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Prairie du Chien Football rallies for last minute win over La Crosse Aquinas

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Prairie du Chien wide receiver Drake Ingham comes down with the game winning touchdown against two time defending state champion La Crosse Aquinas with 48 seconds left in the game on Friday, August 18. (Derick Kelly/Courier Press)

Blake Thiry breaks through a group of La Crosse Aquinas defenders in the second half of the Hawks win over the Blugolds. (Derick Kelly/Courier Press)

Despite the crowded scene between them, quarterback Abe Amundson (6) connects with Drake Ingham (11) on a pass. (Derick Kelly/Courier Press)

A group of Prairie du Chien football players react after defeating the two-time defending Division 5 state champions. (Derick Kelly/Courier Press)

By Derick Kelly

 

The Prairie du Chien Blackhawks varsity football opened the 2023 season last Friday, August 18 by hosting the two-time defending D5 State Champions, the La Crosse Aquinas Blugolds, a team that had defeated PdC in each of the last two season-opening games.

Aquinas struck early as they scored on a six yard touchdown run in both the first and second quarters to take a 12-0 lead minutes before halftime. The Hawks did stop the Blugolds on both of their two-point conversion attempts, a feat that would play a significant factor later in the game.

The Hawks managed to get on the scoreboard for the first time this season with 4:46 left in the second quarter when Blake Thiry scored on a 32-yard touchdown run to cut the deficit in half before the Hawks defense held Aquinas scoreless the rest of the first half.

PdC received the ball after halftime and proceeded to march down the field eating 10:37 off the clock in the third quarter before a 28-yard field goal by Xander DeHart made the score 12-9 in favor of Aquinas.

Despite Aquinas managing to block a 33-yard field goal attempt by DeHart with 6:15 left in the game, the Hawks were able to keep momentum during the second half by shutting down the Aquinas offense, only allowing them to gain three total yards of offense in the second half.

PdC’s offense took possession at midfield with 4:32 left in the game and again marched down the field while controlling the clock. The Blugold defense toughened up as the Hawks neared the red zone. PdC faced a 3rd and 10 situation on the Aquinas 25 yard line with 56 seconds left in the game. The Hawks did not panic though as junior quarterback Abe Amundson fired a pass into the left hand corner of the end zone into the arms of senior wide receiver Drake Ingham for the go-ahead touchdown. DeHart converted the extra point kick to make a 16-12 in favor of Prairie du Chien with 48 seconds left in the game. Aquinas had a chance to respond but Prairie’s defense kept their focus and got a fourth down incompletion to seal the win.

Prairie’s defense limited Aquinas to just 184 yards of offense, while the Hawks offense gained 289 yards. Amundson was 6-of-9 passing for 78 yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception while Thiry ran for 137 yards and 1 touchdown on 15 attempts, with senior Drew Hird adding 64 yards on 22 attempts. Thiry also added 43 yards receiving on 3 catches, with Ingham adding 28 yards and one touchdown on two receptions.

Next up for the Hawks is another marquee non-conference matchup as they travel to Darlington on Friday, August 25 to face the Redbirds, a 2022 D6 State Semifinalist. Game starts at 7 p.m.

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