PLAINVIEW — A nice, heart-stopping, dramatic rally for a win is always what the football gods order when a team needs a boost.
So, conveniently it came Friday night for the Hartington-Newcastle Wildcats as they rallied from an early 22-0 deficit and a late 30-20 hole to win 34-30 at Plainview and move the Wildcats’ record to 2-2 at the halfway mark of the season.
The Wildcats had 417 total yards of offense (246 rushing and 171 passing), as Riley Sudbeck threw for 163 yards and a score and ran for 139 more yards on 30 carries and three touchdowns.
The sophomore also added five tackles on defense.
Classmate Kale Korth ran for 67 yards on 12 carries and the other touchdown while recording 12 tackles.
Jake Peitz made five catches for 113 yards and the lone score through the air while recording a 36-yard run.
Seth Pinkelman had 13 tackles and Daniel Steffen added nine tackles – 2.5 for loss – and a sack.
“This was a game of extreme highs and lows,” HNS head coach Corey Uldrich said. “Early on in the game, we just misfired on some opportunities so we had offensively to put up big plays and to score some points. To Plainview’s credit, they started well offensively and scored the game’s first 22 points. I really thought that our score right before half with three seconds left to get within 22-6 was a pivotal point in the game.”
The Wildcats had the momentum heading into the locker room and that mojo clearly carried over.
“We came out and scored first in the third quarter,” Uldrich said. “I think it signaled that we were going to find a way to get back into the game. I was extremely pleased with a number of players’ performances, so picking out a few is really hard.
“I think that our sophomore linebackers, Kale Korth and Seth Pinkelman, deserve huge kudos for the way they played. They made a combined 25 tackles, which is a good feat for two young men starting together defensively for the first time.”
Uldrich said that the trench warfare went the Wildcats’ way in the second half which helped spark the rally.
The group of Ayden Rosener, Kam Hoesing, Parker Hopping, Daniel Steffen, Jake Peitz, and Turner Dendinger really showed up huge for us and helped set the tone at the line of scrimmage,” Uldrich said. “I think one of our biggest areas of improvement this week was how many different players we got involved in the game offensively, which made us less predictable. We had completions to five different players and had four players with at least one rushing attempt.
“We will need to continue to be diverse to keep teams honest defensively.”
Korth agreed that after Riley Sudbeck called out the team’s toughness a week ago, the Wildcats delivered on the challenge.
“The win was amazing: We felt so pumped up after that because we needed that pretty bad since we were feeling pretty down,” Korth said, referring to the win coming after two losses. “It was that extra little umph in practice last week. It was that extra effort. We were all confident that we could beat them. Coach gave us a speech that we had to be better on the front line, you need to block longer and each second matters on your block. It really motivated us to play harder.
“We met the challenge. We worked harder, hit harder, blocked harder and ran harder and ultimately played a better game. We were tough from the start, we just needed the motivation. We could have been 4-0 right now.”
The Wildcats next face a tough, Top 10 quality Laurel-Concord-Coleridge team 3 p.m. Friday.
“This is a team that has some exceptional talent and ability, headlined by their all-state running back Evan Haisch,” Uldrich said. “We’ll prepare hard and continue to push for improvements this week, and I expect that we will show up to compete Friday afternoon.”
Hartington-Newcastle 0 6 14 14—34
Plainview 14 8 8 0—30
Ttl yds 417
PASSING Riley Sudbeck,11-23-168; Lane Heimes, 1-1-3.
RUSHING HNS - Riley Sudbeck, 30-139; Kale Korth, 12-67; Jake Peitz, 1-36; Lane Heimes, 2-4.
RECEIVING HNS - Jake Peitz, 5-113; Turner Dendinger, 3-22; Lane Heimes, 2-22; Aiden Rosener, 1-11; Carson Jones, 1-3.
TACKLES HNS - Seth Pinkelman, 13; Kale Korth, 12; Lane Heimes, 11; Aiden Rosener, 9; Daniel Steffen, 9; Riley Sudbeck, 5; Reece Morten, 3; Jake Peitz, 3; Camden Hoesing, 3; Turner Dendinger, 2; Dayton Sudbeck, 2; Cole Heimes, 1; Parker Hopping, 1;
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