The Wolves dominated Pine River-Backus in all phases of the game Friday night to get their first win of the season.
Walker-Hackensack-Akeley scored six touchdowns while amassing 335 yards of offense in a 42-0 win. Besides pitching a shut out, the defense held the Tigers to only 127 yards and only allowed them in the red zone once. The defense also forced an interception, recorded four sacks and had another handful of tackles for losses.
Unlike the season-opener where WHA turned the ball over four times, they had none. They also didn’t punt the ball once as all six possessions resulted in a Wolves touchdown.
Coach Aaron Pfeiffer said it was fun to see the guys play so well. “Offensively, I was very pleased with what we did. The offensive line did a nice job of opening up some holes, and our receivers made some nice catches.”
On the other side of the ball the Wolves got a good pass rush to make Pine River’s quarterback uncomfortable and slowed down their rushing attack.
Jack Slagle had the game’s only turnover, while Tom Hansen, Carson Strosahl and Trevor Radke each recorded a sack. Connor Craven and TJ Smith each had half a sack.
Leading the team in tackles were Radke and Craven with six solos, Colton Hein had four solos, and Gavin Johannsen, Smith and Strosahl each had three solos.
On offense, Riley Welk completed 10-15 passes for 119 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran for 37 yards on seven carries.
Steven Hausken led with 100 yards on 14 carries and one score. He also caught three passes for 45 yards and a touchdown.
Gavin Johannsen had six carries for 30 yards and a score, with Ethan Anderson, Jackson MacFarlane and Adam Smith each with a touchdown reception.
Schneider booted 4-5 extra points and did a great job of kicking the ball deep on kick-offs.
Connor Craven caught Welk’s pass on WHA’s only two-point conversion attempt.
Thanks to a nice opening kick-off return, the Tigers marched down the field until the Wolves’ defense stiffened.
A sack by Hansen on fourth-and-five at the 20 gave the ball to WHA. Twelve plays later and after converting on a fourth-down play on Welk’s 10-yard run, Johannsen scored on a one-yard plunge on the first play of the second quarter. Schneider adding the extra point fro a 7-0 lead.
The Tigers’ next drive was a three-and-out after a sack by Strosahl on second down, and Craven and Smith teaming up to take the quarterback down inside the 15 on the next play.
Slagle returned the punt 11 yards to set the Wolves up with great field position at the 29. It took WHA only four plays to score, but only after two false-start penalties, as Anderson leaped above a defender to bring in Welk’s 29-yard pass for the score. Schneider’s kick just missed, but the Wolves were firmly in control.
After another three-and-out by Pine River, Welk took his team down the field with Hausken taking four handoffs for 32 yards and catching two passes for 25 yards including a seven-yard catch for a score with 1:24 left in the half. Schneider’s kick was true to extend WHA’s lead to 21-0 at the break.
The Wolves received the second-half kick-off and marched down the field. Hausken capped the 11-play 60-yard drive with a one-yard run on fourth-and-goal.
The defense got the ball right back as Slagle picked off a pass at WHA’s 30. Seven plays later Welk found MacFarlane wide open in the end zone for the score.
WHA’s final score came by the JV team. Twins Jacob Smith and Adam Smith hooked up on a nine-yard pitch and catch, capping a nine-play drive that began at WHA’s 27 after Pine River turned the ball over on downs.