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Luke Schieltz runs the ball to the 3-yard line to set up the sixth Blazer touchdown against South Hardin, all before halftime.

From the quick interception by Michael Dinan to the last touchdown from Owen Huehnergarth, the Beckman boys were in control of their first-round Class 1A playoff game with South Hardin, Oct. 22, at Beckman Field. The Blazers handed the Tigers their sixth loss of the season (3-6) while keeping their own unblemished record perfect (9-0).

Dinan picked off Tiger quarterback Mason Sheldahl on the game’s third play, running the interception back 18 yards to set up the next play and Huehnergarth’s first touchdown from the five, with just 1:16 gone in the game. Max Mullis made the first of his six extra-point kicks in place of an injured Logan Burchard, and the Blazers were off to the races, literally.

The Tigers were a pass first, then second, then again team compared to the run attack from the Blazers. And the run attack prevailed, with the Blazers gaining 185 of their 247 yards on the ground, compared to the Tigers’ 14 yards in 15 attempts. They did connect for 204 yards through the air on 17 of 37 tries.

On the Tigers’ next possession, they managed a first down but failed to make the two yards needed to keep the drive going, handing possession to the Blazers at their 39. 11 plays later, Cayden Gassmann hit Eric Heinrichs with a short pass from eight yards for their next touchdown, 14-0.

Just into the second quarter, Huehnergarth rushed 11 yards for the next tally to make it 21-0 with 11:53 left on the clock. The Tigers tried a fake punt after being held to three-and-out and Patrick Gallagher was there to take it away, setting the Blazers up at the 25. Four Nick Wulfekuhle rushes later, Huenergarth capped the drive with a two-yard scamper to make it 28-0.

It took them just six plays to stymie South Hardin at the 49 and re-take possession, ending with another Huehnergarth touchdown at the 3:25 mark to start the continuous clock.

With 3:42 left in the third quarter, Huenergarth rolled into the endzone for the fifth time and a 42-0 mark. Sheldahl finally connected with an open Ryan Walters for a 41-yard scoring catch-and-run against the Beckman relief squad with 4:01 left in the game, but couldn’t connect on the PAT kick.

Coach Mark Atwater was pleased with the game’s results. “I was extremely happy with how our boys came out and played. The atmosphere was different and the energy level seemed to be a little bit down and that made me nervous. But right from the jump, the guys were ready. That is a testament to our senior group. They get the guys ready to play.

“Our defense really made some big plays. They stood up to a lot of throws and covered things well. That gave the offense short fields and, any time we have short fields, we have done a great job of punching the ball in.

“This win puts us in an awesome position going into the round of 16. We get a good West Branch team coming to our place, a team we know well. They have gotten the better of us the last few years and we are excited for the challenge.”

Beckman’s leaders were: passing — Gassmann 3-of-7 for 62 yards and one TD; receiving — Heinrichs 1-for-32, Huehnergarth 1-for-26, Luke Schieltz 1-for-4; rushing — Huehnergarth 17-for-93 and five TDs, Wulfekuhle 9-for-62, Schieltz 4-for-30, Johan Platel 2-for-4; punting — Mullis 1-for-25; tackles — Huehnergarth 4.5 (three solo, one for loss), Mullis and Conner Grover 3.5 (three), Eli Kluesner 3.5 (three, one), Ty Fangman three (one, one), Wulfekuhle, Schieltz and Ryan Funke 2.5 (one), Lane Kramer and Dinan two (one), Ben Lueck, Gallagher, Platel, Wyatt Schulte, Alex Hageman and Luke Harwick one (one), Elliot Naughton one.