EMMETSBURG - Behind another strong, balanced rushing performance, the top-ranked (Class 2A) Emmetsburg football team advanced to the state quarterfinals, defeating Manson Northwest Webster Monday night, 42-13.
The E-Hawks (11-0 overall) received two touchdowns from Brady Berkland and Andrew Wellik each. Berkland had 82 yards rushing on 17 carries, while Wellik added 65 yards. Ryan Kliegl contributed 79 yards rushing.
Next up for Emmetsburg will be a rematch from last year with West Lyon here Monday night. West Lyon, which finished as the runner-up to the E-Hawks in the district, defeated South O'Brien, 21-6.
Emmetsburg built a 35-0 advantage at halftime, racking up 346 yards of total offense in the game.
Justin Studer and Marcus Akridge each had touchdowns, as well, for Emmetsburg. Studer led the defense with six tackles.
The Cougars (7-5) were paced by Chris Stuhrenberg, who had 57 yards rushing on eight carries and 36 yards receiving on four receptions.
"I think this Emmetsburg team is just as physical as the ones that have captured state titles in the past," MNW head coach Jeff Anliker said. "One thing they have is the ability to sub in so many capable backs. You can't just focus on one or even two guys because they have so many weapons that can hurt you."
Brennan Thompson and Cameron Taylor each had touchdowns for Manson Northwest Webster.
Tucker Herzberg was 9 of 16 passing for 85 yards, while Jesse Partlow added 36 yards on the ground.
"These seniors have really set a great path for the younger kids," Anliker said. "They qualified for the playoffs three times in four years. Along with being great kids, they are great leaders."
Emmetsburg is seeking its 10th state title in school history. Last night was the 68th postseason victory all-time for the E-Hawks, who were ousted from the state quarters last year by West Lyon.