Urhahn paces Kelly football in 35-14 win over Malden
BENTON, Mo. — Evan Urhahn has been a problem for opposing defenses all season.
Malden added its name to the list on Friday night, after the junior rushed for 92 yards on 23 carries, in the Hawks 35-14 win over the Green Wave, at Lambert Field at Thomas W. Kelly High School, in Benton, Mo. Running wasn’t just his forte on Friday, though, as he added a 24-yard catch and returned a punt to the end zone, in the first quarter, from 55 yards out that ignited the Hawks’ fan base and sideline.
“It’s a spark that we needed,” Kelly head coach Lance Powers said. “Any football game, you need something to change the tide, especially when something just happened the wrong way for you, and Evan was able to provide that. That was the first punt return of his career for a touchdown. So, that was even more special. That was a big moment for us, and that got us going.”
Kelly (3-1, 2-0 SEMO Conf.) headed into halftime up 21-6, but it wasn’t just the dynamic runner who showcased his skills.
Sophomore wide receiver Gavin Jansen caught a pair of passes from junior signal-caller Bryce Morgan for 23 yards and was the second-leading receiver on the night.
Besides Urhahn’s punt return, the rest of the scoring through the first 24 minutes, for Kelly, came on a pair of goal-line runs.
Morgan rushed in the first of the game for the Hawks, after Kelly intercepted a Shay Amoss pass, while junior Alex Swope added the other touchdown, in the second quarter.
Kelly added two more scores in the second half, to equal the final.
The first score came on a pass from Morgan to sophomore Ty Powers from seven yards out. On the play, Powers was able to shake his defender and get wide-open for an easy score to put the Hawks up 28-6, at that point.
Christian Williams added the final score for Kelly — after the Hawks were able to work the ball down into Malden territory — on a four-yard run.
On paper, it looked like Kelly came away with a comfortable victory, but for Powers, making sure that his team doesn’t give the opponent any extra yardage is something that he is going to emphasis going into Week 5.
“That penalty bug keeps getting us,” Powers said. “We’ve got to clean those penalties up; that’s for sure. That’s just a lack of discipline and focus. That’s just something we need to work on more. I’m sure that’s pretty cliche, and especially next week going against the opponent that we got, in Charleston, we can’t have all these penalties for sure.”
On the Malden side, not a whole lot of positives came in the first half.
The Green Wave’s lone score came right after the Hawks scored on their opening drive.
After throwing an interception on his first series of the game, Amoss redeemed himself on Malden’s second series.
Junior Drew Blankinship caught an Amoss pass on the visitor’s sideline, evaded a few Hawks’ defenders and used his speed to return it to the house. The pass was a 77-yarder; however, the ensuing point-after attempt missed, and the score remained in the Hawks’ favor.
Blankinship finished the game with 155 yards receiving, on five receptions, and caught both of Amoss’ touchdown throws.
The second connection between the two came with 1:39 remaining in the game. After Malden (1-3, 0-1 SEMO Conf.) blocked the Kelly punt, the Green Wave’s combo put together the finishing touches on the defensive play, with a five-yard score.
Amoss finished the game 8-for-31, good for 171 yards, with two touchdowns, and three interceptions.
“Kelly, hats off to them, they schemed us well,” Malden head coach Justin Peden said. “Shay was getting pressured, and he had to run, and he was throwing on the run. This is still new to him, it’s his third week as a starter, and he’s going to make mental mistakes; we hope to get those cleaned up as soon as possible to make for a better result in the long run.
K — Bryce Morgan 1 run (Ty Powers kick), 8:24
M — Drew Blankinship 77 pass from Shay Amoss (kick missed), 7:22
K — Evan Urhahn 55 punt return (Powers kick), 0:08
K — Alex Swope 1 run (Powers kick), 9:07
K — Powers 5 pass from Morgan (Powers kick), 5:50
K — Christian Williams 4 run (Powers kick), 11:56
M — Blankinship 5 pass from Amoss (Blankinship from Amoss), 1:39
RUSHING —Malden, Lamar Smith 9-24, Shay Amoss 4-5, Drew Blankinship 2-(-2). Kelly, Evan Urhahn 23-92, Christian Williams 3-20, Bryce Morgan 4-(-8), Alex Swope 1-1, Bryce Phelps 6-25.
PASSING — Malden, Shay Amoss 8-31-3 171. Kelly, Bryce Morgan 6-11-0 63.
RECEIVING — Malden, Drew Blankinship 5-155, Chris Castillo 1-6, Daniel Burrow 1-1, Lamar Smith 1-9. Kelly, Drew Dirnberger 1-4, Evan Urhahn 1-24, Gavin Jansen 2-23, Ty Powers 2-12