WEBSTER CITY - Keagan Parks trotted off the field for the final time less than a minute into the fourth quarter, only this time he left on his terms. And the relief could be seen all over his smiling face.
The leg cramps that cut the Webster City junior tailback's playing time down considerably in two of the last three games were a distant memory Friday night at Lynx Field, although Nevada would have liked nothing better than to see his bulging calf muscles lock up.
Parks ran roughshod over the Cubs, as he broke off six runs of 10 or more yards and finished with 161 ground yards and three touchdowns on 19 totes in 10th-ranked (Class 3A) Webster City's 42-8 victory over District 3 rival Nevada.
"Oh yeah, finally getting to play a whole game was great," Parks, who has topped the century mark in all four games he's played in this season, said. "The reason I was cramping up was dehydration, but we've been doing a lot of work and every day I'm drinking tons of water and things like that."
The Lynx improved to 5-0 for the first time since 1988, and sit at 3-0 in the district - tied with second-ranked and unbeaten Clear Lake (5-0, 3-0) atop the standings. The Lions were 43-20 winners over Humboldt on Friday.
But Nevada wasn't exactly the pushover that some may have envisioned. The Cubs threw everything but the kitchen sink at Webster City, including two fake punts, two onside kicks and a fake extra point. There were screen passes, shovel passes and other new wrinkles that kept the Lynx off balance, and they produced a significant time of possession advantage for the Cubs.
DFJ photo by Troy Banning
Webster City junior tailback Keagan Parks (9) gets loose in the open field against Nevada on Friday. He had six runs of 10 or more yards and finished with 161 yards rushing and three touchdowns in the Lynx 42-8 win.
"That's the poorest we've tackled all year and they made enough dink plays to keep the ball away from us," WCHS head coach Bob Howard said. "I don't know that the game was ever in doubt, but we just couldn't get the ball.
"We didn't play very well on defense and, boy, that's sure got to improve."
Nevada (1-4, 0-3) held the ball for all but 2 minutes, 9 seconds in the first quarter and finished the game with a time of possession advantage of 17:14. But the Cubs also turned the ball over three times and set Webster City up with a short field on two occasions that resulted in touchdowns.
|WC—Keagan Parks 4 run (Aaron Hoffman kick), 9:50.|
|WC—Caleb Crouthamel 20 pass from Jonny Davis (Hoffman kick), 9:36.|
|WC—Parks 9 run (Hoffman kick), 3:01.|
|WC—Parks 4 run (Hoffman kick), 10:16.|
|WC—Crouthamel 70 pass from Davis (Hoffman kick), 1:42.|
|WC—Luke Shannon 4 run (Hoffman kick), 7:17.|
|NEV—Tai Le 2 run (T.J. Stensland pass from Mike Chisholm), 0:36.|
|Time of Poss.||32:37||15:23|
|Webster City Lynx|
|Player Com. Att. Yds. TD|
|Caleb Crouthamel 3||113||2|
|Player Solo||Ast. Tot.|
|Eric Tolle||4||5||6 1/2|
|Luke Shannon||4||3||5 1/2|
|Daniel Stoakes||3||3||4 1/2|
|Player Com. Att. Yds. TD|
"There were some good things and there were some bad things that happened, but I'm happy we're 5-0," Parks said.
The Lynx finally hit paydirt early in the second quarter on Parks' first scoring scamper - a 4-yard run straight up the gut after he took a direct snap from center Justin Crouch. Nevada fumbled deep in its own territory on its ensuing possession and one play later spinback Jonny Davis - the player who recovered the fumble - floated a 20-yard touchdown pass to Caleb Crouthamel in the right corner of the end zone for a 14-0 Webster City advantage.
Garrett Gourley came up with the first of his two interceptions later in the second quarter, setting up Parks for a 9-yard touchdown rumble around the right end.
And the rout was on.
"Everybody contributed and it was a good win," Gourley, a junior cornerback who has a team-best three interceptions on the season, said. "The line definitely got pressure on (Nevada quarterback Bryce Black) and I don't think he could see the receivers. He just kind of floated it up there and I was there."
Two more third-quarter touchdowns put the game well out of reach and started the continuous clock. Parks scooted into the end zone from 4 yards out on the Lynx first drive of the second half and two possessions later - with 1:42 left in the quarter - Davis again went to the air on a play-action pass that Crouthamel reeled in and he was off to the races for a 70-yard TD.
Davis completed 3-of-6 passes - all to Crouthamel - for 113 yards and he kept his season-long streak of zero interceptions intact.
"(Nevada) had to come up on (Parks) and that allowed us to get behind them with passes," Howard said. "We hit enough of them to break the game open, and I thought the (offensive) line played much better. We had a good week of practice with them and it showed."
Luke Shannon's 4-yard TD jaunt with 7:17 remaining in regulation extended Webster City's lead to 42-0.
Nevada broke up the Lynx shutout bid in the final minute, and then things went downhill for Webster City.
The second onside kick of the game by the Cubs in the waning moments was recovered by Daniel Stoakes, but the senior starter in the secondary writhed in pain on the field after being stepped on by a Nevada player. Howard feared after the game that Stoakes had broken a rib, and the injury certainly soured the victory.
"The whole thing is tainted with losing Daniel Stoakes," Howard said. "It's a huge loss because he's our emotional leader. He's been our strongest and most vocal senior, and he makes plays."
Stoakes was taken to the Hamilton Hospital following the game, and x-rays on his ribs were negative - certainly good news for the Lynx. His status for this Friday's contest at Humboldt remains unclear.
Webster City finished with 327 yards of total offense, compared to 216 for Nevada. Sam Mossman and Davis contributed 29 and 23 yards rushing, respectively. Tai Le led the Cubs' ground attack with 75 yards on 11 carries, including the 2-yard touchdown run late.
Senior linebacker Eric Tolle produced 6 tackles to lead the Lynx defense.