The Hettinger-Scranton Nighthawk football team took on the Wyndmere-Lidgerwood Warbirds in their opening game as part of a three-game schedule played at Shiloh on August 22.
By SHELDON CHRISTENSON | For The Record
The Hettinger-Scranton Nighthawk football team took on the Wyndmere-Lidgerwood Warbirds in their opening game as part of a three-game schedule played at Shiloh on August 22. The other two games had Hankinson vs Mott-Regent, and Napoleon-Gackle-Streeter vs Kenmare-Bowbells-Burke Central. Game weather conditions were windy, sporadic rain and a 50 degree temperature.
The Nighthawks initially did not look like a team that was ready to contend for the Region 5 title as the Warbirds ran through and around them, and scored easily on their first two possessions and held a 12-0 lead after the first quarter.
The Warbirds opening drive was aided by two screen passes, one went for big yardage and the other a touchdown.
After a few adjustments by the Nighthawk coaching staff, and a stepped up intensity of play by the team, the direction of the game changed drastically.
The Nighthawks got on scoreboard early in the second quarter after the Warbirds had to punt deep in their own territory. The punt was muffed and only went for nine yards. Tanner Sanford later scored on a 5-yard run, and also converted the two-point conversion to cut the Warbird lead to 12-8. From that point on, Sanford and Brandon Pierce had their way in piling up the rushing yardage as the Nighthawks easily won 34-12.
Pierce ended up with 186 yards rushing and three touchdowns. Pierce’s second touchdown was especially enjoyable to watch as he headed down the right sideline, shedding would-be tacklers along way for a 40-yard touchdown.
Sanford ended up with 130 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
Isaiah Kludt, the Nighthawks third running back, was held out of the game to give his knee a better chance to heal. His status is game-to-game.
The Nighthawks ended up with 355 total rushing and passing yards, but only 14 of those yards came via the pass.
The Warbirds had 168 total yards, with 132 of those yards in their passing game. But after their first two possessions they were only able to garner 23 total yards for the remainder of the game.
This game was unusual as I have never seen a football game with so many encroachments and offside calls made.
Hettinger-Scranton opens their Region 5 schedule with a game at Richardton on August 28. Richardton-Taylor-Hebron lost their opening game last week to Linton-HMB, 34-18. Linton moved from Division A 11-man last year to 9-man this year.