Round 1: Stockton vs Princeville
In a very interesting matchup in round 1, the 11th ranked Blackhawks traveled to #6 Princeville. Looking at the seeds, one might think that the Princes had the upper hand. When one breaks down the numbers on opponents, this looks like a game that favors the lesser seed.
On Saturday in Princeville you knew it would be a good game, as Princeville was meeting with its 4th NUIC opponent in the past 4 seasons. Traditionally a power run team in a wing and double wing type offense, the Princes changed their offense to a spread this year, while running a power type offense out of it. Stockton was going to stick with their power run offense.
Getting things started in the 1st quarter, it was not the run game that would score, as Stockton's quarterback Garret Buske would throw a 45 yard touchdown pass to Gavin Keefer. the two point try would fail, but Stockton had the lead 6-0 with under 9:02 to play in the 1st quarter.
Stockton would add another touchdown in the 2nd quarter as Caleb Mammoser would score from 5 yards out to give Stockton a 12-0 lead with 7:17 to play to the half.
The Princes would respond to that score quickly, as under a minute later quarterback Sam Streitmatter connected with Dean Dearing for a 23 yard touchdown pass. The extra point by RJ Ahten was good, as Princeville cut into the Stockton lead bringing the score to 12-7. That score would hold for the halftime score.
In the 3rd quarter, Stockton would put the final touches on the scoreboard, as Hunter Hille would score on a 2 yard touchdown run. The two point conversion was good as Stockton had a 20-7 lead. From there, the defenses would take over, but the clock hit zero with Stockton in control with the same score to end the game.
Stockton was led on the ground by Jason Hermann with 116 yards rushing. Hunter Hille chipped in with 49 yards rushing and 1 touchdown and Garret Buske was 2-5 passing for 69 yards and a touchdown. Gaving Keefer caught both those passes for 69 yards and the score.
Princeville was led by Sam Streitmatter who went 7-16 throwing the ball for 116 yards with 1 touchdown and 1 interception. His leading target was Brady Miller who had 3 receptions for 77 yards, while Dean Dearing had the 23 yard touchdown reception. Carter Johnson led the rushing attack with 62 yards rushing.
With the win Stockton will play host to conference rival Aquin (10-0) in the 2nd round of the playoffs next week. It is the 2nd time in the past 3 seasons these two teams will meet in the 2nd round of the playoffs. Aquin is 3-0 in the playoffs against the Blackhawks in previous meetings.