Blackhawks knock off Titans on playoff path

Woonsocket/Wessington Springs/Sanborn Central cruised into the second round of the 9AA football playoffs with a 40-24 win over Mt. Vernon/Plankinton last Tuesday night in Forestburg.
The Blackhawks struck first when on the second play of the game, Landon Ochsner broke loose for 50 yards to set up a first and goal. On third down, Tucker Kingsbury found Josh Feiner in the back of the endzone for the first score of the evening.
A failed Hawks two-point attempt was followed in short order by a scoring MVP run by Tanner Risseeuw. The extra point kick would be blocked, and with just under six and a half left in quarter one, was the first tie score of the night, at 6-6.
The tie wouldn’t hold through the quarter, however, as Ochsner scampered 21 yards into the endzone for his first touchdown of the night.
Mt. Vernon/Plankinton continued to show they could move the ball against the Blackhawks defense, grinding down the field. The Hawks defense was given a couple of opportunities to make stops on fourth down, but the Titans were able to covert each time, and would eventually score on a 14-yard quarterback keeper.
Undeterred, the Hawks offense retook the field and found a groove in their passing game. Kingsbury hit Feiner for two first downs and 40 yards to move downfield. After a quarterback keeper for the third first down of the drive, Ochsner pounded his way to another, dragging three defenders along with him.
Kingsbury finished off the drive with his first touchdown of the night on a 10-yard run, to put the Hawks up 18-12 with 4:15 left in the second quarter.
The Titans showed no fear, however, as they returned the ensuing kickoff to the Blackhawk 15-yard line. The Hawk defense bent, allowing the Titans within six yards, but held strong with the pass defense to take over possession.
A long Blackhawk drive, propelled by the pass, was finished off by a short screen pass that Ochsner turned into a 74-yard touchdown to jack up the lead to 12 going into the half.
A fairly uneventful third quarter showcased strong defenses on both sides, as the ball moved back and forth mid-field.
The Hawks offense went back to work in the fourth with a scoring drive, topped off with a 14-yard passing TD to Dillon Moore. For the first time that night, the two-point attempt was successful with a Kingsbury run.
Though down three scores, the Titans kept up the fight, getting a 25-yard pass to Devin Rihanek for his first touchdown.
Still, the Blackhawks weren’t finished, as junior Drew Olinger got open for a nine-yard touchdown catch. Another Kingsbury conversion run would top off the Hawks’ scoring.
Ochsner led the Blackhawk offense with 186 yards on 28 carries for over six and a half yards per carry. John Witte averaged over 15 yards per carry for 76 yards and Kingsbury completed 10-of-14 passes for 169 in the air.
Garrett Larson led the defense with nine tackles.
WWSSC had 292 yards on the ground and a total of 461 yards of offense. The Titans had a total of 306 yards, 143 on the ground, 163 through the air.
The Hawks moved to 9-0, and the second round of playoffs, hosting Baltic in Wessington Springs on Monday night.

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