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Hornets win border town brawl

Hornets win border town brawl Hornets win border town brawl

Colby defeats Abby in first game since ‘67

For the first time in over a half century the Colby Hornets and Abbotsford Falcons met on a football field, their first such meeting since 1967.

Colby was victorious on that night, and 53 years later that outcome remained the same as the Hornets topped Abby 44-6, only this time there’s a rivalry trophy in place and the two are now rivals in the Marawood Conference.

In the past 50 years each team has accomplished much, with Colby winning three state titles, while Abby has dominated the Cloverwood Conference, reaching the state semifinals three of the last four seasons.

However, this year Colby is unbeaten, while Abby is in a state of rebuilding. Abbotsford head coach Jake Knapmiller knew the Hornets would be one of their biggest tests of the year, but he preferred to focus on what his team could do, and let the chips fall where they may.

“We worried about ourselves. We . . .did our jobs, and they just made plays because they were more athletic than us. That isn’t [something] we can control.”

Colby took possession first at their 35yard line and gained one first down but the drive was short lived, with a fumble at Abby’s 26-yard line. On the Falcons second play they fumbled, and junior defensive end Andrew Jeske pounced on the ball, giving Colby excellent field position at the Falcon’s 27-yard line.

On Colby’s seventh play of the drive, junior quarterback Brent Jeske found the end zone from five yards out, and sophomore kicker Tucker Brost booted the PAT giving Colby a 7-0 with 5:19 left in the first quarter.

Abbotsford started their next possession at their own 20-yard line and were forced to punt after three plays. Once again the Hornets started their possession at their own 35-yard line and quickly went to work offensively.

Colby picked up three straight first downs, and on the fifth play, sophomore running back Caden Healy went around the right edge on a sweep and broke free from 26-yards out and into the end zone. Brost kicked the PAT, giving Colby a 14-0 lead with no time left in the first.

The Falcons took over possession at their own 38-yard line, and on the third play Abby’s Hunter Soyk found a streaking Cade Faber down the sideline. Soyk’s pass was perfectly placed, and Faber’s reception went for 47 yards.

Two plays later and Faber was leaping into the end zone, scoring on a 10-yard run. Abby missed the PAT, so Colby held a 14-6 lead with 8:50 left in the first half.

The Hornets started their next possession at their own 30-yard line and went on an impressive thirteen play drive with five first downs. The long drive ended with a two yard run from senior Joe Hawthorne. The PAT failed, but the Hornets held a 20-6 lead with 2:32 left in the second quarter.

The Falcons started their next possession at their own 40-yard line, but bobbled snaps and Colby’s defense forced a punt after three plays. Colby took over at the Falcons 40-yard line and it didn’t take long for Colby to find the end zone.

On the fourth play of the drive, Hawthorne scored his second touchdown of the night from seven yards out, but the two point conversion was unsuccessful, and the Hornets held a 26-6 lead with only 24 seconds left in the first half.

The Falcons took over at their own 37yard line and ran a pitch to Soyk. That’s when Hawthorne introduced himself to the Abby senior, reading the play and perfectly tackling Soyk with such force the ball popped out. Tristen Stange recovered the ball at the Falcons’ 25-yard line. Colby had three opportunities to score, but Hawthorne was stopped just short after hauling in a pass from Jeske at the four yard line.

“We played pretty good in the first half despite taking two weeks off,” Colby head coach Jim Hagen stated. “Other than those two plays on defense, I thought we played really well on that side of the ball. Offensively, we had twelve plays of over 10-yards, and moved the ball fairly consistently.”

For the Falcons, it was a case of doing some things well, but lacking the consistency, a problem that has plagued Abby all season long.

“We were disappointed in not giving them a more consistent look. We didn’t make them any better by the execution we lacked,” Knapmiller said. “We played hard, just not all doing the right things together at once most of the time!”

Abbotsford took over possession first in the second half at their own 24-yard line, but could not get a first down. With the help of a bad punt, the Hornets took over at the Falcons 30-yard line. On the fifth play, Brent Jeske hit a wide open senior Mason Schmutzler over the middle for an eight yard scoring strike. The PAT failed, but the Hornets now lead 32-6 with 8:16 left in the third quarter.

The Falcons took over at their 32-yard line, and after six plays were forced to punt, giving the Hornets field position at their own 40-yard line. On the fourth play of the drive, Brent Jeske scored for the second time of the night from 17-yards out and once again the two point conversation failed, but the Hornets now had a commanding 38-6 lead with 2:01 left in the third quarter.

“We felt like we had them in some early third and fourth and longs, and their QB just made some plays,” Knapmiller said about Jeske’s night. “The speed Colby has is similar, but not quite to Edgar’s level, so we had a taste of it. They have the total package though, with a big athletic line too.”

Abbotsford took over possession at their own 20-yard line and were forced to punt after four plays, where the Hornets took over at the Falcons 35-yard line. Seven plays later senior running back Ross Elmhorst found the end zone from a yard out. Once again the PAT failed, giving the Hornets a 44-6 lead with 9:18 left in the game and the score remained that way.

Colby amassed 415 yards of total offense, with 360 rushing yards and 55 passing yards. Brent Jeske lead the Col- by ground attack with 18 carries for 187 yards and two touchdowns, Mason Voss added 12 carries for 75, Joe Hawthorne had 10 carries for 49 yards and two touchdowns. Caden Healy finished with two carries for 30 yards and one touchdown.

Jeske completed four of seven passes for 55 yards and one touchdown. The Falcons were held to 108 total yards, with 40 yards rushing and 68 yards passing.

Faber and Soyk led Abby. Soyk finished three for eight with 68 yards. Faber had two receptions for 53 yards and rushed for 26 yards, and had Abby’s lone TD.

“This was a nice win for our team against a program that has been so successful for the past many years. Our defense played extremely well all night long and offensively we had eleven different players touch the ball, and had four different players score,” Hagen said in remarks after the game.

The Falcons are now 2-3 overall, with a 1-3 record in the Marawood. Abby has opted out of the postseason, but will play Thorp on Thursday, Nov. 19.

Colby finishes their regular season with a 5-0 record, and 3-0 record in the Marawood. Colby has been placed in a four team bracket for the mini post season, and received the number one seed. They will host fourth seed Stanley-Boyd on Friday, Nov. 13, at 7 p.m.

MAD HOPS - Mason Schmutzler shows off his vertical as the 5’9” Hornet knocks the ball out of the hands of Abby’s 6’4” Mason Carpenter.

SOYK SCANS THE FIELD -Abby QB Hunter Soyk looks downfield for a receiver. Soyk completed three passes for 63 yards.

CROSS-TOWN CLASH -Colby’s Joe Hawthorne (#87) wraps up Abby’s Mason Carpenter (#3) as the two schools battled in a cross town conference contest. STAFF PHOTO/ROSS PATTERMANN