Hinton’s playoff run ends in district rematch with H-M-S
HARTLEY — Just three weeks after losing to Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn 55-20 in Class A District 1 action, the Hinton football team had to face off with the Hawks once again in a Round of 16 contest Friday. While the Blackhawks played closer with their foe the second time around, the Hawks were able to come away with a 46-27 win to move on and send Hinton home.
“I thought our boys played their best effort game of the season,” Hinton Head Coach Kadrian Hardersen said. “They were aggressive all night and put themselves in a great position to pull the upset, but in the second half Hartley’s size wore us down. We showed a lot of heart and fought to the end, but ultimately a couple big plays on defense and a couple misses on offense did us in.”
Hinton jumped out to a 7-0 lead midway through the opening quarter as quarterback Glen Carlson ran for a 9-yard touchdown and Garrett Divis put the ball through the uprights on the extra-point kick.
H-M-S pulled in front in the second quarter on a 9-yard touchdown run from Travis Kamradt and subsequent 2-point conversion run from Kooper Ebel.
Hinton took the lead back with 5:16 left in the second quarter on a 17-yard pass from Carlson to Carson Peirce. The lead was short-lived as H-M-S scored less than a minute later on a 76-yard pass from Ebel to Ryan Borden. The touchdown gave the Hawks the lead which they would not give up.
After clinging to a 14-13 advantage at halftime with both sides failing on their 2-point conversion attempts after their second touchdowns, the Hawks pulled away with touchdown runs of 14 and 7 yards from Ebel and Trenton Vollink in the third quarter. Vollink was second on the team with 78 rushing yards on his 14 carries.
Hinton tried to stay in the game with a pair of touchdown passes from Carlson to Beau DeRocher and Caden Winters, but those were both answered by touchdown runs from Ebel.
Carlson finished 14-of-27 passing for 217 yards and three touchdowns. Peirce was the leading target with five catches for 70 yards. DeRocher, who was limited to 69 rushing yards on 18 carries, turned his four catches into 73 yards. Winters had a touchdown reception of 25 yards and one other catch for 10 yards. Daniel Blackwell added a catch for 32 yards.
“Offensively we knew running the ball would be tough,” Hardersen said. “H-M-S has extremely good size up front and they make it hard to run between the tackles. Early on I felt like we were able to do enough to stay on schedule and ahead of the sticks, and were also able to keep them on their heels by throwing on early downs. In the second half we got behind early and were forced to play catch up and that’s not our strength.”
Ebel, the H-M-S quarterback, finished with 214 rushing yards on 23 carries with three touchdowns. He ended 3-of-5 passing for 92 yards and a touchdown.
“The plays that hurt us were when Ebel would break a tackle in the backfield and use his speed to get to the sidelines,” Hardersen said. “He is a special talent and we knew if we wanted to win we would have to keep him in check. I felt like we were able to contain him for a half, but ultimately their size wore us down in the second half.”
Dylan Hartman led the Hinton defense with 10.5 tackles including the team’s only tackle for loss.
“Defensively Dylan Hartman had a huge game,” Hardersen said. “He was all over the field. He is a throwback Hinton Blackhawk, tough as nails and fearless. His leadership set the tone and had the underclassman following his lead.”
Hinton finishes the season with a record of 6-4. The Blackhawks returned to the playoffs for the first time since 2018.
Hardersen gave a lot of credit to the seniors for putting together a good season.
“This group will be so hard to replace. They dedicated themselves starting last October to becoming the best team that they could and accomplished an incredible turnaround as a group,” Hardersen said. “They led us to our first playoff win since 2016, a season after being 1-7. They changed the culture for the better. I couldn’t be more proud of them or thankful to them for all that they’ve given to the program. They are really good football players and even better people, men of character and action. I’m blessed to have had the chance to coach them.”
Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn (8-2) will play at Woodbury Central (10-0) in Friday’s state quarterfinal round game.