PAULLINA - The visiting Hinton Blackhawks returned the opening kickoff for a 95-yard score to open the game against South O'Brien here on Friday, a foreshadowing of things to come for the Wolverines' special teams.
Their problems with special teams continued as the Blackhawks piled up 148 yards on kick returns, blocked a South O'Brien punt attempt down to the 10-yard line, and ran a successful fake punt for a first down.
On the other hand, South O'Brien got a 42-yard kick return by Matt DeVos to set up the third score of the game, and the Wolverines also punted a ball to the 2-yard line and held Hinton and forced them to punt out of their own endzone, which gave the Wolverines great field position. This allowed them to tie the game at 14-14 with 7:15 to go in the 3rd quarter. so the play of the special teams played a big part in this game,from both positive and negative perspectives.
The fourth quarter proved very exciting, as both teams scored twice.
For the Wolverines, Austin Rohrs followed up the Matt DeVos return with a 50- yard run on first down. The final score, and the one that put the Wolverines ahead, came on an Austin Rohrs 1-yard run with 45 seconds to go in the game, which tied the score at 27-27. Michael Callahan kicked the extra point through the uprights to seal the game for the Wolverines at 28-27.
Zach Nieman was South O'Brien's leading rusher with 24 carries for 160 yards and one score, while Austin Rohrs rushed 11 times for 91 yards and three touchdowns. QB Kody Nelson was 3-5 passing for 80 yards and had one of his aerials intercepted. Michael Callahan was 4-4 on PAT kicks.
Defensively, the Wolverines held Hinton to 10 yards rushing on 35 carries and 10-22 passing for 120 yards. Austin Rohrs led all tacklers with eight solos and four assists, while Kody Nelson had two interceptions and Sam Weber had another one.
This week, the Wolverines are home again to face LeMars Gehlen.
SOS Coach Mark Fuhrman said, "It is going to take a more focused effort on our part to keep things going. We can't keep giving up field position on special teams. They (Gehlen) are going to try and pass the ball around some and are very hungry for their first win."