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Indians Control #10 Ranked Dighton.

The Indians proved to be too strong for the #10-ranked (1A-DII) Dighton Hornets on Friday, September 14. Though the Hornets put up a good fight, the Indians controlled the game with hard-hitting defense, big offensive plays, and over-all good play. St. Francis defeated Dighton 54-20 on Greene Field in St. Francis.

Dighton won the coin-flip and elected to defer. Jayce Nider returned Dighton's squib kick to the St. Francis 31 yard line. Before the first snap would occur, the Hornets jumped off-side. The first play from scrimmage found Brady Dinkel diving up the middle for a short gain. On 2nd-&-3, Jordan Raby moved the ball within a foot of the line-to-gain on a dive to the right. Dinkel's run over the left side earned a first down at the Dighton 35. After a carry by Shadryon Blanka earned one yard, Dinkel gained 5 over the left side. On 3rd-&-4, Raby rounded the right end and sprinted 29 yards for the first St. Francis score. The conversion attempt, a dive by Dinkel, fell short of the goal line. St. Francis led 6-0 with 9:22 left in the first period.

Dighton senior Dalton Hoffman (5' 9" 155 lb.) returned Brady Dinkel's kick-off to the Hornet 22 yard line where he was stopped by a tackle by Adam Krien. Before the first snap of the possession, Dighton again was penalized; this time for procedure. On the Hornets' first carry, Blair Hoffman (5' 10" 165 lb. Sr.) ran the left side gaining 10 yards before being stopped by Dinkel. D. Hoffman earned 3 on the next dive. He was tackled by Jesse Baxter. On 3rd-&-2, B. Hoffman rounded the left end moving the football to the 38 yard line. On the next play, Marcus Rowe (6' 3" 180 lb. Jr.) powered over the right side gaining 7 yards. The Hornets had certainly demonstrated that they were talented and ready to play. B. Hoffman's next carry moved the ball to the Indian 30 yard line before Connor Keller made the tackle. On the next play, B. Hoffman ran into the middle of the St. Francis defense and fumbled on a Jordan Raby tackle. The Hornets recovered at the 20. D. Hoffman earned 3 on a carry into the middle, before a pass in the right flat was nearly intercepted by Tiernan Poling on second down. On the next play, Krien's tackle stopped B. Hoffman for a 2-yard gain over the right side. Facing 4th-&-5, B. Hoffman's pass to David Cramer (5' 11" 165 lb. Sr.) tied the game at 6-all on the 15-yard play. The conversion try, an option to the right, was stopped short. 

Adam Krien returned the kick-off to the SF 25 yard line were Tyler Walker (5' 10" 180 lb. Jr.) and Cramer made the tackle. Quarterback Brady Dinkel ran over the right side earning three before being stopped by Cramer. Jordan Raby took the next two carries and earned a new series at the 36. Three more Raby carries netted only two yards as the Dighton defense stiffened. On 4th-&-8, a pass from Dinkel, intended for Connor Keller, was knocked down by a Hornet defender. 

Dighton took possession on the St. Francis 34 yard line. After an incomplete pass on first down, quarterback B. Hoffman ran a draw gaining 8 up the middle. On the next play, a fumble moved the Hornets back to mid-field due to a Colton Neitzel tackle. Facing 4th-&-2, the Hornets called time-out to discuss strategy with 46.3 seconds left in the 1st period. The next play, a reverse by Cramer, was halted by a Neitzel tackle for a loss.

St. Francis took possession on their own 32, where Jordan Raby and Shadryon Blanka combined for three carries netting one yard. On 4th down, a deep pass intended for Raby fell incomplete. The last 11 plays by the Indians had netted a total of 10 yards against a stingy Hornet defense.

Dighton took possession at the SF 34 yard line. D. Hoffman ran around the right end gaining two yards. The next play, a pass from Hoffman to Marcus Rowe covered 46 yards and gave the Hornets a 6-12 advantage. The conversion attempt, a pass caught in the back of the end zone, was ruled out-of-bounds. With 10:28 left in the second period, the Indians trailed 6-12.

From this point in the contest, the Indians seemed much more determined to impose their will on the Hornets. After a return to the 35, Jordan Raby ran right to the Dighton 11 yard line. Shadryon Blanka ran right earning 3 before being tackled by B. Hoffman. On 2nd-&-7, Raby rounded the left end and sprinted into the end zone. The conversion run by Dinkel followed good blocking over the left side and was good. With 9:25 left in the first half, St. Francis had taken a 14-12 lead.

Kobe Tice tackled the Hornet return man at the Dighton 17. A run by B. Hoffman was stopped for no gain by Shadryon Blanka. A 2nd-down pass intended for David Cramer was broken up by a vicious hit by Brady Dinkel. After a Dighton time-out at 8:28, Adam Krien and Jesse Baxter combined to sack the Hornet quarterback for an 8-yard loss. Facing 4th-&-18, the Hornets punted.

Brady Dinkel slipped on the return and went down at the Dighton 39. St. Francis ran the next three plays using no huddle. A dive by Dinkel earned 6, and a carry by Raby earned a new series. Dinkel's next carry gained 4 before Raby rounded the left end for another first down at the Dighton 18. After a Raby dive gained only one, Shadryon Blanka ran the right end for a 17-yard touchdown with 5:49 left in the half. Raby was slowed short of the goal on the conversion, but stretched the ball over the goal line for the score. St. Francis had earned a 22-12 advantage.

After Dinkel's kick-off sailed into the end zone, the Hornets set up offense at the 15. Two carries by D. Hoffman earned the Hornets a 3rd-&-1. On the next play, Tiernan Poling's tackle stopped the dive play for a 3-yard loss. On 4th-&-4, the Hornets ran a fake punt earning a new series at the Dighton 28. The next play, a reverse to Rowe, was stopped by a Raby tackle. A 2nd-down pass from Hoffman to Rowe gained two yards in the right flat. On 3rd-&-6, B. Hoffman's screen pass to D. Hoffman was good for a first down gaining good yardage before being stopped by Jayce Nider at midfield. D. Hoffman's next carry was met by Jesse Baxter for a short gain. On second down, Hoffman was forced to scramble and was sacked by Nider for a loss. With Dighton facing 3rd-&-15, the Indians called time-out with 2:12 on the clock. The third-down pass from Hoffman to Hoffman gained 10 yards before the tackle was made by Hunter Helton and Poling. The 4th-down pass attempt intended for Cramer was well-defended by Connor Keller and fell incomplete.

St. Francis took possession on their own 35. After an 8-yard run by Jordan Raby, Brady Dinkel followed the line up the middle. After a measurement determined that the Indians had earned a new set of downs at the Dighton 35, Dinkel passed to Shadryon Blanka. A pass-interference penalty on the Hornets advanced the football to the Dighton 20. On the next play, Connor Keller sprinted 20 yards for another St. Francis score. A strong run by Blanka added the conversion points. St. Francis led 30-12 with 1:05 left in the first half.

The Indians' kick-off went out-of-bounds, and Dighton elected to take the football at their own 25. B. Hoffman ran the left side gaining four yards before being tackled by Shadryon Blanka. On 2nd-down, a very strong run by D. Hoffman earned the Hornets a first down at the Sainty 39. On the final play of the half, a Hornet pitch was fumbled resulting in a loss. The teams went to the locker room with the Indians leading 30-12.

At halftime of the homecoming game, Jessica Confer, daughter of Steve and Jean Ann Confer, was crowned homecoming queen and Richard Johnson, son of Richard and Kim Johnson and Paige Johnson, was crowned homecoming king by a vote of the student body.

The second half kick-off return made it to midfield before a tackle by Tiernan Poling stopped the play. Trailing, the Hornets threw the ball more in the second half showing a talented passing attack. B. Hoffman's run to the right side was stopped by Hunter Helton's tackle after a five yard gain. The next play, a pass intended for David Cramer, fell incomplete after a powerful hit by Jordan Raby. A carry by Cramer into the middle, was stopped for a short gain by Adam Krien. On 4th down, Hoffman's pass to Kaden Bradstreet (6'3 200 lb. Jr.) earned a first down at the SF 23. Jesse Baxter stopped the next play for no gain. A 2nd-down pass fell incomplete in the end zone. On third down, a screen pass to the right earned 4 yards after being caught by Rowe. On 4th-&-6 at the 20, Krien and Jesse Baxter sacked Hoffman for a loss.

The Indians took over on their own 26, but fumbled the first snap. Dighton recovered at the SF 35.

On first down, the Hornets completed a pass from Hoffman to Cramer, but a chop-block on the play moved the ball back to the 20. On 1st-&-30, B. Hoffman ran up the middle earning 7 yards before being tackled by Cody Baxter and Adam Krien. On the next play, Jesse Baxter sacked Hoffman for another loss. A 3rd-down swing-pass to Bradstreet was defended by Hunter Helton. Facing 4th-&-forever, the Hornets punted.

Brady Dinkel returned the punt to the SF 35, but a holding penalty on the Indians backed them up to the 16. On the next play, Jordan Raby bolted 64 yards for a touchdown around the right end. Shadryon Blanka's conversion run was also good. With 5:46 left in the 3rd period, St. Francis led 40-12. 

Dalton Hoffman's kick return was ended by Tiernan Poling's tackle at the Dighton 20. Jayce Nider stopped a Dighton dive for a one-yard loss on the next play. Poling's next tackle stopped a pass from Hoffman to Cramer for no gain in the left flat. After a procedure penalty and time-out at 3:44, Dighton ran a quarterback draw ending with an Adam Krien tackle. Facing 4th-&-12, the Hornets punted again.

Brady Dinkel returned the punt to the Dighton 23. Runs by Jordan Raby, Shadryon Blanka, and Dinkel set up a 4th-&-1 for the Indians. On the next play, a fumble resulted in a loss of possession.

Dighton set up at their own 22. An option to the left to D. Hoffman was stopped by Jordan Raby for a one-yard loss. Raby also ended B. Hoffman's run around the right end for a very short gain on the next play ending the third period. Richard Johnson sacked the Dighton quarterback on the following play resulting in 4th-&-15. Again, the Hornets were forced to punt by a good defensive stand by the Indians.

Dinkel's return was nullified due to block-in-the-back by the Indians. St. Francis set up shop on their own 27. A two-yard gain by Jordan Raby, was followed by a very powerful run by Shadryon Blanka around the right end. The 7-yard gain set up a 3rd-&-1. Unfortunately, a procedure penalty occurred before the next snap backing the Indians up five yards. D. Hoffman's tackle stopped Dinkel for no gain on the ensuing play. On 4th-&-6, Dinkel found Blanka wide-open for a touchdown pass covering 23 yards. Blanka also ran around the right end for the conversion points. The margin had increased to 48-12 with 8:54 remaining in the contest.

D. Hoffman's return took the ball to the Dighton 24. Some of the St. Francis substitutes entered the contest gaining valuable experience. After a run by B. Hoffman earned one yard, Marcus Rowe powered around the left end gaining 5 before being stopped by Kobe Tice. D.Hoffman then earned a first down before being forced out-of-bounds by Adam Krien at the SF 33. After a five-yard penalty on the Hornets, D. Hoffman ran the right side earning 5 before another Krien tackle. Hoffman then ran left again stopped by Krien with help from Richard Johnson. A third-down pass to Cramer in the right flat only earned two yards due to good coverage by Tiernan Poling. On 4th-&-4, B. Hoffman threw a touchdown pass to David Cramer covering 26 yards. Hoffman's dart to Cramer on a slant accounted for the conversion points. Dighton had narrowed the margin to 48-20.

Dighton's kick-off went out-of-bounds, but a personal-foul penalty on the Indians caused the play to be replayed. Adam Krien returned the kick to midfield. Two runs by Jordan Raby, both to the right side, gained yardage, but a holding penalty on the Indians changed the situation to 2nd-&-19. A misdirection carry by Tiernan Poling lost two more. On 3rd-down, Brady Dinkel's pass intended for Shadryon Blanka fell incomplete. After a St. Francis time-out at 4:08. Dinkel ran left but failed to reach the line to gain.

Dighton took possession at midfield. On first down, a carry by Jaden Coleman (5' 6" 115 Fr.) was ended by a tackle by Adam Krien. Hoffman's 2nd-down pass attempt to Rowe fell incomplete in the end zone. The next pass attempt to Coleman also was incomplete. On 4th-&-7, a pass from Hoffman to Cramer earned a first down at the SF 28. The play was halted by a tackle by Connor Keller and Hunter Helton. The next Dighton pass, a slant to Cramer, was stopped by Dinkel, but not before the Hornets had advanced to the 17. Dighton's next pass attempt was intercepted by Shadryon Blanka.

With 1:53 remaining, St. Francis took over on their own 31. An illegal shift nullified Dinkel's run on first down. On 2nd down, Cody Baxter broke several tackles to score a touchdown covering 54 yards with 1:27 to go. St. Francis led 54-20. The conversion run failed. 

B. Hoffman returned the kick-off to the D 20. Three plays later, the clock expired. St. Francis defeated a good Dighton team 54-20.

The Indians will play Decatur Community in Oberlin on Friday, September 21.

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