It is widely known that wolves hunt at night, but that was not the case when Westonka traveled to The Blake School to face off against SMB for a 1:00pm game on Thursday, October 15th. The SMB Wolfpack has played in the Class AAAA Championship Game each of the past two seasons, winning it all in 2018, and finishing as the runner-up last season. Despite coming off a big victory the week before, the White Hawks fell prey to this talented team.
The Wolfpack won the toss and deferred so that they could kick with the wind to the White Hawks. Starting on their 20, the White Hawks were unable to get a first down. On 4th and short, they went for it and were stopped by the Wolfpack, leaving them in excellent field position, just 26 yards short of the endzone. They took swift advantage and took the early lead 7-0.
The stiff wind proved to be a factor with the next several drives. The White Hawks failed to convert and punted into an unforgiving wind, giving the Wolfpack great field position on each of their next two drives. Missed tackles and several penalties plagued the White Hawks and with only 2:15 left in just the first quarter, the Wolfpack attacked and soon led 21-0.
The second quarter the momentum of the Wolfpack seemed to slow and they struggled to keep the pace they had in the first quarter. The White Hawks had a few key stops and finally, with 6:28 left in an ugly first half of play, the White Hawks strung together a drive including several quarterback keepers, making it 21-7 thanks to Ben Neve’s extra point.
The Wolfpack was not done yet though as their starting running back, who plagued the White Hawk defense all game, ran for a long TD run right before the half. The White Hawks entered halftime down 28-7.
Even though the White Hawks had a chance to warm up and recharge, the Wolfpack quickly quieted them by returning the kick off all the way, extending their lead 35-7. Much like the first half, the White Hawks could not sustain a drive and the Wolfpack were tough to stop. It started to look like they were heading to the end zone again when Michael Nolan tackled hard and resulted in a fumble. Despite the big play, the White Hawks could not convert and were forced to punt again.
The Wolfpack played tough defense and intercepted a Von Bank pass and returned it all the way making it 42-7. The White Haws gave junior Jake Gaylord the ball but again failed to produce any offense. The Wolfpack took over again but the Westonka defense forced a fumble, giving the ball back to the White Hawks to try to produce some points as time was slipping away. With little time remaining, Gaylord passed to Bowe with Neve’s point after making the final score 42-14.
Leading the White Hawks offense were Logan Leonard with 35 yards on the ground and Tyler Von Bank also scrambling for 35. In the air, Tucker Anderly led the team with 40 yards and Logan Leonard with 33. On the defensive side Logan Leonard led the team with 9 tackles, Trent Bowe and Michael Nolan with 8, Tucker Anderly with 7, and EJ Van Dyken with 6.
Coach David said, “It has been several years in which we have lost a game like that. We have gotten beat on different occasions, but we haven’t lost as we continued to fight and grind for the entire 48 minutes. We as a team need to figure out what it means to fight and compete for all four quarters. That will be our focus as we prepare this week.”
Next up the White Hawks schedule does not get any easier as they play Minneapolis North (2-0) at home this Saturday at 1:00pm for Senior Day. The Minneapolis North Polars have qualified for the state tournament seven out of the last eleven seasons, winning it all in 2016, and finishing as the runner-up in both 2015 and 2019.