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Mound Westonka pulls away from Providence Academy to stay undefeated

By Adam Holt, SportsEngine, 09/29/17, 10:30AM CDT


Brandon Hokkanen threw for three touchdowns to lead the White Hawks to a 24-14 win.

Mound Westonka senior running back Bobby Sweet moves the ball in the second half of Friday night's 24-14 win at Providence Academy. Photo by Drew Herron, SportsEngine

Given a chance to make some big plays in a big game, Evan Dahl did what he’s done for the White Hawks for years — he came up clutch.

The senior had five catches for 140 yards and a touchdown to go with two interceptions on defense as his White Hawks spoiled Providence Academy’s homecoming in a 24-14 win Friday.

In a matchup of teams vying for the Twin City Gold district crown, Providence Academy had home-field advantage and a raucous homecoming crowd. Mound Westonka had to battle back from two deficits to win, eventually taking the lead for good after Dahl caught a ball near the left sideline and sprinted for a 66-yard touchdown in the third quarter.

“I’ve been ready for this game the whole year,” he said. “I knew it was going to be a good one. This and St. Croix [Lutheran] were going to be the hard games. I came into this knowing it was going to be their homecoming. I wanted to play big and get the W.”

Running back Bobby Sweet entered the matchup with more than 700 rushing yards and seven touchdowns for the White Hawks, but when he was bottled up by the Lions' defense, Dahl had room to work.

“That’s who he’s been since he’s been a sophomore,” Mound Westonka coach Nick David said. “He’s been making big play since day one, so it’s been a lot of fun working with him.”

On defense, Dahl intercepted both Providence Academy quarterbacks. The first pick came in the first quarter and didn’t lead to points, but his second takeaway gave the White Hawks the ball at their own 19-yard line with a minute to play before halftime. They would score and take a 10-7 lead into halftime. 

“Evan’s been clutch for the last three years,” David said. “He’s a captain, he’s our leader, he’s a senior and he does everything we ask him to do.”

Mound Westonka moved to 5-0 and 4-0 in district play. The White Hawks haven’t torn through their schedule like they did last year in terms of margin of victory, but the hard-earned wins should benefit them down the stretch, David said.

There are more tough games to come, including a trip to unbeaten St. Croix Lutheran, one of the consistently successful programs in the metro over the last few years.

“We’ve faced a lot of adversity this year and a lot of close games, compared to last year where we just [were] blowing over people,” Dahl said. “We’ve gotten better at coming back. We know what we can do, we know our abilities, so we just stay in it the whole game.”

Providence Academy quarterback Justin Mason went 6-of-10 passing for 70 yards, with a touchdown and an interception. Photo by Drew Herron, SportsEngine

First Report

Providence Academy and Mound Westonka entered Friday night unbeaten in Twin City Gold play, but it was the White Hawks who spoiled the Lions' homecoming with a 24-14 road win.

A 12-yard passing touchdown from Brandon Hokkanen to Thomas Elliott sealed the game for the White Hawks, who went up 24-14 with 3:28 seconds to play.

Bobby Sweet, the leading rusher for the White Hawks, was held in check in the first half and finished with 24 carries for 56 yards.

The teams traded touchdowns in the third frame, with the Lions going up briefly on a 6-yard run by Jeff Ekiyor. Mound Westonka (5-0, 4-0) responded with a 66-yard catch and run from Hokkanen to Evan Dahl that made it 17-14.

Hokkanen finished 9 of 11 passing for 213 yards and three touchdowns. Dahl had five catches for 140 yards and a TD, while also intercepting two passes on defense.

Provide Academy (3-2, 2-1) quarterback Justin Mason went 6 of 10 for 70 yards, including a touchdown and an interception.

Mound Westonka senior Evan Dahl comes up with a first half interception as the White Hawks knocked off Providence Academy 24-14. Photo by Drew Herron, SportsEngine

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