No. 10 Lynx run IF-A into ground in 56-point blowout
Tailbacks rush for 293 yards; WCHS?zero passing yards for second straight week
WEBSTER CITY — Pick a Webster City tailback, any Webster City tailback, and the odds are good he sliced through the Iowa Falls-Alden defense like a Ginsu knife through warm butter Friday night at Lynx Field.
Play after play, drive after drive, the 10th-ranked (Class 3A) Lynx ushered the ball down the field with little resistance. And by the time the final horn mercifully sounded, WCHS had its largest victory in more than three years.
Tailbacks Jordan Tanner, Carter Bedford and Parker Rossing combined to chew up 293 yards and score five touchdowns, as WCHS obliterated longtime rival Iowa Falls-Alden, 62-6, in front of a large homecoming crowd.
It was the Lynx eighth consecutive win in the series — they’ve won those contests by an average of 36 points — and the most points they’ve scored in a game since a 63-7 rout of Algona on Sept. 19, 2014.
“Games like this are fun because everybody’s hyped and everybody gets to play,” Tanner said after he gained 107 yards and scored a pair of touchdowns on 10 first-half carries. “We knew we could come in and pound the ball on the ground for big yards and that’s what we did.”
Tanner and the majority of the WCHS starters took the second half off because the game was over by the half. Heck, it was over before the Cadets were even able to generate a first down.
WCHS (7-1, 5-1 District 2) unleashed a 28-point first quarter and led 49-0 at the break. Head coach Bob Howard’s team found the end zone on its first eight possessions.
The entire second half was played under a continuous clock.
“We were focused and we played well,” Howard said after his crew put up 451 yards of offense while limiting IF-A to 153 yards, the majority of which came in the second half. “We certainly didn’t slow down or back up.”
For the second straight week, WCHS failed to complete a pass, but that was more by design than anything. The Lynx have won those two games by a combined margin of 104-13.
Howard was more than content to pound the ball straight at the Cadets (1-7, 0-6), who lost for the seventh straight time. WCHS also turned two first-quarter turnovers into 14 points.
Defensive tackle Cooper Lawson was on the receiving end of one of those turnovers, as he intercepted a Caden Mentzer shovel pass midway through the first quarter and had the end zone in his sights, but Cadets’ running back Kyler Hadwiger was able to drag him to the ground at the IF-A 15-yard line.
“I wanted (to score a touchdown) pretty bad, but somebody was on my ankle,” Lawson, who has two interceptions on the season, said. “I was just in the right spot at the right time.”
One play later, Tanner beat the defense around the end and sprinted into the end zone for his second touchdown. He opened the onslaught with a 44-yard gallop down the sideline and to the house on the opening drive of the game.
A starting wide receiver before injuries besieged the WCHS backfield, Tanner looked comfortable in his first headlining appearance.
“It’s a lot of run running the football,” he said.
Dylan Steen picked off his 3A-leading eighth pass of the season on a Mentzer deep ball and returned it 39 yards to the Cadets’ 6 with 4:17 remaining in the first quarter. Howard called his number on the next play, as Steen, the Lynx spinback, took the snap right up the gut to make it 28-0.
Drake Doolittle got in on the first-quarter fun with 6:53 remaining on a 36-yard counter that resulted in his first touchdown of the season.
The quick-strike drives were nice, but WCHS also proved it could be methodical. After the Lynx stopped IF-A on fourth-and-goal from the 5, they went on a 16-play, 95-yard excursion that ate 5:15 off the clock and ended with another Steen touchdown run, this one from the 3.
“That was what we wanted to do, come in and put the hammer down right away,” Lawson, an all-state offensive lineman, said. “We wanted to get the job done and get out of there.”
Steen’s third touchdown, a 12-yard burst up the middle, extended the lead to 42-0 with 4:34 left in the first half. He finished with 63 yards rushing on 11 carries, while Doolittle added 62 yards on five totes. Neither player had a second-half carry.
Bedford, who reeled off 93 of his 100 yards in the first half, put the finishing touches on a near-perfect first half when he bounced to the outside and tip-toed the sideline for a 34-yard touchdown run as the clock reached all zeroes.
Howard was happy that he was able to give his primary ball carriers the rest of the night off.
“It was nice not having to play any of our running backs or skill people in the second half,” he said. “They didn’t have to get hit and it got them another half of rest.”
Back-up spinback Gabe Humphrey pushed the margin to 55-0 on the Lynx first offensive play of the third quarter. He took a direct snap and weaved his way through traffic for a 27-yard touchdown run.
The majority of Rossing’s 86 yards came on one play — a 74-yard blast up the middle. He out-ran a slew of chasing IF-A defenders to the end zone with 57 seconds remaining.
The Cadets’ lone touchdown came on a 10-yard run by Cayden Howland with 3:15 to go. But the WCHS junior varsity more than held its own and even outscored IF-A, 13-6, in the second half. Carson Hartnett forced a fumble that was recovered by Carson Struchen and collected 31⁄2 tackles. Malachi Montes intercepted a Cadet pass by Thomas Quinlin in the third quarter.
“The JV did a nice job because they didn’t know they were going to be playing that much,” Howard said.
Luke Rohmiller led the WCHS defense with six tackles. The Hayes brothers, Hunter and Harrison, as well as Blake Johnson were all in on sacks.
IF-A quarterback Tyjon Rose, who entered the game late in the first quarter, threw for 74 yards. WCHS held the Cadets to minus-5 yards rushing in the first half.
IF-Alden 0 0 0 6–6
Webster City 28 21 6 7–62
WC — Jordan Tanner 44 run (Nathan Ferrell kick), 8:40.
WC — Drake Doolittle 36 run (Ferrell kick), 6:53.
WC — Tanner 15 run (Ferrell kick), 5:18.
WC — Dylan Steen 6 run (Ferrell kick), 4:13.
WC — Steen 3 run (Ferrell kick), 8:19.
WC — Steen 12 run (Ferrell kick), 4:34.
WC — Carter Bedford 35 run (Ferrell kick), 0:00.
WC — Gabe Humphrey 27 run (kick failed), 9:10.
IFA — Cayden Howland 10 run (run failed), 3:15.
WC — Parker Rossing 74 run (Ferrell kick), 0:57.