Running game powers Hawks to playoff win
WAYLAND — Two running plays in a steady rain set the tone for Lynnville-Sully’s Hawks Wednesday in the Class A football playoffs.
The football went to senior running back Caden Doll two straight times to open the game. Doll broke off a 68-yard run to the one-yard line before WACO’s Warriors downed him. Using the same type of blocking from his teammates, Doll finished the drive with a one-yard run for a touchdown.
It was his first of four on the night in a 40-8 romp in the mud and rain for Lynnville-Sully. Doll scored three touchdowns in the first half. The Hawks led the hosting Warriors 18-0 at the break.
“We told our guys, in this kind of conditions, you have to go down the field quickly and get one to set the tone,” said Hawk head coach Mike Parkinson. “Our first play went for a big hit and we set the tone. Our running game has been our thing in the last few weeks and we played outstanding defense all night.”
Dominating the game under sloppy conditions with its running game offensively and a stingy defense, Lynnville-Sully earned a re-match with district foe, BGM. The two teams met on Sept. 20 with BGM, which is second-ranked and 10-0, winning 42-6.
Lynnville-Sully (6-4) plays BGM, an 83-6 winner Wednesday over Van Buren, Keosauqua, at 7 p.m. Monday at Brooklyn.
“I’m proud of our guys and how they came together. We ran the ball well. Up front our offensive line completely controlled the game. Our guys were physical,” Parkinson said. “Caden is getting a lot of carries right now because he is running the ball extremely well.”
Doll led the way with 195 yards on 18 carries. Senior Daniel Zimmerman rolled up 121 yards on 13 carries and Bailee Samson, another senior, rushed for 71 yards on 12 carries. Zimmerman and Samson each had a touchdown run in the second half. Samson had a two-point conversion as did senior Meliek Meyer.
Daniel and Bailee are blocking so well for Caden. Tonight, when they got the football, they ran strong with it. I just can’t say enough about how well our kids blocked all night,” Parkinson said.
Parkinson pointed out it was tough to pass the football under the rainy conditions of the game. The Hawks only attempted two passes in the game and didn’t complete either attempt.
It came down to the ground game and that belonged to the Hawks all night. Up front, Lynnville-Sully had Kyle Van Dyke, Blake Wehrle, Noah Zylstra, Kyle Hamilton and Zack Kaldenberg along the offensive line. Lucas Rozendaal and Payton Scandridge rotated in ‘to give us fresh bodies up front and Darin Hofer, our tight end, did a nice job blocking,” Parkinson said.
The Hawks had to overcome penalties throughout the contest with the Warriors. A long punt return for a touchdown by Samson was nullified in the first quarter by a penalty. Lynnville-Sully led 6-0 after one quarter.
Doll finished off a Hawk drive with a four-yard scoring run, following a strong push up the field by Zimmerman. Leading 12-0, the Hawk defense wasn’t fooled by a fake punt attempt by the Warriors Meyer tackled WACO’s Tucker Janecek at the WACO 37-yard line late in the second period.
Two plays again was all it took for the Hawks to reach the end zone. Doll had a 17-yard run then a 20-yard touchdown scamper. T.J. Cunningham intercepted a WACO pass attempt to give the ball back to the Hawks, who went into halftime up 18-0.
Doll’s running set up an eight-yard touchdown run by Zimmerman at the 4:25 mark of the third quarter.
“We didn’t let them have much at all offensively. They had one play, when we slipped down in the secondary. They completed the pass for a touchdown, but other than that we played tremendous defense,” Parkinson said.
WACO quarterback Braden Blake found Bryce Achen over the middle. Achen made the catch and dashed down the field for a 54-yard scoring strike with 1:22 remaining in the third quarter. Dylan Carlson had a two-point conversion run to make it 24-8.
The Warriors attempted an onside-kick, which was fielded by Zimmerman for the Hawks. He returned it to the Warrior 41-yard line. Four plays later, Doll crashed over the goal line from one-yard out to open the fourth quarter. Samson tacked on a two-point conversion run.
A bad snap on a punt play sailed over Janecek’s head and he was tackled by the Hawk defense. The Hawk offense quickly converted on a one-yard touchdown run by Samson. Meyer, who had five carries for 15 yards, scored the two-point conversion.
“It was a great team effort tonight under adverse weather conditions. Our kids responded well. Defensively, we had a lot of kids step up and make plays,” Parkinson said.
Kaldenberg recovered a fumble for Lynnville-Sully. Noah Engle punted once for 28 yards.