By Nick Beversdorf
It was a tough loss for Hatchet football on Friday, as they fell to Auburndale 24-19 in the last game of the regular season. The Hatchets end the season 2-6 in the Marawood Conference and 2-7 overall, not amassing enough wins to advance to the playoffs.
Tomahawk got off to a good start in the first with an Easton Phalin to Eli Wurl three-yard touchdown pass. The extra point was no good. Auburndale tied up the quarter with a one-yard run courtesy of Ryan Isaacson and a failed PAT as well.
Tomahawk again took the lead in the second quarter with Wyatt Wenninger scoring a touchdown off a 38-yard pass from Phalin. A two-point conversion attempt was no good. Auburndale scored another touchdown from a five-yard Aaron Willfahrt run, and they got the extra point from the first successful PAT of the night.
In the the third quarter, Aurburndale pulled farther ahead with another five-yard touchdown run, courtesy of Collin Hawkins and later a 27-yard field goal by Keller Wolfe. Tomahawk got their last touchdown of the game in the fourth quarter courtesy of another Phalin to Wenninger pass, this time 25 yards.
“Friday night brought the regular season to a close; a tough loss for the Hatchets at home in a close game with the Apaches from Auburndale,” comments head coach John Larson. “We took and early lead in the first quarter on a Phalin to Wurl connection to go up 6-0. That drive would be our most consistent and best of the night. We mixed the run and pass real well and limited our mental mistakes.
“After Auburndale tied the game we would take the lead back on a Phalin to Wenninger 3- yard TD pass. After the first TD drive in the opening quarter we never got back to playing fundamentally sound football in a consistent manner. Turnovers and several mental mistakes were our demise for most of the game. In order to be successful week in and week out you have to put it together for four quarters and we struggled doing that. The Hatchet scoring would end with a 4th quarter Phalin to Wenninger 25 yard TD pass.”
Tomahawk had 246 total offensive yards from 41 plays – 77 yards from rushing and 139 from passing resulting in nine first downs. They had 12 pass completions out of 20 attempts, with two interceptions and three touchdowns.
Auburndale had 336 total offensive yards from 58 plays – 298 from rushing and 38 from passing resulting in 12 first downs. They had two pass completions out of 10 attempts.
Both teams had a fumble that was lost, and Auburndale had 11 penalties resulting in 75 yards lost while Tomahawk had just two penalties resulting in 35 yards lost.
“Defensively we got dominated up front and our tackling was poor,” adds Larson. “Missing Richie Nagai to injury did not help the cause. We need to be more disciplined with our technique and playing our responsibilities. We played too tall inside, over penetrated way too much and got caught trying to do someone else’s job.
“Our guys know we can play at a much higher level. Next year we will return 21 of 22 starters. On paper all indication leads to the potential for a great season. But potential is all it is right now unless we do all the right things and have a great off season!”
AUB: 6 7 11 0-24
TMK: 6 6 0 7-19
Rushing: Phalin (9 TCB, 23 yds); Kole Woodall (3 TCB, 29 yds); Brady Anderson (6 TCB, 25 yds); Wenninger (3 TCB, 0 yds).
Passing: Phalin (12/20, 2 INT, 139 yds, 3 TD).
Receiving: Wenninger (4 rec, 72 yds, 2 TD); Eli Wurl (4 rec, 22 yds, 1 TD); Jake Ruid (1 rec, 22 yds); Brady Anderson (1 rec, 18 yds); Woodall (1 rec, 6 yds); Jackson List (1 rec, -1 yds).
Punting: Wenninger (3, 94 yds, 31.3 avg).