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Flying Arrows rally late to stun the Hawks 28-27

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Bryce Lenzendorf (44) breaks through a group that includes an official, two blockers in Drake Ingham (11) and Max Schneider (64), and three defenders to score his first career touchdown during the first quarter of the Hawks loss to Lancaster on Friday, Sept. 1. (Derick Kelly/Courier Press)

Nick McCullick (20) looks to make a big return on a kickoff behind his blockers Jack MacEachern (61) and Drake Ingham (11). (Derick Kelly/Courier Press)

Hunter Straka (3) takes down the Flying Arrows ball carrier as Drew Hird (15) watches. (Derick Kelly/Courier Press)

By Derick Kelly

 

The difficult start to the Prairie du Chien football season schedule continued in week 3 as the Blackhawks hosted long-time rival Lancaster in the Southwest Wisconsin Conference opener for both teams, both undefeated on the season so far. These two programs have had a series of hard fought, down to the wire games recently, with the last three games (2018, 2020, and 2022) all being decided by seven points or fewer (after only six such games from 1989 to 2017) and this year would end up being no different.

After the Flying Arrows received the opening kick and marched down the field and scored on their opening drive to grab a quick 6-0 on the Hawks, Prairie du Chien answered with a long drive down the field that was capped off by a 16 yard touchdown run by Bryce Lenzendorf, his first of the season. Xander DeHart converted the extra point kick and the Hawks led 7-6 late in the first quarter.

The Arrows responded with another long scoring drive, marching 61 yards in 8 plays that was cemented by a 14 yard touchdown run. The Prairie defense once again stopped the Lancaster two-point attempt, so the Arrows led 12-7 with almost 11 minutes to go before halftime.

Prairie’s offense led a lengthy march down field that went 65 yards on 15 plays to use up  9:19 of the second quarter and was finished off by a 7 yard touchdown run by Blake Thiry. DeHart’s extra point attempt was no good, but the Hawks retook the lead 13-12 going into halftime.

Prairie du Chien came out in the third quarter and once again ate a major chunk of clock as they had done in each of the previous two weeks. First up was a 7 play, 94 yard drive that took 4:27 off the clock and was ended with a 60 yard touchdown run by Thiry.

The Hawk defense forced another three-and-out by the Flying Arrows offense to give the Hawks offense another chance to extend their lead. This time it was a 9 play, 60 yard drive that ate 4:37 of the third quarter clock before Lenzendorf ran in from five yards out for his second touchdown of the game. Thiry ran in the two-point conversion attempt to push the Hawks lead to 27-12 with 1:01 left in the third quarter.

Lancaster responded by using a 10 play, 64 yard drive that took 5:14 of game time to cut PdC’s lead to 7 after a touchdown and a successful two-point conversion got them back in the thick of things with 7:47 left in game.

Lancaster’s defense then forced a three-and-out from Prairie from PdC’s own 21 yard before a two-yard punt by the Hawks gave the Arrows terrific field position with 5:48 in the game. This time, Lancaster didn’t need a long drive down the field as the Arrows took just 2 plays and 17 seconds to score another rushing touchdown to make the score 27-26 in favor of the Hawks. Unlike last week at Darlington, the Hawks defense was unable to stop Lancaster on the two-point attempt, and the Arrows retook the lead at 28-27 with 5:31 left in the 4th quarter. However, the Arrows defense quickly forced another three-and-out from the Hawks offense, and then  were able to pick up a first down on a 4th-and-1 to run out the clock and seal the win for Lancaster.

The Hawks offense was lead by Blake Thiry, who rushed for 118 yards and 2 touchdowns on 12 attempts. Drew Hird added 70 yards rushing on 15 attempts, while Bryce Lenzendorf rounded out the rushing attack with 66 yards and 2 touchdowns on 11 attempts. Abe Amundson was 3-for-4 passing for 36 yards, with Thiry catching two of those passes for 34 yards, and Lenzendorf grabbing the other pass for 2 yards.

Next up for PdC Football is a trip to Richland Center on Friday, Sept. 8 at 7 p.m.

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