The top four teams in the rock 'em, sock 'em Class A/district 2 battled each other with a lot of playoff hopes riding on the outcomes.
While Ruthven-Lakeland settled the dispute as to who the A/d2 champ will be, cloudiness still surrounds the race for second.
Only two other things were resolved Friday night. The first was an offer imposed on Hinton fullback Brandon Bollmeyer. The other is that Newell-Fonda doesn't control its destiny, while Hinton and Gehlen Catholic still do, but the Mustangs are still in the picture.
Hinton routs N-F HINTON--The host Blackhawks were supposed to have a tough game with the Newell-Fonda, but the only thing even remotely challenging was watching the Mustangs score a late touchdown against junior varsity and freshman players getting valuable varsity experience for the future.
Hinton (6-1 overall, 5-1 A/2) ran roughshod over N-F (4-3, 4-2) en route to a 38-7 rout.
Bollmeyer, who had a big game the previous week, had another grand game with 166 yards and a trio of touchdowns (28, six and five) off 19 carries.
Last week, coach Steve Diediker suggested Bollmeyer owes his interior linemen a steak dinner. Bollmeyer wasn't quit sure, but now he may be more inclined.
"Maybe this week," the five-foot-10, 178-pound senior said. Said Diediker, "The steakhouses won't mind."
Neither would left guard Scott Guthmiller, center Marcus Dittmer and right guard Joel Bertrand. "I think he should," Guthmiller said of the tentative offer. "Obviously."
Maybe Bollmeyer can get fellow backfield mate Kyle Muecke to go halves with him, as Mueck had 16 carries for 112 yards and a three-yard TD. Tyler Milton added a one-yard touchdown. Quarterback Brandon McQuillen was 3-of-6 passing with 13 yards on three carries. He also booted a 20-yard field goal with three seconds left before halftime to take a 24-0 lead into the break.
But it was the kicking game where McQuillen and the Blackhawks ran into its only piece of bad luck on the evening.
After Hinton posted a 30-0 lead, McQuillen kicked what appeared to be a fake onside kick, which the Blackhawks recovered. It turns out it wasn't planned.
"We're not that brave, or smart or whatever," Diediker said. "It was an accident.
"He actually twisted his ankle on his approach--and he almost missed the ball because he twisted his plant foot. It was one of those mishaps that end up working in your favor. I guess luck was with us."
Diediker also assures fans McQuillen will be ready for practice Monday, and that taking him out was just a precautionary measure.
That's good news for Tyler Hansen (two catches for 29 yards) and Kyle Fischer (1-27).
On defense, the Blackhawks were all over the Mustangs. Matt Kovarna had a team-high eight tackles. Kadrian Harderson and Bertrand added a half-dozen, each.
Diediker, though, did think the game was going to be much closer.
"We really did," he said. "We thought turnovers would tell the outcome, and neither team had one. "Our kids played the most complete game of the season, and it came at a good time for us."
R-U comeback thwarted by RV rally REMSEN--The Rockets were extremely close to giving their fans a victory at homecoming.
With 3:36 remaining in the game, quarterback Alex Pick scored on a three-yarder to trail 7-6. Then Cory Parker punched in the two-point conversion for the 8-7 lead, but the Wolverines were quick to resond.
River Valley (2-5, 2-5) scored on its first play from scrimmage to notch its second win of the season at the expense of R-U, which is now 1-6, 1-5.
"We thought we had it," Rockets coach Curt Lilly said. "It was a big rollercoaster.
"We're just going to have to stay positive with them because there were a lot of emotions. We need to focus on the positives, like how we put together the drive at the end of the game to get the lead."
Pick finished with 145 yards on 34 carries. He set it up his score with a 46-yard run on an old-fashioned play. "It was just a spin-keep," He said. "The quarterback fakes to a back, spins, fakes to another back and does a complete circle. Then he just dives straight ahead.
"It's 1940s football basically, old single wing stuff." Pick also had three completions for 25 yards. Parker caught two for 19 and Dane Seivers had the other for six. Alan Pick had 62 yards on 18 carries.
It was also tough for the Rockets after getting a great defensive performance.
"They had their best night of the season," Lilly said of the unit. "It was just two big plays that beat us (TD runs of 28 and 82 yards).
"Cody Stoos picked off a pass, Alex had 11 tackles, Scott Bortscheller added nine and so did Parker.
Gehlen turned back by R-L RUTHVEN--After keeping things close with the district-leading Raiders (7-0, 7-0) at 14-7 with a touchdown with 13 seconds left in the first half, the visiting Jays (4-3, 4-2) were unable to hold off the R-L's onslaught in the second half in a 34-7 loss.
Gehlen Catholic scored its lone TD on a one-yard QB sneak by Adam Erdmann with 13 seconds before halftime.
K-P falls to SC EARLY--The host Wildcats (4-3, 3-3) earned a 35-7 win over the Panthers (1-6, 0-6).