Walker-Hackensack-Akeley’s defense forced a takeaway on Wadena-Deer Creek’s first possession in their game last week and also returned a kick 81 yards for a touchdown.
Those were the only big plays the Wolves had in the first half, while the host Wolverines scored four touchdowns on runs or pass plays of 30 yards or more to grab a 42-7 lead on their way to a 58-21 win.
The Wolverines finished the game with 413 yards of offense compared to 272 for the Wolves, of which 192 came in the second half.
Kai Ashmore had his most productive game of the season running the ball, finishing with 155 yards on 16 carries. Both Joe Hed and Cooper Brovold rushed for 39 yards with Hed scoring a touchdown. Logan Watts had the long kickoff return for a touchdown and also a 21-yard run for a score in the third quarter.
Carson Strosahl forced the first turnover on a fumble that Devin Johnson recovered at WHA’s 35. The Wolves were unable to move the ball and the Wolverines went back to work and scored first on Payton Rondestvedt’s 31-yard pitch and catch to Josh Dykhoff with Cole Wood adding the extra point.
WHA quickly answered when Watts cut through the Wolverines’ defense to return the kick 81 yards with Devin Johnson adding the extra point.
That was the last time the game would be tied as the Wolverines scored touchdowns on their next five possessions, including four in the second quarter. WHA punted twice in the second period and turned the ball over on an interception and on downs.
The next time the Wolverines had the ball, Rondestvedt scored on a three-yard run, but Kenseth Taylor blocked the extra point.
WHA punted the ball on the ensuing series and it only took the Wolverines one play to score. Rondestvedt took the snap and scored on a 50-yard sweep around the left and added the two-point conversion on a pass to Dykhoff.
The Wolves were still unable to get their offense on track, and decided to go for it on fourth down, but were unsuccessful. The Wolverines struck quickly on the next play as Evan Lunde scored on a 41-yard sweep around the left end with Rondestvedt running in the conversion for a 29-7 lead.
WHA’s next possession also ended with a turnover as Dykhoff intercepted a pass inside the 20 and returned it out near midfield. After picking up 50 yards on first down, Lunde scored on a one-yard plunge, but the kick was missed.
The Wolves again started out just past their 40 but were forced to punt four plays later. A short punt gave the Wolverines the ball on their 39. Three plays later Rondestvedt and Teshome Loer connected on a 40-yard pass play with Woods adding the extra point for a 42-7 lead with only second left in the opening half.
WHA got the ball to start the second half and marched right down the field. Watts scored on a 21-yard sweep and Johnson added the extra point.
The Wolverines answered on a six-play 60-yard drive capped off with Josiah Kallevig’s 46-yard toss to Jaeger Pettit. Kallevig ran in the conversion to extend the lead to 50-14.
The Wolves’s final touchdown came on Hed’s one-yard run. Ashmore set up the score with a 21-yard run down to the one.
Kallevig and Pettit connected once again on a 24-yard pitch and catch in the four quarter for the final score.
On defense, Strosahl finished with six solo and six assisted tackles. Ashmore had four solos, Taylor three and Amani Nason with two. Mitchell Friemark and Gavin Oelschlager each had a sack. Both Enrique Fineday and Nick Friemark had four assisted tackles and Watts had three.
The Wolves were scheduled to play at Red Lake Saturday afternoon, but because of COVID-19 and school requirements, the Warriors were forced to forfeit. This Friday WHA travels to Warroad and Oct. 20 host Bagley in the regular-season finale.