Divide County upends Night Hawks in playoff action

The quarterbacks for Divide County and Hettinger-Scranton had productive games.

Jaxon Mellmer (#7) targets Kyle Burwick (#10) during the first round of 9-man playoffs. (Photo by Cole Benz/The Record)
Jaxon Mellmer (#7) targets Kyle Burwick (#10) during the first round of 9-man playoffs. (Photo by Cole Benz/The Record)

By SHELDON CHRISTENSON
For The Record

The quarterbacks for Divide County and Hettinger-Scranton had productive games. But despite Maroon quarterback DeJuan Jenkins going down in the second half, Divide County came out on top 36-32.

After taking a hard hit on a kickoff return to start the second half he was slow to get up. He was tended to by medical personnel at the game and left in an ambulance for further evaluation. Jaxon Mellmer of the Night Hawks had his own stomach problems, but stayed in the game.

The Night Hawks started the game with a new wrinkle in their offense with quarterback Mellmer running the option, and on his first run he gained a first down and more. The next play developed the same way as he got inside the Night Hawks’ 20-yard line. But the Night Hawks season long nemesis, a holding penalty, brought the ball back and the drive later stalled.

The Maroons took over and methodically ran the ball down the field and scored on a Jenkins touchdown. On the ensuing kickoff, the Night Hawks would be called for holding and then fumbled, and Divide County recovered. They would score again in the first quarter on another Jenkins run.

Mellmer scored the first touchdown for the Night Hawks on a keeper up the middle for a 49-yard touchdown run. He then would connect with Isaiah Kludt for the two-point conversion.

Both teams would trade touchdowns in the second quarter as Jenkins passed for one and ran 53 yards for another.

Kludt would score in between Jenkins touchdown with runs of 54 and 25 yards. The Maroons would make one of their two-point conversions but the Night Hawks could not on both of theirs. Divide County led 26-20 at half time.

Even with Jenkins out in the second half the Maroons still had a solid running game with their misdirection and runs up the middle behind their 6-foot-8, 278 lb center that usually kept the drive going.

They held the Night Hawks scoreless in the third quarter and got a 9-yard touchdown run from Aidan Eriksmoen. They also recorded a safety after the snap from the Night Hawk center sailed over the punters head and would bounce out of the back of end zone.

The Night Hawk defense stiffened in the final quarter and held Divide County scoreless while recording two touchdowns. Damon Cornelius would score from five yards out and Kludt would catch a beautiful pass from Mellmer for a 53-yard scoring play. But another old nemesis, the 2-point conversion, was not successful on both scores. After the touchdown, the Maroons would run out the remaining two-and-a-half minutes.

The dominance of the Maroons showed up as they had 79 plays compared to the Night Hawks 36 for the game. They also had 410 yards rushing compared to the Night Hawks 282.

Divide County (6-3), the No. 3 seed out of Region 6, advances to play Region 4’s No. 1 seed North Prairie Saturday, Oct. 22.

Although losing, the Night Hawks played well overall despite having three key players out due to injury, Nevan Weaver, Hudson Pierce (non-football medical issue) and Jacob Dix.

Leading rushers for Hettinger-Scranton were Mellmer with 139 and Kludt had 132. For Divide County Jenkins led with 165, Eriksmoen had 127 and Taylor Landsverk added 75.







GAMES