PAULLINA - The South O'Brien Wolverines picked up their first win Friday night at home versus Westwood with a 34-19 decision.
After allowing the visiting team a 52 yard pass with 9:43 to go in the first quarter, the Wolverines defense stiffened and picked up the first score of the second quarter. Ben Wagner picked up a fumble and scampered 60 yards for the score. Nick Massmann attempted the PAT kick but failed.
The Wolverines continued their scoring in the second quarter with 9:41 to go. Knute Klinker found the end zone on a 5-yard run. Nick Massmann put the extra point through and the Wolverines led for the first time of the evening. With 6:20 to go in the second quarter Westwood scored on a 23-yard halfback pass play. They missed the extra point and the score was tied.
The final score of the second quarter came on an 83-yard pass play from Knute Klinker to Jarod Syndergaard. The extra point kick failed but the Woverines were up 19-13. This was the score at half and was a lead the Wolverines would not give up.
The third quarter was a defensive battle by both teams with no one doing any scoring. The fourth quarter started with a safety for the Wolverines with 8:46 to go. Westwood snapped the ball over the punter's head and he was forced to kick it out the back of the endzone. The short field following the kick gave the Wolverines their first offensive drive of the game.
At this point Westwood was wearing down and the Wolverines were playing pretty physical football. "They were getting up pretty slow on every play," stated Coach Mark Fuhrman. "We definitely were in better shape and were using our shoulder pads. The drive ended in a 7-yard run by Tim Jenness over the goal line. Nick Massmann missed the extra point.
Westwood would score one more time but it wouldn't prove to be enough as Jarod Syndegaard put the final score up on a 35-yard interception for a score with 30 seconds to go. Nick Massmann added the PAT kick.
"Defensively we are starting to play as a team," said Fuhrman. "We stopped them on a goal line stand in the first quarter and followed it up with a defensive score by Ben Wagner. Cody Rehder also had an interception with a 38-yard return but we fumbled the ball and weren't able to take advantage of it.
"We have to take better control offensively. We fumbled the ball in critical situations. These were times when we could have put the game out of reach. We also need to figure out how to get ready to play. We seem to have that 'deer in the headlights' look when the game starts and it takes us some time to get going. The teams in our district are going to take advantage of that and we can't keep starting out in a hole every night.
"It was great to get a win and we definitely have something to build off. West Sioux is going to play hard at their home next week and there is no time to get comfortable with the win. We need to focus and continue to improve week after week."