By Nick Beversdorf
Hatchet football faced off against Marathon on Friday, losing with a final score of 33-13. The Hatchets played well in spurts, but otherwise Marathon consistently controlled the game.
Marathon scored their first touchdown in the first quarter off a 24-yard touchdown run, with a failed PAT. Tomahawk briefly took the lead in the second quarter with a 16-yard touchdown pass from Easton Phalin to Eli Whurl, coupled with the Kole Woodall’s PAT to bring the score to 7-6.
That lead soon vanished as Marathon scored two more touchdowns before halftime, one from a 70-yard run with a two-point conversion and another from a 45-yard touchdown run resulting from a blocked punt, but with another failed PAT.
The third quarter was much the same, with Marathon scoring another touchdown from a 52-yard run with a failed two-point conversion, and then their last touchdown from a 19-yard pass with a successful PAT.
Tomahawk punched in their last touchdown in the fourth quarter with a two-yard run courtesy of Wyatt Wenninger, PAT no good.
“Coming off a game where pretty much nothing went right, the Hatchets responded with a performance that was much improved,” comments head coach John Larson. “Against Marathon we took a step in the right direction. We had a solid week of preparation and that preparation showed up on Friday night. We played well in spurts, but not consistently for four quarters. ”
“The first half was our best half of football. If you eliminate two big plays, a 70-yard touchdown run and a blocked punt for a TD right before halftime, we take a 7 – 6 lead into the locker room. We also missed a couple of scoring opportunities in the first half. We recovered a fumbled punt in Marathon territory and came away with no points and missed a couple wide open receivers that could have led to some points.”
Tomahawk had a total of 10 first downs, coming from 98 passing yards and 42 rushing yards for a total of 140 offensive yards, compared to Marathon’s 342. The Hatchets had 28 passing attempts, of which 12 were completed. Easton Phalin also had a 13-yard interception.
“In big games you have to make plays, we did not do that on a consistent basis,” adds Larson. “Offensively we had success throwing the football, but you have to be able to run the ball as well. When you can’t get the ground attack going defenses can tee off on you and make life miserable, especially for our quarterback.
“We need to get better up front. A 16-yard touchdown reception, Phalin to Wurl highlighted the night as it came on a big fourth down play which for a very brief moment swung the momentum in our favor. Defensively, we defended the passing game of Marathon pretty well all game, holding them to just 67 yards passing. What we did not do is control the running game, Marathon would rush for 286 yards. We have to do a better job of reading, reacting and playing fast! On special teams I thought we covered our kicks real well. We did not snap the ball well on our punts that led to a score and great field position.
“That will need to improve as we move forward. Another big week ahead as we travel to perennial power Edgar on Friday.”
The Hatchets will face off against Edgar at Edgar High School at 7 p.m. on Friday.
MAR: 6 14 13 0-33
TMK: 0 7 0 6-13
Passing: Phalin (12/28, 98 yds, 2 INT, 1TD).
Rushing: Phalin (16 TCB, 37 yds); Woodall (11 TCB, 16 yds); Jacob Ruid (2 TCB, 1 yd).
Receiving: Ruid (7 rec, 76 yds); Wurl (3 rec, 13 yds, 1TD); Woodall (1 rec, 7 yds); Jackson List (1 rec, 2 yds).
Punting: Wenninger (6, 155 yards, 25.8 avg).