MANCHESTER — The game was expected to be competitive on paper.
West Delaware and Western Dubuque played on grass, which led to a result few would have predicted.
After giving up the opening score, the Hawks took control and dominated their way to a 49-14 victory over the Bobcats in a Class 3A District 3 prep football game Friday night at Brown Field. Jared Voss and Wyatt Voelker each surpassed 100 rushing yards and scored three touchdowns to power West Delaware to a fifth straight triumph over Western Dubuque.
“I don’t think anyone knew what the score was going to be,” Voelker said. “We knew we were going to win. We were confident scoring points. We came to play.”
The momentum shifted early after the Bobcats marched 66 yards on 10 plays, taking a 7-0 lead on their opening drive with a 22-yard touchdown pass from Garrett Baumhover to Tommy DeSollar on fourth-and-12.
Speedster Kyle Cole provided the spark the Hawks needed. He returned the following kickoff 76 yards to the Bobcats 5-yard line, setting up a 1-yard TD from Jared Voss two plays later.
“It was huge for us,” West Delaware Coach Doug Winkowitsch said. “Kyle is explosive. He’s an outstanding kid. Him having that answer I think that was probably the biggest moment of the night.”
The score was the beginning of five straight scoring drives that led to 34 unmatched points by halftime. The Hawks lived and thrived on Western Dubuque’s side of the field, starting four of their first-half drives inside or at midfield.
Voss added a second first-quarter TD, converting a fourth-and-3 with a 33-yard TD run, using a stiff arm to break free for the end zone and giving the Hawks a 14-7 lead.
He alternated TD runs with Voelker in the second quarter. Voelker scored on runs of 13 and 8 yards before the break. Voss added a 7-yard score set up by a Western Dubuque fumble.
“We had a lot of adrenaline,” Voelker said. “We were going to keep scoring points and we’re not going to stop until the game is over.”
West Delaware (6-1, 3-1) finished with 333 rushing yards. Voss rambled for 156, while Voelker amassed 105. Voss added 89 yards passing.
“I think the kids up front continue to improve, but both of those guys are just tough kids,” Winkowitsch said. “Jared is giving us so much on the ground and he’s managing the game well. Just throw it when you need to and wind it up and run it when you can.”
West Delaware’s defense took control the rest of the first half, forcing three punts, a turnover on downs and a turnover. The Hawks also parlayed an interception on the first play of the second half into points, leading to a Cole 27-yard run.
“Kyle Cole is the fastest guy I’ve ever met,” Voelker said. “He’s explosive and that’s what he does for us.”
Voelker had eight solo tackles and nine assists. Christian Nunley brought pressure and had a couple tackles for loss.
“We kind of felt them out a bit,” Winkowitsch said. “We weren’t sure what they were going to bring us. I thought our secondary kids did a fantastic job. We had to put on a little pressure.”
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Baumhover, who was among the state’s passing leaders, managed 130 passing yards and two scores. He hit Dakota Lau for a 19-yard score late to cap the scoring. Western Dubuque is 4-2 overall and 2-1 in district play.
“Give them credit for making the adjustments they needed to,” Bobcats Coach Justin Penner said. “They really had our number from there on out.
“They served us a pretty big slice of humble pie and a lot of things we have to get better at.”
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