Wolfpack Puts Up Big Numbers Against Axtell

ELGIN — Two teams entered Elgin Field looking to make their mark in the D1 State Football Playoffs, one exited the field as victor on a sun-splashed Thursday afternoon.
Elgin Public-Pope John boosted their record to 7-2 with a 52 to 28 victory over Axtell in the opening round of the playoffs.
Dylan Behnk caught three touchdown passes and Andrew Fangman rushed for three touchdowns, The defense, after surrendering 22 points in the first half, gave up just six in the second half to hand Axtell their fifth loss of the season.
The Wolfpack lit up the scoreboard on the game’s first play from scrimmage as Fangman, who finished with 207 yards rushing, went 65 yards for the game’s first touchdown.
Axtell answered right back with a 12-play, 53-yard touchdown drive. Going into the game, Wolfpack Coach Randy Eisenhauer said the Wolfpack had to shut down Wildcat running back Cody Nickel. Early on, Nickel got his yards, but it was a 22-yard completion from quarterback Parker Sis to Adam Lundeen which set up their touchdown. Sis scored on a one-yard plunge.
The score was 8-all, but not for long as Schumacher went to the air on the next drive. He connected with Behnk for a 36-yard gain. Then, two plays later, he found Behnk in the left corner of the endzone for a 20-yard scoring strike with 4:46 left in the opening quarter.
Behnk set up the Wolfpack’s next score with a play on special teams. After a quarterback sack by Scott Moser forced the Wildcats to punt, Behnk burst through the line to block the kick, giving the Wolfpack the ball on Axtell’s 11-yard line. On the very next play, Schumacher found Behnk in the endzone for an 11-yard touchdown.
Down 16 points, Axtell came back with a heavy dose of Nickel running the ball. He gained 34 yards on four consecutive carries to put the ball on the Wolfpack 17-yard line. Two plays later, Nickel got the touchdown on a 10-yard run.
For a few moments, Axtell looked like they might make a game of it as they recovered a fumble on the Wolfpack’s 30-yard line. A Maxwell run of 21 yards down to the Wolfpack’s two-yard line was called back due to a holding penalty. On the very next play, Behnk intercepted a Sis pass to end the scoring threat.
The Wolfpack then went 51 yards in eight plays. Schumacher completed a 15-yard pass to senior Austin Meis, then found Kyle Kallhoff for 12 yards, down to the three-yard line. From there, Fangman ran it in on the next play.
Axtell added one more touchdown before halftime on a six-yard run by Maxwell. The two-point conversion was no good, thanks to Behnk batting the ball down in the endzone.
The Wildcats recovered another Wolfpack fumble to set up one last drive before halftime. They attempted a 30-yard field goal, on the last play of the half, but it went wide right.
Coach Eisenhauer made a halftime adjustment which caught the Wildcats off guard. He decided to mix in runs by Kallhoff and Chad Bode since the Axtell defense was keying on Fangman. Bode gained 19 yards on two carries and the Wolfpack overcame a holding penalty to keep the drive alive. With the ball on Axtell eight-yard line, Kallhoff bulled his way into the endzone.
On their next possession, the Wolfpack scored again as Behnk caught his third touchdown pass, this one good for 19 yards.
Axtell’s Jarett Bertrand returned the ensuing kickoff down to the Wolfpack’s 16-yard line. Three plays later the Wildcats were in the endzone, thanks to a six-yard run by Nickel.
Fangman scored the team’s final touchdown, with just under five minutes left to play in the fourth quarter to account for EPPJ’s final points.
Wolfpack reserves finished out the final moments of the game.
The Wolfpack had 423 yards of total offense in the game. Fangman led all rushers with 207 yards. Behnk caught five balls for 89 yards and Schumacher completed eight of 10 passes for 120 yards.
On defense, Bode and Fangman each had 15 tackles to lead the Wolfpack.
Wolfpack 52, Wildcats 28
EPPJ…………..…24 8 6 14 — 52
Axtell…………..…16 6 0   6 — 28
EPPJ — Andrew Fangman 65 run (Seth Schumacher run)
AXT — Parker Sis 1 run (Sis pass to Colton Maxwell)
EPPJ — Dylan Behnk 20 pass from Schumacher (Fangman run)
EPPJ — Behnk 1 pass from Schumacher (Schumacher pass to Behnk)
AXT — Cody Nickel 10 run (Nickel run)
EPPJ — Fangman 3 run (Fangman run)
AXT — Maxwell 6 run (PAT failed)
EPPJ — Kyle Kallhoff 8 run (Kallhoff run)
EPPJ — Behnk 19 pass from Schumacher (Fangman run)
AXT — Nickel 6 run (PAT failed)
EPPJ — Fangman 5 run (PAT failed)
Team statistics        EPPJ
Total plays           62
First downs           18
Penalties/Yds          2/15
Rushing         59/303
Passing             8/10/0
Passing Yds          120
Total Offense          423
Fumbles lost            2
Interceptions by            1
Individual statistics
Rushing — Kyle Schumacher 3/9, Kyle Kallhoff 6/31, Chad Bode 7/39, Hunter Reestman 2/1, Andrew Fangman 37/207, Seth Schumacher 4/16
Passing — Seth Schumacher 8/10/0 — 120
Receiving — Dylan Behnk 5/89, Kyle Kallhoff 1/12, Austin Meis 1/19
Tackles (solo/assists) — Dylan Behnk 0/4, Kyle Schumacher 0/1, Kyle Kallhoff 2/5, Austin Meis 2/2, Miles Schrage 2/6, Chad Bode 8/7, Chase Preister 1/2, Alois Warner 3/2, Scott Moser 4/10, Liam Heithoff 1/2, Kalin Henn 1/0, Andrew Fangman 9/6, Seth Schumacher 6/7
Quarterback sacks — Austin Meis (1), Miles Schrage (1), Scott Moser (1)
Interceptions — Dylan Behnk (1)