With a lot on the line in Wellman Friday night the Mid-Prairie Golden Hawks left little to chance, securing home field advantage in the first round of the post season Wednesday with a 26-0 shutout of West Liberty. In a game heard on kciiradio.com the Golden Hawks and Comets both were playing for the right to host a first round playoff game Wednesday and Mid-Prairie turned it on early and often. After forcing a pair of three and outs on defense the Golden Hawks started a possession on the West Liberty 34 yard line and seven plays later turned that into a one yard touchdown dive from Reid Miller who burrowed in behind his offense line. Five minutes later MP took a two score lead when Eesaa Baylor crashed in from three yards out. The Golden Hawks would add more before the break as Austin Errthum connected on his first field goal of the night, this one from 42 yards putting Mid-Prairie up 17-0 headed to the locker room.
Coming out of halftime the weather conditions became a factor with driving rain and a stiff crosswind. Mid-Prairie continued to use the formula that got them the early lead to secure the win in the second half, dominating time of possession, converting in the red zone and on third down while playing stifling defense against quarterback Tyler Newsom and the Comets. Mid-Prairie would turn to Errthum three times for points in the second half as the Junior hit field goals from 29, 46 and 39 yards to put the game away going four for four in total on the night. The Golden Hawk defense allowed the high powered Comets just 127 total yards and held West Liberty to 0 for eight on third down. Mid-Prairie held onto the ball for nearly 35 of the 48 minutes of the game. Baylor led the way offensively for Mid-Prairie with 32 carries for 144 yards and a score on the offensive side, defensively he posted two sacks and four total tackles for loss, Reid Miller was 11 of 16 through the air for 114 yards. Errthum also secured an interception for the Golden Hawk defense. Head Coach Pete Cavanagh spoke after the game about Mid-Prairie’s overall performance against the Comets.
“Contain their play makers, and their quarterback is a heck of a player, they always felt like they were always playing from behind,” Cavanagh said. “When you can put pressure on the quarterback its going to only turn up good things for us, and I thought our kids executed when they had too, crucial third and fourth downs, put ourselves in a position to win the ball game, and I thought our line did a good job against a team that was bigger than us.”
With the win Mid-Prairie concludes district play at 5-1 and stands at 7-2 overall. They will host round one of the postseason Monday night when the 4-6 Mustangs of Prairie City Monroe come to Wellman. PCM finished in third place in class 2A district six following a 30-7 loss to Bondurant-Farrar. You can hear all of the action Wednesday night live from Wellman with pregame at 6:30 and pregame at 7PM on kciiradio.com. The game will be delayed broadcast on AM and FM KCII following the Washington playoff game.