No. 8 Lynx efficiently smack Cadets, move to 7-1
IOWA FALLS – The night was over for Webster City’s starters when offensive lineman Cooper Lawson turned to spinback Drew Fielder on the sideline and stuck the metaphorical knife in his side.
“Cooper said to me that I should have broken my thumb earlier in the year,” Fielder said while laughing late Friday night. “But, whatever, it was a good night.”
Playing with a cast on his right hand – his throwing hand – Fielder, ironically enough, had his best throwing performance of the season and No. 8-ranked (Class 3A) Webster City blistered Iowa Falls-Alden, 42-7, for its fifth consecutivelopsided victory.
Fielder, who also serves as a linebacker, broke his right thumb on the Lynx first defensive series against Perry in Week 7. He went to the doctor last Monday and expected the worst. But the reality really couldn’t have been any better.
“I was expecting a big old cast covering all of my fingers and my whole thumb, but I was lucky enough to have the tip of my thumb out and all four of my fingers, so I went right back to practice to see if I could throw.”
Fielder completed 2 of 4 passes for 76 yards, including a 67-yard bomb to Zane Carter that resulted in a touchdown and 21-0 WCHS lead late in the first half against the Cadets. The two incompletions were put right on the money by Fielder, but dropped.
“We could have had three touchdown passes if we had caught the ball,” WCHS head coach Bob Howard said. “But Drew played well.”
Fielder also rushed for 117 yards and a touchdown – a 33-yard burst up the middle in which he was never touched on the Lynx first offensive series of the game, and it set the tone for the remainder of the contest.
Facing nine and sometimes even 10 defenders in the box, WCHS (7-1, 5-1 District 2) – the No. 1-ranked running team in 3A – still churned out 407 yards on the ground and averaged 8.3 yards per tote. Four of the team’s six touchdowns came on plays of 31 yards or longer, a byproduct of the feast or famine defensive scheme IF-A (3-5, 1-5 District 2) implemented.
“That’s about as tough a run scheme as you’re going to see if somebody is willing to play 11 people within three yards of the ball,” Howard said. “But when you do that, it’s either a 1-yard gain or a 20-yard gain because there’s no secondary to contain.”
Tailback Robert Frederiksen ripped off sizable chunks of yardage nearly every time he touched the ball, as he rolled up 197 yards and three touchdowns on 24 carries. The workhorse all season, Frederiksen pushed his seven-game output to 1,353 yards.
“We want (tailbacks) that can carry it 20 or 25 times a game and not fumble,” Howard said. “We want them to get four yards a carry and everything after that is gravy. So he’s had a great season, and Drew did a nice job running too against eight guys in between the guards.”
Payton Kannuan finished with 56 yards rushing on five carries, highlighted by a 39-yard sprint around the left end for a touchdown to make it 14-0 in the Lynx favor late in the first quarter.
Kannuan’s night could have been much bigger had it not been for a pair of penalties. He had a 54-yard scoring run wiped out on a hold, and later in the first half an illegal block negated an 82-yard punt return to the house by the dynamic senior speedster.
“I was definitely tired,” Kannuan said. “But it’s no big deal. We got the win, that’s all that matters.”
Leading by three touchdowns at the intermission, WCHS continued to pound away on the Cadets and scored on its first three series of the second half to push the margin to 42-0. Frederiksen cashed in on all three on jaunts of 33, 4 and 13 yards. His final score – a dash around the right end – came after he dove past three IF-A defenders and got the ball just inside the pylon.
IF-A got on the scoreboard after WCHS had pulled most of its defensive starters midway through the fourth quarter. Quarterback Ben Scadden hit Tyjon Rose on a swing pass and the wideout took it down the Lynx sideline 39 yards to the end zone.
Scadden completed 8 of 19 passes for 109 yards; he was picked off once by Lynx free safety Dylan Steen on a screen pass in the second quarter. Rose also completed a 41-yard heave on a reverse pass in the opening quarter.
Since its only loss to Gilbert, 31-25, in Week 3, WCHS has outscored its last five opponents 212-30. The defensive first unit has allowed just two touchdowns during that stretch, and one of those occurred after the offense had turned the ball over inside the 10-yard line against Dallas Center-Grimes.
“Defensively we played pretty well once again,” Howard said after the Lynx limited IF-A to a mere 23 yards rushing on 22 carries. “Efficient is a good way to describe how we played (Friday night).”
Defensive end Riley Mishler had his best outing of the season with a team-high seven tackles, all of them solo stops. He opted to take last season off from football, but is happy that he didn’t sit by and watch again.
“It’s been a lot of fun. It was a mistake not going out last year,” Mishler said. “We just play well as a team.”
Fielder, Caleb Olson and Zane Williams, the Lynx linebackers, all had four tackles. Lawson had the game’s only sack; James Cherry and Harrison Hayes registered tackles for loss.
The playoff aspirations that WCHS has held onto all season will potentially hinge on Friday’s Week 9 showdown with ninth-ranked Boone (7-1, 6-0) at Lynx Field. The Toreaders secured a spot in the postseason with a 21-14 victory over Dallas Center-Grimes on Friday, while the Lynx still have some work to do to move on for the ninth consecutive season.
Friday’s winner will earn the top seed out of District 2. WCHS will attempt to win its second straight district title.
“This game is going to be for everything,” Kannuan said. “We have to win to get in the playoffs, so it’s very important.”