HBC 08-00-16-12 = 36
MLA 00-09-00-00 = 09
A strong south wind and a stout Hills-Beaver Creek defense stopped Mt. Lake Area in its tracks Friday, as the Patriots defeated the Wolverines 36-9 to win the Section 3 Nine-Man championship at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall.
The wind played a major factor in the first half, as neither team was able to generate offense into the win. HBC got on the board in the first quarter with the wind at its back, scoring on an 8-yard Cole Baker run.
HBC mounted another potential scoring drive, but stalled out at the MLA 15 trying to drive into the wind after the first quarter ended and teams traded sides.
MLA immediately turned around and set out on an 85-yard, 11-play scoring drive, capped with a 23-yard pass from Marcos DeLeon to Jake Evers. The two-point conversion failed, leaving the score at 8-6.
The Wolverine defense shut HBC down on the ensuing drive, and HBC’s fake punt attempt was also stopped cold, giving the Wolverines the ball late in the first half.
MLA quickly marched into scoring position. And with the strong wind at his back, senior Kolby Kremmin split the uprights on a 39-yard field goal attempt, giving the Wolverines a 9-8 halftime lead.
But the second half belonged to the Patriots, who were able to strike quickly going into the wind in the third quarter. On the second play of the half, quarterback Oliver Deelstra kept the ball on the option play and raced 51 yards to paydirt, giving HBC a 16-9 lead.
HBC held the Wolverines to a three-and-out on their next possession. The Patriots then methodically chewed up six minutes of clock, scoring on a 1-yard Baker touchdown run for a 24-9 lead.
Trailing by two scores and having to go into the wind in the fourth quarter, the Wolverine offense was grounded. A bad snap on a punt gave HBC the ball at the Wolverine 4, where Baker cashed in on the next play for a 30-9 lead.
Then, after MLA failed on a fourth-down attempt deep in its own end, the Patriots scored on a 3-yard Deelstra run.
DeLeon led the Wolverines with 56 yards rushing on 15 carries. Evan Karschnik rushed for 24 yards on seven carries.
DeLeon was 5-of-15 passing for 61 yards. Five Wolverines each had one reception, with Evers recording 23 receiving yards.