“I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour — his greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear — is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle — victorious,” once said Coach Vince Lombardi of the Packers.
Head football coach Steve Helminiak got the players pumped with this quote and words of encouragement going into the game against the Kohawks at Coe. But the outcome belied their effort.
Starting quarterback, sophomore Nolan Baumhover, came out and drove down to the red zone where the Duhawks couldn’t put the ball into the end zone and had to settle for a field goal kick by junior Mason Quigley. That was the last time the Duhawks got points until the third quarter. On the next drive, Baumhover threw an interception while in Kohawk territory. The Duhawks’ defense, however, was able to hold off Coe from making any touchdown in the first quarter. This was thanks to sophomore safety, Walter Ollie, stripping the ball just shy of the end zone. The outcome and hope was looking bright for the Duhawks.
The Kohawks capitalized three times in the second quarter to give them the lead of 21-3 going into half. The Duhawks had two interceptions and a fumble going into the second half, and one of the interceptions was returned for a touchdown. The second half was no better for the Duhawks. They gave up one field goal in the start of the third quarter and three touchdowns after that. Going into the last two minutes of the game, the Kohawks led the Duhawks 45-3. With an end of the game drive, the Duhawks finally capitalized. Baumhover threw a 17-yard pass to sophomore Brad Boelkow to get a touchdown with less than 30 seconds to go. The final score of the game was 45-10, Kohawks.
The past three games the Duhawks have struggled with getting the ball into the end zone, turning it over instead. The Duhawks have had 13 turnovers in these three games. It is hard to win having four or five turnovers a game. In the contest against the Kohawks, the Duhawks came up shy of 500 total offensive yards, with a total of 432. This is the first game that the opponent has had more total yards than the Duhawks with 571 total offensive yards. On paper, if not for the turnovers, the Duhawks could potentially be 3-0 and not 0-3. But 13 turnovers have done lots of damage.
Coming back home for a game against Central, the Duhawks need to work on holding onto the ball and clicking on offense. Helminiak remains proud of his team, however.
“Perseverance … perseverance right now. Our guys are tough and steely guys that will continue to battle no matter what the odds are. They will come ready to play each and every week. We have a tough, mentally tough group of guys,” he said.
The Duhawks will be happy to be home for their next two games. They will play Central on Saturday, Sept. 24, with a 1 p.m. kickoff for Military Appreciation Day. The following week, Loras hosts Buena Vista in its Homecoming game.