After a wild first 24 seconds where both teams would score a touchdown, the Chaska Hawks would right the ship and in the second half pull away and defeat the Bloomington Jefferson 42-21. Here are some of my observations while…
After a wild first 24 seconds where both teams would score a touchdown, the Chaska Hawks would right the ship and in the second half pull away and defeat the Bloomington Jefferson 42-21. Here are some of my observations while watching the Hawks’ performance.
The team was at its best when it was running the football behind their two dominant linemen on the right side of the offensive line. Ethan Jackman and Mike Donovan big physical right side of the offensive line. At least four of the team’s six touchdowns occurred behind the two offensive linemen.
“They are both big, physical football players,” Chaska head coach Bryan Dahl said. “We need them to be great. We expect them to get movement up front when we are running our power stuff.”
“I think I played pretty well. There are always things to fix,” Jackman said. “My job is to be physical and get after it. I think I did that pretty well.”
Guards Max Lommel and Donovan both move well and can pull.
Matt Kuntz and Stevo Klotz got most of the work running behind nearly 600 pounds of linemen on the right side. Kuntz is tall and thin, but he can break tackles and is a more physical runner than he appears. The junior took a handoff up the middle, got to the safety and ran him over. Running off the left side, he broke three tackles to pick up a first down. Kuntz ran behind Jackman with a trap block from Lommel. Kuntz made a move at the line of scrimmage to avoid a tackler and picked up nice yardage.
Klotz is the bigger back, but he showed he has speed too. He took a jet sweep and got around the right side. After getting around the corner, he cut back across the formation for a 41-yard touchdown. He picked up big yardage on an inside run, behind Eric Spielberger, Donovan and Lommel. Later he ran off tackle behind Donovan and Jackman for a touchdown. He scored one more time behind the big guys from 25-yards out. He showed good footwork by bouncing a run to the outside to set up a short touchdown run and again showed his speed getting around the corner for thirty yards.
“We need downhill players,” Dahl said. “That is our game, power football. They both did a great job running the football tonight.”
Quarterback Justin Boch ran the option well. He usually used Kuntz as the pitch man. Boch also threw well on the move. His primary target was Nolan Hansen. Boch first found Hansen on the outside for a first down. He completed a short fade route to Hansen in the back corner of the end zone for a touchdown. Then he hit Hansen on a slant just short of a first down. Finally, on a third and six – Boch hit Hansen on an out route for another first down. Boch completed a crossing route to Nic Snuggerud setting up first and goal. Using his feet on 4th and three at mid-field, he ran behind Donovan and Jackman who opened a huge hole for the first down.
“I think I am good at pulling on offense,” Donovan said, “and taking up space and blockers on the defensive side.”
Spielberger was solid at center. Every snap was in the shotgun, and I don’t remember an errant snap. In addition to running to the right, Chaska had success running between the guards as well. Boch scored a short touchdown on a run right up the middle.
After the first drive of the second half – and for most of the first half – the Hawks’ defense shut down the Jaguars.
Lommel stuffed the run in between the tackles, and then on a blitz, he put good pressure on the quarterback.
Lane Schmidt showed good speed at linebacker – especially as he ran down a back from behind.
Also a linebacker, Klotz made an open field tackle on the outside forcing a fourth down. He filled the hole on an off-tackle run, but the back bounced it outside. Klotz was still able to get outside and make the tackle, Jefferson tried a sweep, but Klotz kept it contained and made a tackle for loss.
Marcus Holasek picked up a fumble and throughout the game showed good range getting from sideline to sideline.
Safety Grif Wurtz, came up strong on a throw down the middle of the field for a pass break up.
Hanson also showed up on defense. In coverage down the sidelines and intercepted a pass. Later, he didn’t get the pick but had good one on one coverage again on the boundary. Not just a cover guy, the senior made a tackle on the outside and with it forced a fumble.
Senior Jake Theis – who also returned a kickoff for a touchdown – got good pressure on the quarterback and the pressure led to an interception by fellow linebacker Nick Stanger.
The victory earned the Hawks a re-match with Waconia on Saturday.