It was a sell-out COVID-capacity crowd on hand to watch the season-opener between Mound Westonka and Providence Academy. Everyone in attendance, from players and coaches to parents and fans were ready to kick off the season, a little later than normal, but with no less enthusiasm. The White Hawks and the Lions gave the fans a game worth waiting for.
The first half of the game was all White Hawks. The White Hawks came out right away and scored on a long and solid drive, ending with a touchdown by senior captain Tucker Anderly in the first quarter. The Lions had no response and the White Hawks defense was clutch, keeping yards to a minimum and recovering a fumble to set up a touchdown pass from Tyler Von Bank to Joe Zachow. The White Hawks took a 14-0 lead midway through the second quarter. The Lions had no response. With only 56 seconds left in the first half, the White Hawks pinned the Lions back on a phenomenal punt by senior captain Trent Bowe and a touchback saving tip by senior EJ Van Dyken. The White Hawks defense then held strong forcing the Lions to punt from inside their own 10. Senior Logan Leonard came up big on fourth down, blocking the punt and recovering it in the endzone for a touchdown. The extra point by Ben Neve made it 21-0 White Hawks going into the half.
The Lions however, would come back with a roar in the second half. The Lions first drive took almost 13 minutes off the clock and ended with a touchdown and extra point making it 21-7. The White Hawks couldn’t answer and the Lions started down the field again. Trent Bowe interrupted their drive with an interception on the one yard line, but despite the big play, Westonka’s offense could not move the ball. Providence continued to dominate in the second half, and despite some big defensive plays, like a tackle for loss on 4th down by EJ Van Dyken, Westonka could not capitalize. With six minutes left in the game, the Lions scored again, narrowing the White Hawks’ lead to 21-14. As was the story of the entire second half, the Lions couldn’t be tamed and with only 41 seconds left in the fourth quarter, they tied it up at 21, sending the game into Overtime.
The White Hawks got the ball first in overtime and started from the ten yard line. Von Bank started the drive with a two yard pickup. Thanks to some help from an offside Lion on second down, the ball moved again for Westonka. Bowe took the ball almost to the end zone but was stopped inches from the goal line. On third down, Anderly did what he does so well, and plowed his way into the endzone for a touchdown. The White Hawks missed the extra point wide left, pressuring their defense even more to keep the Lions from scoring. On the last drive of the game, the Lions could not move the ball. With 4th down and 8 yards to go, Anderly intercepted the pass, ending the game with an interception and a White Hawks Victory.
Scoring touchdowns for the White Hawks were Joe Zachow and Logan Leonard each with one, and Tucker Anderly with two. Both Ben Neve and Manu Jordan both contributed extra points. Leading rushers were Tyler Von Bank with 65 yards, and Tucker Anderly with 52 total yards on the ground. Logan Leonard led the team with 65 receiving yards. On defense, Michael Nolan led the team with 15 tackles and a sack. Logan Leonard contributed to 10 tackles and Trent Bowe had 9. Junior Andrey Sivtsov and Sophomore Cam Peterson each had 8 tackles. Anderly and Bowe both recorded interceptions and senior Lance Munsterteiger and Sivtsov both recovered fumbles.
Coach David said afterwards, “I couldn’t be more proud of these players, coaches, and team. They have all been through a lot these past few months with our season being cancelled and then reinstated and to come out and start the game as crisp as we did, and finish the way that we did when our backs were against the wall is a credit to their leadership and resiliency.”
Next up, the White Hawks schedule does not get any easier as they travel to SMB for a 1 p.m. game on Thursday, Oct. 15. The SMB Wolfpack has played in the Class AAAA Championship Game each of the past two seasons, winning it all in 2018, and finishing as the runner-up last season. Livestream is available at https://www.nfhsnetwork.com/search/?query=mound%20westonka.