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State Championship Preview: Hinton focuses in on state title match

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

(Sentinel photo by Kent Jones) The Blackhawks' Cole Johnston outpaces the Logan-Magnolia defense in the Class A semifinals Friday at the Cedar Falls UNI-Dome. Hinton won 28-21 to advance to the state championship game.
HINTON -- Focus has been the trademark of Hinton's football season and state run.

Now the Blackhawks (10-3) have their eyes set on one final game: the Class A State Championship.

Hinton will play Wapsie Valley in the UNI-Dome at 1:36 p.m. Thursday for the state title.

(Sentinel photo by Kent Jones) Hinton tackler Avery Peirce pulls down a Logan-Magnolia Panther in Hinton's Class A semifinal victory Friday at the Cedar Falls UNI-Dome.
"I really like how we've been able to block out all the distractions and focus on the game (each) week," Hinton co-head coach Bruce Held said.

"We've done that all year long, and we better not change that now. Our job is to give great effort and know our opponent -- we've done that for 13 weeks now," he said.

The Blackhawks are a determined group of players, Held said.

Meeting up with Wapsie Valley on the gridiron will be a new pairing for the Blackhawks.

The Warriors (13-0) have a balanced offense coming into the state final.

Wapsie Valley's lead rusher, senior Tyler Odneal has carried the ball more than 2,000 yards this season.

The Warriors' quarterback, senior Mitchell Boevers, is very mobile and throws the ball well, Hinton co-head coach Steve Diediker said.

Boevers has passed for 1,633 yards this season, including 20 TDs, and has a quarterback rating of 188.9.

Leading Wapsie Valley in receptions is Kenny Saulsberry, with 37 receptions for 655 yards this season, including 10 touchdowns.

Playing the Warriors will be a change from the Blackhawks' matchup with Logan-Magnolia last Friday. The Panthers focused mainly on running the ball.

"It's going to be back to more of a balanced defense for us," Diediker said. "It will be getting our key reads and trying to head them off at the pass, so to speak."

Wapsie Valley also has several fast running backs, he said.

"While this (past) week was more of the power game, this is going to be more of the finesse game," Diediker said.

Held also said the Warrior offense is a triple threat, with a strong QB, a strong rusher, and receivers that can run well.

"We have to all trust each other defensively and be disciplined to read the right keys," Held said. "If we try to do someone else's job we are in trouble."

Defensively, Hinton is led by senior Colin Poss with 104 total tackles and senior Marcus Turman, sophomore Logan Jurgensmeier and senior Jason Vander Kooi with about 80 total tackles each.

On the offense, QB senior Morgan Wenzel has passed for 1,823 yards this season including 20 touchdowns.

Senior Dalton Becker leads in rushing with 742 yards for the year. Vander Kooi leads in receiving with 967 yards.

Nine seniors set the tone for the Blackhawk team.

Held said he wanted to thank all the fans that made the trip to Cedar Falls to cheer the Blackhawks on last Friday.

"It was a fun day, and we were excited to share it with all of you," he said. "We hope you can make it back again this week -- it will be a special day in Blackhawk athletics."

Diediker said the team is ready for the season finale.

"This is the last game," he said. "A lot of years you don't know for sure when your season is going to end ... but this one we know the last game of season. We're happy to be there and I know the kids will put up a good effort."

For the second time in school history, the Blackhawks will step onto the UNI-Dome turf -- this time to play the Class A championship.

"It is a great honor to be able to represent our school, our town, our community, our families, and all the former Blackhawk football players who have played here," Held said. "We will give it our best shot, and play the way the game is supposed to be played."

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Good luck in the title game Hinton!

Iron, sharpens iron. I think the top three teams in district 1 are arguably the best three teams in the state.

-- Posted by working_class_dog on Wed, Nov 14, 2012, at 11:45 AM

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