By Matt Funderburk ’21
Coming off its first playoff win in 30 years, the Mound Westonka White Hawks football team moved on to face No. 2-seeded Holy Angels in the Section 5AAAA semifinals on Oct. 28. The team played hard through the last whistle but ended up coming short in a 34-7 loss.
The White Hawks held the Stars scoreless through the first quarter with tough defense. At the 4:51 mark in the second quarter, Holy Angels scored on a 52-yard touchdown pass to take a 7-0 lead. The Stars scored again with two minutes left in the second quarter, this time on a 30-yard touchdown pass, to lead 14-0 at halftime.
After a scoreless third quarter with lots of punts, the White Hawks finally got on the board with 9:49 left in the fourth when senior quarterback Brandon Hokkanen threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to tight end Thomas Elliott to cut the deficit to 14-7. Things looked like they were going the White Hawks’ way until Holy Angels managed to score a 24-yard rushing touchdown to make the score 20-7 after a missed extra point.
The White Hawks suddenly found themselves down by two scores with only six minutes to go and had no choice but go for it on fourth down. They did not succeed, and Holy Angels got the ball back with good field position. After a relatively close game, Holy Angels scored a big 49-yard rushing touchdown to make the score 27-7. After the White Hawks were stopped again on fourth down, Holy Angels put the final nail in the coffin by scoring yet another rushing touchdown, this time for 16 yards, with 50 seconds remaining. The final score was 34-7, ending the White Hawks’ memorable season.
Despite the loss, the White Hawks had many players who had great nights. Senior wide receiver Evan Dahl had 13 catches with 99 yards receiving and had an interception on defense. Junior quarterback Brandon Hokkanen competed 23 out of 38 passes for 199 yards with one touchdown pass.
The 2017 White Hawks accomplished a lot, including winning their first playoff game since 1987 and claiming the subdistrict championship for the third year in a row, even after losing many star players to graduation last year and moving into a much tougher conference.
“I could not be prouder of [the team’s] efforts against Holy Angels and throughout this past season,” said David. “They have battled through a lot of adversity and showed a tremendous amount of resiliency throughout the season.”
David credited this year’s seniors for contributing to the team’s success. “I told people all offseason that although we don’t have a lot of seniors, we have the right 10 that you would want walking off the bus,” said David. “This year’s senior class has played an integral role in helping change the football culture here at MWHS, being a part of three straight district championships.”
“I couldn’t be prouder of what these boys have accomplished, and I am confident that all of them will be very successful as they move on in life,” David added.
Photos by Dennis Hoogeveen
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