Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn thrilled the Homecoming crowd with a 61-13 victory over Hinton October 8 at Hartley. The win, coupled with the loss by South O’Brien, assured the Hawks of the best record in Class A District 1. HMS improved to 5-2 on the season with all five victories coming in District play.
The Hawks rushed for 455 yards, including 204 from running back Connor Dodd and 127 from quarterback Kooper Ebel. Dodd rushed for three touchdowns and Ebel one. Aiden Espeland broke free on a long run and finished with 90 yards. Ethan Diehm and James Gellerman each had a touchdown run.
“Our kids up front are starting to get into that rhythm of playing as one unit,” noted HMS head coach Jay Eilers. “We rotated some guys at that strong guard position with Bradley Van Beek and Adam Schierholz and I think both kids just did an amazing job.”
Ebel returned the second half kickoff 75 yards for a score. He attempted only six passes but completed two for touchdowns. The first, to Dodd, was from five yards out and the second, caught by Travis Kamradt, covered 25 yards.
Kamradt was one of three Hawks with an interception. The other pickoffs were by Gellerman and Tyson Tessum. Keevyn Jacobsma recovered a fumble. Said Eilers, “We talked to our kids about taking the ball away and I think we do a nice job of taking the ball away when the ball is in the air and we kind of got back to that. I’m proud of them there.”
Eilers singled out the play of one of his linemen. “Keaton Graves gives us something special in that d-line position at the end,” said his coach. “I’m proud to see him playing that position with pride just with a great effort and intensity. This is a young man that I couldn’t be more proud of in what he does for our program. He makes us better there. We need to be stout at that d-line because we know what we have coming ahead of us. We’re going to go at it full bore.”
Graves finished with five total tackles. Kamradt was the leader with nine, followed by Lance Berends with eight-and-a-half and Ebel with seven.
The Hawks travel to Akron Friday night for their final game prior to the playoffs. Akron-Westfield is coming off a comeback win over South O’Brien that raised its record to 3-4. “I think they have some very talented young men and they’re a physical brand of football – very similar to us,” commented Eilers. “Their quarterback’s tremendous. He understands the offense. He just does a nice job of getting the ball where it needs to go. They have some playmakers in the receiving corps that do a nice job in open space. We’re going to look at them and have a plan of action and go forward.” The Hawk head man stressed, “They’re going to have our full attention. We’re going to have to bring it. We’re going to come out and we’re going to play with our hair on fire right away.”
Eilers spoke on the significance of facing the Westerners but knowing that there will be more football to be played beyond that. “I think it’s the importance of recognizing that we want to play our best football from here on out,” said the coach. “That bar is only going to raise. I think we’ve done a nice job of that. Game one and last week did a nice job of defending us but overall I really appreciate our kids’ intensity on the practice field. We changed it up this week. We went helmets only on Tuesday. That was a plan for this week. We will be physical this week of practice and we will be physical Friday.”
Game time is 7:00 p.m. Friday, October 15 at Akron.
Hinton 6 0 7 0 – 13
HMS 14 19 22 6 – 61
8:38 HMS – Connor Dodd 27 yard run (2 pt pass failed) 6-0
7:45 Hinton – Carson Pierce 59 yard pass from Glen Carlson (kick blocked) 6-6
1:45 HMS – Dodd 7 yard run (Dodd 2 pt run) 14-6
11:02 HMS – Ebel 60 yard run (Ebel kick) 21-6
3:40 HMS – Dodd 5 yard pass from Ebel (kick failed) 27-6
1:22 HMS – Dodd 59 yard run (kick failed) 33-6
11:46 HMS – Ebel 75 yard kickoff return (kick failed) 39-6
8:34 HMS – Travis Kamradt 25 yard pass from Ebel (Dodd 2 pt run) 47-6
5:03 HMS – Ethan Diehm 21 yard run (James Gellerman 2 pt run) 55-6
1:01 Hinton – Pierce 17 yard pass from Gabe Anderson (Pierce kick) 55-13
11:54 HMS – Gellerman 16 yard run (run failed) 61-13
Rushing: Dodd 19-204, 3 TD; Ebel 9-127, 1 TD; Aiden Espeland 6-90, Diehm 2-18, 1 TD; Gellerman 1-16, 1 TD.
Passing: Ebel 2-6, 30 yards, 2 TD.
Receiving: Kamradt 1-25, 1 TD; Dodd 1-5, 1 TD.
Leading Tacklers: Kamradt 9 (7 solos); Lance Berends 8.5 (7); Ebel 7 (6); Keaton Graves 5 (4); Dodd 4 (4); Keevyn Jacobsma 3.5 (2); Mason Brinkman 2.5 (2).
Fumble Recoveries: Jacobsma 1-0.
Interceptions: Gellerman 1-0; Kamradt 1-0; Tyson Tessum 1-0.
Kickoff returns: Ebel 3-118, 1 TD.
Kickoffs: Diehm 5-120, Nick Bronstad 3-145, Gellerman 1-25.