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Chris Murphy, Published September 27 2013

Hawley tops D-G-F in battle of ranked football teams

GLYNDON, Minn. – Ask Hawley running back Chris Buttke to go pick up tough yardage, and he’ll give a thumbs-up. Currently, with a cast on his right hand after dislocating his thumb in Week 1, he doesn’t have a choice but to give a thumbs-up.

Buttke, cast and all, picked up any yards he wanted Friday, rushing for 138 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries to go along with a sack on defense in Class 2A’s No. 3-ranked Hawley’s 27-14 win over Class 3A’s No. 10-ranked Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton.

Buttke is beginning to like his cast.

“I just adjust, keep the thumb down and bear hug the ball the whole time,” Buttke said. “This thing actually helps with the grip. It was all on the offensive line tonight. They handled the defense.”

Hawley had been handling all defenses, coming into Friday’s matchup averaging 45 points per game in the team’s four games, all for victories. Heart O’ Lakes rival D-G-F (3-2) had given up 20 points in the Rebels three wins before facing Hawley.

“They are all over the place on defense,” Buttke said. “We didn’t know what to expect on any play. It was a new look on every play, so you had to adjust to it.”

Hawley made it look easy early, scoring on the Nuggets’ third play from scrimmage when Buttke rumbled for a 41-yard touchdown to put the Nuggets up 7-0.

“This was a big game for Buttke,” Hawley coach Peder Naatz said. “He needed a breakout game, and he was a workhorse tonight, playing both ways. He was on a mission tonight, and he’s got a lot of guts and a lot of heart.”

D-G-F answered on the next drive, using 14 plays to go 74 yards, tying things up on a Chad Johnson 1-yard dive on the second play of the second quarter.

The tide turned when D-G-F quarterback Zack Nelson fumbled the ball on the D-G-F 20-yard line with 1 minute, 28 seconds to go in the half. Hawley recovered it, and two plays later, Jordan Harms found Aaron Regnier for a 15-yard strike to put Hawley up 14-7 heading into halftime.

“That was the toughest defense we’ve played so far,” Harms said. “They are our rivals, so they are going to hit hard. Everyone wants to win this game. It’s the biggest game of the year so far.”

Hawley marched 55 yards in four minutes to open the second half, capping the drive with a Dillon Omberg 3-yard touchdown to go up 21-7. After a Buttke sack forced D-G-F to punt on the ensuing drive, the Nuggets capped an 81-yard drive with a 23-yard touchdown pass from Harms to Ben Ellefson on the first play of the fourth quarter.

“This means everything to us,” said Harms, who finished 6-for-10 for 103 yards passing and two touchdowns. “This is what we practice for, but we got to keep working. We know where we want to be in the end.”

D-G-F cut its deficit to 27-14 with 9:15 to go when Nelson found Johnson for a 30-yard touchdown pass, but Hawley burned more than four minutes off the clock and the Rebels couldn’t answer. Hawley moved to 9-1 in its last 10 against D-G-F.

“You got to be prepared to stop their option and (Ellefson),” D-G-F coach Tony Soderberg said. “We played a good game against a good team. This is going to make us better come playoff time. We made three or four mistakes where they didn’t, and that was the big difference in the game.”

H 7 7 7 6–27

D 0 7 0 7–14

H-Buttke 41 run (Alhoff kick)

D-Johnson 1 run (Olson kick)

H-Regnier 15 pass from Harms (Alhoff kick)

H-Omberg 3 run (Alhoff kick)

H-Ellefson 14 pass from Harms (kick blocked)

D-Johnson 30 pass from Nelson (Olson kick)


RUSHING: H, Ellefson 7-58, Harms 6-27, Buttke 16-138, Omberg 8-31. D, Johnson 25-140, Nelson 4-(-8), Martin 6-31, Wayne 3-2, Matthews 4-15, Flatt 1-2.

PASSING: H, Harms 6-10-101 yards, Ellefson 1-2-0 13 yards. D, Nelson 4-10-0 57 yds.

RECEIVING: D, Martin 2-8, Johnson 2-49. H, Harms 1-13, Regnier 1-15, Ellefson 4-77, Omberg 1-9.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Chris Murphy at (701) 241-5548