Golden Hawks cruise, finish second in district

By Jeff Yoder
Posted 10/16/21

After a quiet first quarter, the home crowd in Mustang Stadium came alive following a 22-yard touchdown connection between a pair of Davis County seniors, cutting the Mid-Prairie lead to 14-8 with …

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Golden Hawks cruise, finish second in district

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After a quiet first quarter, the home crowd in Mustang Stadium came alive following a 22-yard touchdown connection between a pair of Davis County seniors, cutting the Mid-Prairie lead to 14-8 with 4:16 left in the half. 

But by halftime, the Mustang bleachers were silent again as Mid-Prairie took a 35-8 lead to the locker room. 

The Golden Hawks scored three touchdowns in a span of two minutes and 10 seconds on the way to a 49-32 win over Davis County. The victory secured second place in the district and a home playoff game for Mid-Prairie.

“I was really proud that we were able to convert late in the second quarter and get a couple touchdowns,” Mid-Prairie coach Pete Cavanagh said. “A couple turnovers there and we turned them over on downs and that was key. Their quarterback is key to their offense and we were able to kind of contain him the first half and then we got our offense going.”

Mid-Prairie answered the Davis County touchdown with a five-play 55-yard drive, capped by a 25-yard touchdown carry from senior running back Tyler Helmuth, who scored the first three touchdowns for Mid-Prairie. 

Special teams gave the Golden Hawks possession of the ball just 10 yards from the endzone less than a minute later. The Mustangs were unable to field Colin Miller’s kickoff cleanly and the ball was downed at the seven. After a three-and-out, Helmuth’s 20-yard punt return put the ball on the 10 and Braden Hartley carried it in two plays later.

Hartley finished with 120 yards and two touchdowns, while Helmuth rushed for 145. It was the second straight week that both backs rushed for over 100 yards behind the Mid-Prairie offensive line. 

“The line did a good job of not letting people through and not letting any tackles happen in the backfield,” said Zane Fisher, who was the only senior on the Mid-Prairie offensive line Friday. He said his teammates in the trenches are playing well heading into the postseason. 

“I think they're doing really good,” he said. “Half of them are pretty young and they’ve stepped up.”

Mid-Prairie converted on 4-of-6 third down opportunities in the first half. Sophomore Dylan Henry’s 10-yard catch on third-and-8 kept the Golden Hawks from a three-and-out on the opening possession. 

Golden Hawk senior Jack Pennington had two catches on third-and-7 in the first half. The first went for 18 yards and the second was a 15-yard conversion. Mid-Prairie would go on to score touchdowns on both drives. 

“I think we really drew them in with the run all night,” Pennington said. “We just pounded on them all night and then we would pull out a couple play action passes and they were just so sucked in all around. The corners and their safety were all just really far up so we were able to just burn them over the top.”

Will Cavanagh was 8-of-11 for 105 yards and a touchdown through the air. He also added a one-yard score on a goal line sneak in the third quarter. 

Cavanagh’s touchdown pass came after Miller picked off a pass in the final minute of the first half. He lofted a high pass for Cain Brown in the end zone near the pylon. Brown, who was playing in his first game since a week-two injury, lept and secured the football despite defensive pass interference on the play. 

“It was really nice,” Pennington said about his teammate’s grab. “I hope he can get back to full steam next week and we can be back to how we were in the early part of the year. "

Hartley led the defense with 10 tackles on Friday, and combined for a sack with Grady Gingerich, who had eight tackes. Justice Jones had 6.5 tackles and 1.5 for loss. 

Mid-Prairie did not lose a fumble or throw an interception in the game. The Golden Hawks intercepted two passes in the first half, including one by Pennington at his own 4-yard line. 

“That was just a great play by Colin Miller,” Pennington said. “It really wasn't much besides luck. He made a good play on the ball and it bounced around off the guys helmet and I just ended up coming up with it, so props to him on that one, that was a great play.”

Miller later intercepted a pass and returned it 28 yards to set up Mid-Prairie’s final touchdown of the first half. 

On Saturday morning, Mid-Prairie (5-3) learned that it will host Northeast (4-4) in a first-round playoff game on Friday. Northeast finished the season with home losses to Camanche and Monticello after a 3-0 start in district play. 

The Rebels freshman quarterback Gavin Kramer is sixth in Class 2A with 1,412 passing yards this season. 

Friday’s game will have a 7 p.m. kickoff in Wellman. 

“We're as healthy now as we have been, but we’re still a couple injuries away from not being as good as we need to be,” Cavanagh said after Friday’s win. “But I'm happy with the way the guys are playing with confidence right now.”

Scoring summary

Mid-Prairie     7  28  7  7  -  49

Davis County 0  8  8  16  -  32

MP - Tyler Helmuth 5 run (Colin Miller kick)

MP - Helmuth 3 run (Miller kick)

DC - Caeden Glosser 22 pass from Carson Maeder (Glosser pass from Maeder)

MP - Helmuth 25 run (Miller kick)

MP - Braden Hartley 5 run (Miller kick)

MP - Cain Brown 17 pass from Will Cavanagh (Miller kick)

DC - Gavin McCall 1 run (McCall rush)

MP - Cavanagh 1 run (Miller kick)

DC - Glosser 26 pass from Maeder (McCall rush)

MP - Hartley 29 run (Miller kick)

DC - Glosser pass from Maeder (McCall rush)

Mid-Prairie passing: Cavanagh 8-of-11, 1TD.

Rushing: Helmuth, 19-145, 3TDs; Hartley 16-120, 2 TDs; Dylan Henry 1-19; Cavanagh 6-14.

Receiving: Jack Pennington 3-36; Brown 1-17, 1TD; Grady Gingerich 1-14; Helmuth 1-14; Jarrett Hoffman 1-14; Henry 1-10.

Leading tacklers: Hartley 10; Gingerich 8; Justice Jones 6.5; Terry Bordenave 6. 

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