Blackhawks suffer another heartbreak at Dome

COACH COREY Flatten provides a little comfort to quarterback Tucker Kingsbury and the rest of his players as the reality of the loss sinks in.

COACH COREY Flatten provides a little comfort to quarterback Tucker Kingsbury and the rest of his players as the reality of the loss sinks in.

For the second year in a row, the WWSSC Blackhawks walked off the DakotaDome turf with an ache in their hearts, as the Class 9AA Runners-up.
The Blackhawks fell just short of the championship trophy with an agonizing 36-22 loss to rival Wolsey-Wessington. WWSSC beat the Warbirds in the regular season 20-6, proving that in the game of football, on any given day, the outcome can be different.
Despite struggling for the past few weeks with a sprained ankle, lead back Landon Ochsner ran for 121 yards on 23 carries and one touchdown, but his heroics didn’t stop there. Noticably favoring one ankle from the time he took the field for warm-ups, Ochsner still led the defense with 16  tackles.
The Blackhawks went with the strategy they’ve been successful with all season: start hard and fast.
After delivering a quick three-and-out on defense, the Hawks drove down the field to score on a 39-yard pass from Tucker Kingsbury to Dillon Moore. Ochsner easily ran in the two-point conversion to put the first eight points on the board.
The Warbirds immediately came back and on the next drive, in eight plays to gain 65 yards, scored on a five-yard run by Hunter Johnson. The Hawks held out the conversion attempt to hold onto the lead, 8-6 with 3:45 left in the first quarter.
The Blackhawks next drive included a false start penalty to bring up third and would end up turned over on downs near the 50 yard line.
W-W got some offense going again on the first drive of the second quarter with a few running plays, but an illegal block penalty would work in favor of the Hawks to bring up second and 20. The defense held, but just barely as the Warbirds came up an inch short on a fourth and 19 run.
The Hawks took over on downs at their own 11, but were unable to do anything with it and were forced to punt.
Wolsey-Wessington’s ensuing drive was penalty filled and ended on a Kingsbury interception at the Blackhawk two yard line.
Another unproductive drive gave W-W the ball back at the Blackhawk 29 and the Warbirds quickly scored on a 25-yard pass to Darin Ogunjemilusi.
The Blackhawks would get the ball back one more time before the half, but would enter the locker rooom down six points, 14-8.
The Hawks received coming out of halftime, to start their drive at their own 26. A first down on runs by Ochsner and John Witte got them to the 37, but a false start followed by an incomplete pass, forced the Hawks into another punt.
W-W received to their own 43-yard line and six plays later would score. Another failed PAT kept the lead manageable at 14 with 6:24 left to play in the third quarter.
The Blackhawks got the ball back on their own 44 and in one play, Ochsner broke free for a 55-yard touchdown. The two point try would fail, but nevertheless, the score narrowed to just a six-point, one-score difference.
However, on the next play from their own 30 yard line, the Warbirds would break lose their own run for 70 yards. This time the two-points was good, to increase their lead to 14 in a mere 18 seconds.
With 5:55 still left in the third, down two scores, the Blackhawks still had plenty of time and settled into their next drive. Starting from their 45, Kingsbury let loose on a deep pass to Witte to the W-W four yard line. On third and goal, Kingsbury would find Witte one more time for a touchdown.
Kingsbury rolled out to his left to find Moore in the endzone for the successful two points, to bring the score back within six points and 2:10 left in the third.
The Hawks were shut down in the fourth, however, while the Warbirds scored one more time to seal the win. A 45-yard run by Hunter Johnson, followed by a two-point conversion put W-W up 36-22 with 1:47 on the clock.
A successful, but suspect, Warbird onside kick sealed the deal with 1:47  left on the clock.
Kingsbury had 137 yards on 12-19 pass attempts and two touchdowns in his final high school football game.
Witte and Jacob Fouberg helped lead the defense with 13 tackles each.
Ochsner finished his senior year with 1,637 rushing yards and 25 touchdowns.
The Blackhawks end their 2015 campaign with an outstanding 11-1 record and will graduate 11 seniors.

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