WEBSTER CITY - At this point in the season, style points don't matter. Just ask the king.
"All that matters are the two numbers on the scoreboard at the end of the game," Webster City senior tight end and 2012 homecoming king Boone Myers said late Friday night after he helped his Lynx team extinguish Class 3A District 3 rival Algona, 28-14, in front of a sizable crowd estimated at 1,200. "That's what we're focused on."
As well they should be.
DFJ photo by Troy Banning
Webster City junior tailback Connor Larson (7) rips off a nice gain around the right end during the second half against Algona Friday night at Lynx Field. Larson gained 111 yards, his fourth straight 100-yard performance, and the Lynx won on homecoming, 28-14.
Was it perfect? No, not even close. But Webster City (4-1, 3-0) gave a workmanlike performance to run its win streak to four straight, and the purple and gold notched its eighth consecutive conquest at Lynx Field dating back to the end of the 2010 season.
More importantly, WCHS sits as the only district member with a blemish-free record - when was the last time you could say that? - after Clear Lake was stunned by Humboldt, 26-10, on Friday.
"We just need to keep winning and we're in business," WCHS head coach Bob Howard said.
Algona 0 0 7 7-14
Webster City 7 14 0 7-28
WCHS - Connor Larson 3 run (Kirk Greenley kick), 5:09.
WCHS - Alex Oswald 2 run (Greenley kick), 2:43.
WCHS - Boone Myers 10 pass from Oswald (Greenley kick), 0:22.
ALG - Mitchell Erpelding 75 pass from Weston Shaw (Mason Decker kick), 2:22.
WCHS - Larson 2 run (Greenley kick), 11:21.
ALG - Sawyer Frideres 2 run (Decker kick), 5:59.
Rushing - ALG: Sawyer Frideres 12-90, Mitchell Erpelding 8-29, Weston Shaw 5-16, Joe Teague 1-2, Tyler Frideres 3-(-1). WCHS: Connor Larson 21-111, Alex Oswald 17-90, Trey Tesdahl 11-51, Austin Myers 1-12.
Passing - ALG: Shaw 9-22-3 159. WCHS: Oswald 3-12-2 62.
Receiving - ALG: Erpelding 1-75, T. Frideres 3-22, JJ Laubenthal 1-22, S. Frideres 3-22, Justin Raymond 1-18. WCHS: Tesdahl 1-37, Boone Myers 2-25.
Tackles - WCHS: Rylee Lawson 9, Tyler Lockwood 6, B. Myers 5.5, Nelson Ball 4.5, Brandon Patten 4, Gus Gasca 3.5, Cal Zahn 3, Chris Goodrich 2, Alex Lomeli 2, Tesdahl 2, A. Myers 2, Larson 1.
Junior tailback Connor Larson churned out his fourth consecutive 100-yard rushing game despite playing with an injured left thumb that he dislocated in practice earlier in the week, and classmate Alex Oswald came 10 yards from joining him in triple digits, as they combined to score three rushing touchdowns in the win.
Larson worked primarily over the right side to gain 111 yards on 21 carries, and Oswald - all 5-foot-8, 170 pounds of him - looked like a battering ram at times as he chewed up 90 yards on 17 totes into the teeth of the Bulldog defense up the middle.
"I love taking hits, and I feel great after games," Oswald said. "I'm not like (junior wingback) Trey (Tesdahl) because he likes to juke. I just like to run right at guys."
Tesdahl picked up 51 yards on the perimeter, part of the Lynx 264 total yards rushing. Algona entered the bout allowing just 143 yards on the ground per game.
There were issues offensively, however. Just like in their Week 4 27-7 win over Iowa Falls-Alden, the Lynx squandered two scoring chances inside the red zone in the first half and they turned the ball over three times.
Oswald was intercepted twice and he completed just 3 of 12 passes for 62 yards. One of those completions went to Myers in the corner of the end zone with just 22 seconds remaining in the first half to give WCHS a 21-0 advantage at the intermission.
Myers caught two passes that covered 25 yards.
"I need to pass the ball better, that's the biggest thing for me coming out of this game," Oswald said.
WCHS was also penalized six times; three were holding calls that put the offense in some holes.
"We played way too inconsistent on offense again," Howard said. "We're not good enough yet to be able to drive and drive and drive and not make a penalty. There was a lot of good stuff and Algona is decent on defense, but for the fifth game of the season we ought to be getting some of that stuff cleaned up by now."
Larson gave the Lynx the lead for good midway through the first quarter when he took a direct snap and burst through the line from 3 yards out. The Lynx started the drive at the Algona 12-yard line after the defense forced the Bulldogs to punt out of their own end zone.
WCHS linebacker Nelson Ball put his team back in business with just under 6 minutes remaining in the second quarter when he intercepted a Weston Shaw pass and returned it 39 yards to the Bulldogs' 31.
Larson lumbered for gains of 9 and 8 yards on back-to-back runs to move the ball inside the 15, and a few plays later Oswald busted through and dove over the goal line from 2 yards out to give the Lynx a two-score cushion.
A third Algona turnover of the half - this time an interception by Tesdahl at the Bulldogs' 39 with 1:46 left in the half - gave WCHS another short field. Algona further harmed itself with a defensive holding penalty on a fourth-down incomplete pass - it was one of 11 hankies thrown in its direction in the game - and Oswald made the Bulldogs pay with his loft into the arms of Myers on a 10-yard touchdown strike.
"My job was to either catch it or don't let them catch it and stop the clock," Myers said.
Algona sliced its deficit to 21-7 late in the third quarter on a 75-yard touchdown toss from Shaw to fullback Mitchell Erpelding. The Bulldogs caught WCHS in a blitz; Shaw flicked a short pass to Erpelding out in the flat and he did the rest as he outran the defense down the sideline.
"That was a good call by them and a bad (defensive) call by me," Howard said. "But other than two plays, I thought we played pretty well on defense."
Algona sensed the tide turning when it had the Lynx in a third-and-11 on their ensuing possession, but Oswald found his throwing rhythm just in time, rifling a 37-yard pass to Tesdahl down the right sideline to move the chains. The drive culminated with Larson's second touchdown - a 2-yard plunge - to push the lead back to 21 points.
Sawyer Frideres tacked on a 2-yard leap over the line and into the end zone for Algona with 5:59 remaining, but the Bulldogs last gasp two minutes later ended on Shaw's third interception of the game - this time it was Lynx cornerback Austin Myers' turn - and WCHS was able to run out the clock.
Algona managed just 136 yards rushing on 31 carries. Frideres chugged for 90 yards, 50 coming on a first-half scamper.
Shaw completed 9 of 22 passes for 159 yards.
Sophomore linebacker Rylee Lawson collected eight solo tackles for the Lynx, and junior defensive end Gus Gasca notched the game's only sack when he threw a scrambling Shaw for a 24-yard loss late in the first half.
WCHS will now turn its attention to its showdown with Clear Lake on Friday. Kickoff from Lynx Field is set for 7:30 p.m.