Junior running back Ray Beiningen’s career night capped off a good road win for the Mound Westonka football team on Friday night, as the White Hawks won the battle of the ‘Hawks in their 27-11 victory over Winona at Paul Giel Field.
The 150-mile bus ride didn’t seem to affect Westonka (2-0) as they opened the game with a 61-yard TD drive. Beiningen was the workhorse during the 5 1/2 minute drive carrying the ball six times, including the last three yards as the junior running back plunged up the middle behind the offensive line giving the White Hawks the early 7-0 lead. The biggest play of the drive saw junior quarterback Cole Drill (9-20-55 yards) improvise on a 4th and 2 play from the Winona 48-yard line. The ball was snapped over his head but he retrieved it, scrambled to his right, and found an open Joe Sluka in the right flat for a 12-yard gain.
Winona (0-2) also opted to go for it on a 4th and short from the Westonka 39-yard line on their first possession, but Mound Westonka stopped Winona running back Ronnie Lemon on a sweep to the left. Safety Owen McCue made the initial hit coming up from his safety position as a host of White Hawks finished it off. However, Westonka couldn’t take advantage of the good field position. Drill’s pass was tipped by junior wide receiver May Kraay on a fade route down the left sideline and then intercepted by the Winhawks at the 2-yard line. After both teams exchanged punts on their next possessions, the White Hawk defense stood firm again and forced a 4th and long, but a roughing the kicker penalty on a bad snap gave Winona new life. The Winhawks drove to the Westonka 4-yard line but had to settle for a 21-yard field goal.
The White Hawks offense kicked into gear midway through the 2nd quarter. Drill found junior Dylan Holappa (3 catches, 17 yards) for a big gain but an offensive holding penalty down the field negated the big play. Two plays later Beiningen found paydirt once more when he darted 66 yards up the middle, breaking a tackle at the 10-yard line, before scooting into the end zone. Sam Gaylord’s extra point gave Westonka a 14-3 lead. The defense held once again late in the first half, but another roughing the kicker penalty on a punt allowed Winona to keep the drive going with 2:10 to play. It was a costly mistake as Lemon took a middle screen pass from Quarterback Deion Prolo and weaved his way 49 yards for a touchdown. The two-point conversion made the score 14-11 at the halftime break.
The Westonka defense took charge in the 2nd half holding the Winhawks spread offense to just three catches and 11 total yards. A short punt gave the White Hawks good field position and they took advantage of a defensive holding penalty on a 4th down play culminating in a Beiningen 2-yard TD run. The 9-play, 39-yard drive took just three minutes of game clock. Gaylord’s extra point made it 21-11 giving Westonka some breathing room. Another 3-and-out by Winona gave the ball right back to the White Hawks at their own 16-yard line. Four straight carries, and 38 yards, for Beiningen put Westonka at the Winona 40-yard line. Senior running back Jacob Hansberger came in and quickly picked up 26 yards on three carries before Beiningen wrapped a bow on a career night dragging a Winhawk defender into the end zone from 8 yards out for his 4th touchdown of the game. He ran the ball 35 times for 264 yards, both career-highs.
The Westonka defensive line, which includes seniors Mikey Oftedahl, Morgan Nester (2 tackles) and juniors Beck Jenson (5 tackles, TFL) and Dylan Sloan (6 tackles), were stout all game shutting down the running game, while also putting pressure on Prolo enabling each to record a sack. Senior linebacker Isaac Paul led the team with 7 tackles with junior linebacker Roman Larsen contributing 5 tackles and a tackle-for-loss. Jaaron Konkel and Cole Munsterteiger (1 TFL) finished with 4 tackles apiece. The defensive backfield played very well defending both the short and deep passes. Cornerbacks JT Kimbrough and Brandt Tebbs each had a pass defended, while the safeties, McCue and Jack Nelson, combined for 3 tackles.
Mound Westonka varsity football returns to action this Friday, Sept. 15, for an early evening tilt versus Big Lake at Haddorff Field. In observance of the Jewish holiday, Rosh Hashanah, Friday's game will begin at 5 p.m.