In the 2016 meeting between the Mound Westonka and Patrick Henry football teams, the White Hawks gave their Homecoming crowd a lot to cheer about in a 29-0 shutout. This year’s matchup was more of the same, with the White Hawks picking up a decisive 49-0 win over the Patriots in the Sept. 15 home game.
Mound Westonka was already ahead 35-0 at halftime thanks in large part to senior running back Bobby Sweet, who broke his own single-game rushing record that he set the week before. Sweet gained 273 yards on the ground against the Patriots and had four consecutive rushing touchdowns in the first half.
The White Hawks offensive line—made up of seniors Marshall Boser, Jarek Witczek, Adam Hoogeveen and Bailey Ramlet and juniors Ben Wulf, Sam Kerr, Thomas Elliott and Alex Farwell—played strong all night to give Sweet clean running lanes.
“Once again, I cannot say enough about how well the offensive line played up front all night,” said White Hawks head coach Nick David. “Patrick Henry is a team that has given us some fits in the past couple of years due to their overall speed and quickness, but the boys did a fantastic job against them this season.”
The White Hawks scored a fifth touchdown before halftime off a 9-yard pass from junior quarterback Brandon Hokkanen to junior Thomas Elliott. It was the second time Hokkanen connected with Elliott for a touchdown this season.
Sweet ran for one more touchdown in the third quarter, bringing his season total to seven TDs in three games. In his first career varsity start, junior running back Esteban Fernandez-Armstrong totaled 39 yards on eight carries and recorded the final White Hawks touchdown of the night on a 7-yard run.
Hokkanen turned in another efficient performance, going 2-for-5. Senior kicker Jonathan Neve was 7-for-7 in extra points with four touchbacks on kickoffs as well.
This marked the second week in a row that the White Hawks forced at least four turnovers. Sophomore Seth Anderson paced the defense with eight tackles and a forced fumble. Junior Kris Kurtz recorded six tackles, recovered two fumbles and also intercepted a pass. Juniors Sam Dufault and Kareem Aly also forced fumbles. Aly recovered his own forced fumble on an impressive strip quarterback sack play.
Junior Luke Holmen recorded six tackles, and senior Andrew Fish and junior Zach Simmons pitched in five tackles apiece. Junior defensive lineman Jose Gonzalez and Alex Farwell also played well, plugging up holes and pressuring the Patrick Henry quarterback.
David said that his team was fortunate to have played two close contests to start the season, which allowed them to be more “battle tested” in Week 3. Although the Patrick Henry game was one-sided, the White Hawks gained valuable experience that they hope to bring into the postseason.
“When we do get opportunities to play in games where we have a large lead, we try to focus on the very minute details that are going to help us become more successful as we enter playoffs,” said David.
“We also are able to gain more depth at multiple positions, as we are able to get non-starters key varsity game reps,” David added. “This not only helps us from a game standpoint, but it also helps us create more competitive practices, as players have gained valuable varsity experience. As a result, we are much more even at positions across the board.”
The win set the White Hawks’ season off to an optimistic 3-0 start. White Hawks coaches said that the team is excited to play against a very well-coached Academy Force team this Friday, Sept. 22, in Woodbury. “They played in the section championship game last year, so we know we will have our hands full,” said David.
Photos by Dennis Hoogeveen
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