COLERAINE — To say that the 2019 season got off to a good start for the GreenwayNashwauk-Keewatin (G/N-K) football team may be the understatement of the year,
The Titans scored touchdowns on all four of their possessions in the first quarter as they built up a 28-0 lead by quarter’s end. G/N-K then coasted from there to take a dominating 52-0 victory over the Hibbing Bluejackets in the season opener for both squads at Dixon/Barle Field in Coleraine.
G/N-K coach Bob Schwartz said his team was fired up for the opener and it showed in the first quarter.
“We executed pretty well,” Schwartz said. “Our quarterbacks threw the ball well and we kind of showed our speed a little bit tonight. Hibbing was playing to stop the run a little bit and they had a lot of guys inside so hopefully we can play that pick your poison offense this year.”
Hibbing coach Shaun Howard said the Bluejackets ran into a buzz saw in the first quarter when the Titans scored the four touchdowns.
“G/N-K is well-coached and we knew what we had to do,” Howard said. “We just have to prepare the kids a little bit better for next week. We challenged our kids at halftime to come back and go for 24 more minutes strong and don’t give up, keep on driving. I think we did that.
“We had a lot of mistakes with poor coverage and things that us as coaches have to fix and then we will go from there.”
Dylan DeChampeau started the scoring in the first quarter when he latched onto a 40-yard touchdown pass from Jager Nash and Ty Donahue caught the two-point conversion pass as the Titans led 8-0 just 1:02 into the game.
Blace Tomberlin, who transferred to Greenway from Hibbing, scored the next touchdown on a 31-yard run as G/N-K led 14-0 with 7:38 left in the first quarter.
The Titans struck again just 46 seconds later after forcing a Hibbing punt. Nash hooked up with the speedy Tom Cuellar for a 45-yard scoring play and Tomberlin ran in the two-point conversion as G/N-K led 22-0.
The Titans added their final touchdown of the initial quarter with 6:24 remaining when DeChampeau caught a 37-yard scoring pass from Tomberlin. The pass failed for the two-point conversion but G/N-K held a big 28-0 lead.
DeChampeau scored his third touchdown of the game – this one covering 26 yards on a pass from Nash – and the two then connected for the two-point conversion as the Titans increased their lead to 36-0.
G/N-K added another touchdown in the second quarter as Cuellar and Tomberlin connected on a 53-yard scoring pass. The Titans had a 44-0 advantage at the half.
The final touchdown of the game came late in the fourth quarter when Isaiah Austad broke free on a 60-yard scoring jaunt.
Schwartz said the Titans are working on different things to employ both Nash and Tomberlin at quarterback as he did on Friday.
“It is awful fun as a coach to keep trying different things but we will get it worked out,” Schwartz said. “I think it is going to be tough for other teams to figure it out. Our receivers (DeChampeau and Cuellar) are tough. Dylan is a special athlete and Tommy Cuellar, nobody knows about him and he is the only guy up here that can stick with Dylan.”
Schwartz said it is hard to believe but he feels that the Titan defense played better than the offense on Friday.
“Our defense played very well; I thought we played great team defense, we got to the ball well and we had great coverage. I am extremely happy with our defense,” Schwartz said. “It’s awful fun to take your three weeks of hard work and come out and win a rivalry game like this. Hibbing fought us but I am happy for the kids.”
Hibbing 0 0 0 0—0
GNK 28 16 0 8 —52
GNK-Dylan DeChampeau 40-yard pass from Jager Nash (Ty Donahue pass from Blace Tomberlin
GNK-Blace Tomberlin 31-yard run (Run failed)
GNK-Tom Cuellar 45-yard pass from Jager Nash (Blace Tomberlin run)
GNK-Dylan DeChampeau 37-yard pass from Blace Tomberlin (Pass failed)
GNK-Dylan DeChampeau 26-yard pass from Jager Nash (Dylan DeChampeau pass from Jager Nash)
GNK-Tom Cuellar 53-yard pass from Blace Tomberlin (DeAngelo Jefferson run)
GNK-Isaiah Austad 60-yard run (Aiden Rajala run)