Running game propels Hawley to state berth with win over Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton
FARGO -- Peder Naatz wasn't sure if his Hawley football team could match Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton's physical play.
It took the Nuggets one quarter to ease their coach's concerns.
Nate Mattson and Kevin Olson combined for 133 yards and two touchdowns in the first quarter, setting up a 26-7 Hawley victory in the Class 2A, Section 8 title game at the Fargodome.
"Those two were extremely tough to tackle, and we definitely played physical football up front," Naatz said. "That's the hardest Nate has run all year."
It is Hawley's fifth consecutive section title.
Mattson finished with
134 yards and a touchdown, while Olson tallied 119 yards and two scores in the win.
"That was a very physical football team, and they were very well coached," D-G-F coach Tony Soderberg said. "They got off the ball and hit people in the mouth.
"They were so good. They did such a good job against us. Period."
Hawley's defense was rock-solid in the first quarter, too, holding the Rebels to just 1 yard of offense over the first 12 minutes.
But the Nuggets lead was sliced to 14-7 at the half when Eric Gilles hit Jared Roelofs - through triple coverage - for a 48-yard TD pass just 37 seconds before the break.
D-G-F had 118 yards in the second quarter, but 89 of them were on Roelofs' catch and a 41-yard run by Zack Askelson.
"That didn't worry us too much, because we had pretty much shut them down in the first half," Naatz said. "They had those two big plays. We just had to forget about them and win the second half."
The Nuggets made it 20-7 in the third quarter on Olson's second TD run, and then they owned the ball in the fourth quarter.
After picking off a pass on the first play of the final quarter, Hawley put together a 13-play drive down to the D-G-F 6-yard line that produced no points, but chomped 7:04 off the clock.
"We didn't score, but that might have been the biggest drive of the season," Naatz said. "That killed the clock and sealed the deal for us."
Hawley recovered a fumble two plays later, and Taylor Harms iced the win with a 7-yard TD run to make it 26-7 with 3:28 to play.
Hawley (10-1) takes on Moose Lake-Willow River at 6 p.m. Thursday in the Fargodome in the Class 2A quarterfinals.
The Rebels finish the season 9-2.
"We had a successful season, but didn't get to where we wanted to go," Soderberg said. "We put in the effort for it, but it didn't come out in our favor this time."
Hawley 14 0 6 6-26
DGF 0 7 0 0- 7
H: Olson 55 run (Arens kick)
H: Mattson 36 run (Arens kick)
DGF: Roelofs 48 pass from Gilles (Gilles kick)
H: Olson 8 run (kick failed)
RUSHING: H, Olson 19-134, Olson 14-119, Harms 9-41, Team 3-(minus 6). DGF, Askelson 12-65, Mercil 6-25, Roelofs 5-23, Gilles 6-(minus 13).
PASSING: H, Harms 2-3-0, 24 yards. DGF, Gilles 6-13-1, 83 yards.
RECEIVING: H, Grandbois 1-17, Arens 1-7. DGF, Dejong 3-28, Askelson 2-9, Roelofs 1-48, Baumgartner 1-(minus 2).