play came on a Lancaster drive late in the first half. The Flying Arrows had started the possession with very favorable field position at the Vikings' 38. Dawson Bowen ran for a first down to the PA 25 and later in the possession, quarterback Knapp lifted an over-the-top pass to receiver Preston Noethe, moving the ball down the Arrows sideline to the Vikes' 10. Knapp's ensuing TD run at the 1:04 until intermission mark and Oyen's PAT kick to follow, created Lancaster's 14-7 halftime lead, a score that would not be altered by anything occurring in the second half to follow.
"Our kids played hard - and Lancaster is picked by some to win State - so to play as poorly as we did on offense, yet to be in the game to the end, is positive, in that we have things to build upon," said Bukowski in a post-game interview. "We had a penalty that negated a touchdown and in review, it (the alleged hold) did not affect the play - nor did I see that it even was a hold, upon reviewing the film, but nevertheless, those are the things that are part of the game of football. We didn't execute, we didn't get our reads correct and did not read our keys."
"I felt Clay (Ritschard) with his 73 yards on 15 carries - I think he was already being hit at the line of scrimmage and picked up 71 of those yards - after initial contact. Overall, Lancaster wore us down some, with their team depth and we were worn out by the end. They brought two buses, were playing about 30 guys in the game Friday, whereas, we played about 15 total kids throughout. In retrospect, we'll adjust and may take back some of the decision-making on the field in an effort to try and simplify some things" added Bukowski.
"Our defense played great. We simply had the wrong call - saw something that wasn't there and had a slant on, on their scoring play. And, give credit where due - their fullback, Corey Hahn, had a big night, with his 215 yards on 26 carries."
"We needed to play a high quality non-conference game and we felt that despite some mistakes and our penalties, we held our own. We've much to build upon and that's the encouraging thing to take away from this loss," added Bukowski. "As for Iowa-Grant, (PA's opponent Friday night, Aug. 30 at 7 p.m. at 'McKellar') they had a coaching change in the off-season, opened with a loss and we'll study film to learn more about them."
Pec-Argyle's Griffin Gordon had a team-high 13 tackles, Zander Brunker had 11, Easton Schraepfer had 10 and Dalton Turner added eight.
In total Friday, PA quarterback Dalton Turner has 28 yards on 15 carries and B.J. Penniston had 18 yards on two carries. The Vikings had little time to throw and were 0-10 in the passing game.
"Our offensive line played well, actually, learning that when reviewing the film afterward and it was elsewhere - where we had breakdowns - plus the negative effect of penalties," said Bukowski.
Next up - Pecatonica-Argyle will host Iowa-Grant tomorrow (Friday) at McKellar Park. The Panthers were throttled at home Friday, falling 41-12 to another of Pec-Argyle's 2019 conference opponents later this season - the River Ridge Timberwolves. Other scores Friday regarding 'conference' schools or 'football-only-conference' schools or season foes or neighbors were as follows: Southwestern 47 New Lisbon 22; Benton/Scales Mound/Shullsburg 35 Royall 0; Black Hawk/Warren 38 Fennimore 7; Potosi-Cassville 50 Hillsboro 6; Brookwood 47 Boscobel 6; New Holstein 26 Belleville 13; Wauzeka-Seneca 30 Highland 12; New Glarus-Monticello 42 Dodgeville 7; Darlington 20 Westby 12; Evansville 47 Brodhead-Juda 21; Darlington 20 Westby 12; Mineral Point 46 Viroqua 2; Watertown 39 Mt. Horeb-Barneveld 20. Finally, in 8-man football, Belmont topped Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah 19-6.
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