MASON CITY -- Hinton outscored Newman Catholic 34-7 over the final three quarters Wednesday to win 40-20 and advance to the second round of the Class A playoffs.
The Blackhawks (7-3) had to fight back after a shaky start to the game. Hinton was forced to punt out of the team's own end zone on the opening possession of the game. The Blackhawks botched the punt and the ball was partially blocked on the attempt.
Newman (6-4) recovered the ball on the Hinton 4-yard line. The Knights scored on a 2-yard run and took a 7-0 lead after a success extra point kick.
The Blackhawks responded three minutes later on a 60-yard touchdown pass from Morgan Wenzel to Jake Hasselquist. Wenzel had missed the previous two games due to injury. Hinton trailed 7-6 after a failed extra point attempt.
Newman would regain the lead later in the quarter on another 2-yard touchdown run. The Knights failed on the extra point and led 13-6 going into the second quarter.
Hinton would score again in the second period on a 2-yard touchdown reception by Dalton Becker. Hinton trailed 13-12 after another failed extra point.
The Blackhawks took the lead for good on a 39-yard touchdown pass from Wenzel to Jason Vander Kooi with 2:58 remaining in the first half. Becker caught the 2-point pass and Hinton led 20-13 after the break.
"It was a good effort by our kids, especially the way it started where we pretty much gave them the first touchdown," said Hinton co-head coach Steve Diediker. "[Newman] is really quick off the ball. We just weren't quite adjusted to that yet. Once we got adjusted to that, they really didn't get much yardage after that."
Hinton extended the lead twice in the third quarter.
Becker scored on a 4-yard touchdown run at the 8:59 mark in the third quarter. Matthies Gross-Holtick kicked the PAT to put Hinton ahead 27-13.
Colin Poss ran in for a 2-yard touchdown with 2:28 left in the third quarter. Hinton led 34-20 after another PAT by Gross-Holtick.
The Knights scored for the final time with 10:21 left in the game on another short touchdown run. A successful PAT made the score 32-20.
The 12-point margin was short-lived as Vander Kooi caught the ensuing kickoff and returned it 80 yards for a touchdown to set the final score.
Newman was 8-for-28 passing in the game for 94 yards and one interception. Newman quarterback Jack Fitzgerald had only attempted 73 passes this season prior to Wednesday's game. Newman gained 146 yards rushing against Hinton after averaging 257.4 rushing yards per game this season.
"Overall, for a team that was scoring quite a few points and moving the ball pretty well, I thought we did a pretty good job," Diediker said.
Wednesday's result was also without middle linebacker and former leading tackler, Avery Peirce, who is unlikely to play for the rest of the season.
Poss led the Blackhawks with 11 tackles against Newman. Becker and Marcus Turman each made 10 tackles. Logan Jurgensmeier made nine tackles. C.J. Worden caught an interception late in the first half. It was the only turnover by either team in the game.
Wenzel returned from a two-game hiatus to go 12-for-18 passing for 170 yards and three touchdowns on Wednesday.
"It's against a pretty good team too," Diediker said. "It's not like it was against some poor team. He did a really good job. He looked good. He's a big part of our offense. I know when we've got him in there, he just makes all of the other kids around him better too."
Hasselquist caught five passes for 106 yards and a touchdown. Vander Kooi made two receptions for 48 yards and a touchdown.
Becker gained 101 rushing yards and scored once on 20 rushing attempts. He also caught four passes for 22 yards and a score.
Hinton will be on the road against next Monday in Inwood against No. 4 West Lyon. West Lyon defeated Bishop Garrigan 41-19 in the first round on Wednesday.
Hinton handed West Lyon its only defeat of the season, a 28-12 result in Inwood on Sept. 7.