The West Central Area/Ashby football team survived a tough battle with Hawley on Friday night as they beat the Nuggets 22-13 to improve their season record to 4-0.
“We played just well enough to win, but had some things exposed that we need to work on as we enter the second half of the regular season,” said WCA/Ashby Head Coach Nate Wood.
Evan Paulson scored on a one yard run and Anthony Sykora’s two-point conversion run gave the Knights the early 8-0 lead. Hawley responded with a 5 yard TD run by Derek Tibbetts and an extra-point kick by Sam Burkel to trim the lead to 8-7 as the first quarter ended.
The Knights then scored a second quarter touchdown on a 34 yard pass from Paulson to Cole Anderson, taking a 14-7 lead into halftime.
Hawley cut the lead to one point when Burkel scored from 12 yards out, but a second TD pass from Paulson to Anderson, this one covering 38 yards, and a two-point conversion pass from Sykora to Anderson gave the Knights a nine point lead which they were able to sustain through the rest of the contest.
The Knights had 274 yards on the night and featured a balanced offensive attack with 152 passing yards and 122 yards rushing. Paulson completed 9-of-15 passes and Anderson caught two of them for 72 yards. Ryder Staples hauled in 3 passes for 43 yards and Sykora led the ground attack with 60 yards on 16 carries. Hunter Norby had a team high 11 tackles (9 solo, 4 assisted) and Nas Dotts had an interception.
Hawley accumulated 232 yards on the ground and added 80 through the air for a total of 312 yards in the game. Burkel accounted for 163 yards on 15 carries and quarterback Carson Brew was 10-for-18 throwing the ball.
The Knights will host Crookston in Barrett next Friday night.