McKinnen Stone carries for a long gain against the Vikings.  Stone scored the only touchdown for Fillmore Central, good enough for the win against Hayfield.  BILL BENTSON/BLUFF COUNTRY NEWSPAPER GROUP
McKinnen Stone carries for a long gain against the Vikings. Stone scored the only touchdown for Fillmore Central, good enough for the win against Hayfield. BILL BENTSON/BLUFF COUNTRY NEWSPAPER GROUP
It was pretty much a back and forth defensive battle between Fillmore Central and Hayfield in last Friday's Blue Division match-up, with the Falcons coming out on top, 7-0.

The sequence of possessions for Fillmore Central looked like this...punt, punt, turned over on downs, touchdown, turnover (fumble), punt, turned over on downs, end of half, punt, punt, punt, punt, punt, end of game.

On the other side, Hayfield's sequence of possessions looked like this...punt, punt, turnover (fumble), punt, punt, turnover (interception), punt, punt, punt, punt, punt, punt, turnover (interception).

"Definitely a defensive battle," said head coach Chris Mensink, commenting to host Devon Krueger on KFIL's Coaches Corner last Saturday morning.

Fillmore Central's defense held the Vikings to just 1.9 yards per play. Leading the way for the Falcons were Monty Holm (13 tackles; 6 solo, 7 assists), Connor Hanson (10 tackles; 4s, 6a), Tyson Ristau (2s, 7a), Andy Love (9a), Logan Masters (3s, 3a), Tom Henry (6a). The Falcons also had three take-aways - two interceptions (Masters, Jordan Miller) and a fumble recovery (Nick Mensink). Others, and their numbers: McKinnen Stone (s, 3a), Josh Jones (s,2a), Nick Mensink (3a), Zach Sorenson (a), Brady McCabe (a), Collin Bennett (2a), and Jordan Miller (s). Four of Holm's solo tackles were for a loss, two of his assisted tackles were for a loss and one solo sack. Hanson and Love were also involved in three tackles for losses.

Another, very powerful defensive stat...the Falcons had 14 third down attempts, and did not convert on any of them. "We won that battle, too," added Mensink.

"Special teams were also very instrumental in the win," said Coach Mensink. "Defense and special teams are one and two in the three aspects of the game...with offense being the third. I thought we were exceptional on defense and special teams, and the major factor in our win."

Monty Holm (punting) and Collin Bennett (kicking, extra-points) and the kick return teams, with Logan Masters returning, performed very well against Hayfield. Masters averaged 10+ yards on each of his punt returns, and had one touchdown called back on a punt return.

Offensively, the Falcons picked up167 yards, 144 yards rushing and 23 yards passing. Tyson Ristau led the way with 51 yards on 12 carries, Bryce Whitehill carried the ball 11 times for 47 yards and Tom Henry netted 32 yards on eight carries.

McKinnen Stone had the only score in the game, a three-yard run at the start of the second quarter. He finished the night with 19 yards on seven carries. That score turned out to be all the Falcons needed for the win. Collin Bennett added the extra point to cap off the five-play, 40-yard drive. The Falcons actually had 45 yards of offense in the drive, because they were penalized five yards on one play for illegal motion. Highlight of the drive, besides the actual scoring run, was a 23-yard pass reception from Whitehill to Stone, the only completion in 10 attempts for Whitehill.

Friday night the Falcons will travel to Spring Valley to take on the Kingsland Knights. Kingsland is currently 0-3 for the season, but when Fillmore Central and Kingsland get together, you can, as they say, throw out the record books! The game will also be broadcast on KVGO (Cool 104.3).

Scoring by quarters

Hayfield 0-0-0-0 = 0

FC 0-7-0-0 = 0

Team stats Fillmore Central Hayfield

First downs 5 6

Rushing 40 carries, 144 yds 34 carries, 49 yds

1 TD, 1 fumble lost 0 TD's, 0 fumbles lost

Passing 1/10, 23 yds 6/20, 54 yds

0 TD's, 0 INT 0 TD's, 2 INT

Total offense 50 plays, 167 yds 54 plays, 103 yds

Penalties 9, 70 yds 7, 32 yds

Turnovers 1 3

Punting 8, 33.9 yds avg. 10, 33.2 yds avg.

Kickoffs 2, 49.0 1, 60.0