HARTINGTON - A well balanced offense and hungry defense helped Hartington-Newcastle blow past Chambers/Wheeler Central/Ewing with a 46-12 win on Friday night. It was a battle of tow ranked teams with HNS starting the season ranked tenth in Class D2 by Huskerland Prep, while CWCE also was ranked tenth but in the Lincoln Journal Star.
“[The win] is great for the team and everything, since the Lincoln Journal Star and Omaha World Herald didn’t put us in there but [Lincoln] put CWCE in,” said senior leader Turner Korth. “Then we come out and score 46 on them and it just shows that we should be up there instead of those guys.”
HNS saw five different players find the end zone - scoring three in the air and four on the ground.
HNS started the season with a three and out after CWCE keyed in on stopping the rush. The defensive strategy made sense with senior Ethan Koch returning from a 1,000 yard rushing season and being named to the Huskerland Prep Preseason All-State team.
“If you look at us on paper, teams are probably going to look at taking Ethan [Koch] away because he was our leading rusher last year,” said HNS head coach Corey Uldrich. “I mean I think he was preseason All-State in the [Huskerland Prep Report] magazine, so he is a guy that just draws attention. As the game went on we found ways to use him as a runner and sometimes as a decoy. We have enough guys as weapons that if we get the ball in their hands in space then we will have success with about anyone we give the ball to.”
The Renegades got on the board first with a 16 yard run by running back Wyatt Wagner to make the score 6-0.
“There is just something about a first game that there are so many things that you are not sure how kids are going to react when it actually happens,” said Uldrich. “So I think you saw very early some jitters on the first offensive and defensive possession, and then once we settled in I think things were a lot better.”
HNS soon took control, responding back with a 27 yard touchdown pass from Morten to senior Lincoln McPhillips. The senior wideout would finish the night with three receptions for 78 yards and a touchdown.
“On my first touchdown I threw it up to Lincoln [McPhillips] on a go,” said Morten. “His guy wasn’t guarding him that well and I knew Lincoln was a great receiver so I just threw it up to him.”
Morten would soon add another touchdown pass to his stats with a 29 yard throw and catch to Turner Korth. It would lengthen the HNS lead to 13-6 going into the second quarter.
“On the second touchdown pass, Turner [Korth] stopped a little bit and his defender bit on it,” said Morten. “Then he went deep for a touchdown and I threw it because I knew he would be open.”
The passing threat forced the CWCE defense to play back off the ball, and that is when Morten took advantage with his feet on a read play that he kept on a 25 yard touchdown run.
Morten’s stellar first half would come with a blemish of an interception right before halftime, but Hartington-Newcastle would lead Chambers/Wheeler Central/Ewing 19-6 at halftime.
In the second half the running backs started to break free. Koch starting things off with a 25 yard touchdown run five minutes into the second half. He would finish his night with ten rushes for 85 yards and one touchdown.
The Renegades would then make a push on their next drive, marching down the field to the Hartington-Newcastle three yard line. The Wildcats stood tough and allowed no points, with Korth forcing a turnover on downs with a sack on fourth down. Korth led the team with 15 tackles, and has led the Wildcats in tackles for the past two seasons.
Not too soon after, sophomore Kobe Heitman would join the party, scoring on a 36 yard run. The Laurel-Concord-Coleridge transfer did not have the opportunity for much of a break with Korth recovering a fumble on the first defensive play after the touchdown. It didn’t seem to matter to Heitman, who ran for a 24 yard touchdown on the first play of the offensive drive following the fumble recovery. That would bring the score to 40-6 at the end of the third quarter.
HNS would score once more on another pass from Morten to Korth, this one for 29 yards. Korth would be tackled into the end zone, rolling with the tackle into a flip that got him across the goal line.
Uldrich would play the rest of the fourth quarter pretty safe, getting some experience to young, new guys. CWCE would score one more touchdown with 12 seconds left in the game to make the final score of 46-12.
Having five players score touchdowns in the season opener, HNS now brings the momentum from it’s win to Niobrara/Verdigre on Friday night for the second game of the season.
CWCE 6 0 0 6 12
HNS 13 6 21 6 46
Team Stats CWCE HNS
Total Off. 109 296
Passing Yds 37 150
Rushing Yds 72 146
Penalties-Yds 9-45 7-50
First Downs 9 12
Hartington-Newcastle - Shaye Morten, 6-10 150 yds 3 TD 1 INT; Turner Korth, 0-1.
Hartington-Newcastle - Ethan Koch, 10-85 1 TD; Kobe Heitman, 10-79 2 TD; Shaye Morten, 10-2 1 TD; Turner Korth, 3- -11.
Hartington-Newcastle - Lincoln McPhillips, 3-78 1 TD; Turner Korth, 3-72 2 TD
Hartington-Newcastle - Turner Korth, 15; Ethan Koch, 10; Morgan Koch, 7; Carson Sudbeck, 6; Kobe Heitman, 6; Shaye Morten, 5; Jake Peitz, 5; Dylan Dendinger, 4; Lincoln McPhillips, 4; Austin Burcham, 2.
HARTINGTON - The balance from the Hartington-Newcastle offense in both the passing and rushing game gave the Wildcats a dominating win on Friday night. Catch the highlights above, as well as the full length article in Wednesday's Cedar County News.