BIG BOY BALL
Lynx O-line owns Mohawks in trenches, No. 7 Lynx roll
WEBSTER CITY — CJ Hisler came around the left end on the counter and saw nothing but green grass and the end zone on the fourth play of the game Friday night at Lynx Field.
Eighty-three yards later, seventh-ranked (Class 3A) Webster City had introduced Mason City to single-wing football with a haymaker. And yet it was three players earlier — a 7-yard gain on a base-play run to the left by tailback Trey Mathis — that head coach Bob Howard remembered most vividly after the Lynx wrapped up a 42-7 dismantling of the previously unbeaten Mohawks.
“The very first play of the game, (tight end) JJ Moore set the tone for the whole game,” Howard said. “He took their big No. 99 (Sebastian Brock) about 10 yards down the field and took two linebackers out with them. He did it on the whole first series, he was just hammering him. It was the same block on CJ’s (touchdown) run.”
The WCHS front six — Moore, Truman Klein, Beau Klaver, Trey Shannon, Neven Stark and Ben Auderer — owned the trenches, and the three-headed backfield — Hisler, Mathis and spinback Chase Rattenborg — ran circles around Mason City to the tune of 281 first-half rushing yards and a season-high 417 on the night.
Offense, defense, special teams — it was the Lynx most complete performance of the season. And it all began with the big boys up front.
“They’re just making leaps and bounds, and they’re determined to get better every week,” Hisler, who rushed for a career-high 173 yards and had 221 yards of total offense, said.
“They’re getting better, and without blowing too much smoke, there’s not a lineman who weighs more than 225,” he said. “Their pad level is good, they’re coming off the ball well, and I don’t know that we blew any assignments.
“Shannon and Stark and Klaver all had good games, and Truman Klein gets very little credit, but he is so good as our main puller. And someone who never gets mentioned is (center) Ben Auderer. There were a couple balls on the ground, but it wasn’t because of snaps.”
All three backs have repeatedly praised the offensive linemen, but it’s a two-way street of admiration.
“Our backfield is amazing,” Klaver said. “It’s a lot of fun when you know you have someone running hard for you.”
Mathis lumbered for 164 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while Rattenborg chewed up 80 yards and passed for 69 more. He also reached the end zone twice.
“All three backs ran well, and the scheme for all three was working,” Howard said.
Just like it has in past contests, WCHS seized control early on and raced out to a 22-0 lead after one quarter. Mason City won the coin toss and elected a defer; a mistake other opponents have made as well.
“We like getting the ball first,” Hisler said. “They think they’re going to stop us.”
WCHS (5-0, 3-0 District 2) has now outscored its opponents 71-7 in the first quarter this season.
“We talk a lot about trying to win the first five minutes of the first half and the first five minutes of the third quarter,” Howard said. “Those are key times in the ballgame.”
Mathis capped a 4-play, 68-yard drive with a 6-yard touchdown run on the Lynx second possession of the game, and five minutes later Devon Stoakes provided what proved to be the knockout punch. Mason City attempted to punt from its own 10-yard line, but Stoakes raced through the line and blocked it, and was the first player to the ball as it laid in the end zone for a touchdown and 22-point lead at the 1:19 mark of the first period.
“I’ve got to credit Connor (Hanson) because he took their three up backs and I just kind of went around,” Stoakes said. “I took it off the fast mask and that was the end of it. Whenever you have a special teams touchdown, that’s always a momentum setter.”
Mathis’ second TD run, a 4-yard burst through a slew of arm tackles, increased the Lynx lead to 28-0 at the half.
Ty McKinney started the third quarter off on a high when he intercepted Mason City quarterback Connor Dalen, and WCHS turned it into seven more points after it marched 64 yards down the field on seven plays. Rattenborg went through the middle on a trap and ran over a Mohawk safety as he dove across the goal line.
Mason City’s lone offensive success came over a stretch of nearly eight minutes that spanned the third and fourth quarters. Continually running simple quarterback sneaks with Dalan — a 200-pound slab of concrete — the Mohawks went 90 yards and avoided the shutout on a 1-yard Dalan run.
Dalan finished with 131 yards rushing, and Mason City (2-1, 1-1 District 2) put up 178 ground yards in the game.
“He’s a load,” McKinney, who also made three tackles, said of Dalan. “I don’t know what happened in the third quarter, but we were up 35-0. Still, we would have liked to keep him out of the end zone.”
Mason City’s momentum was short-lived, however. WCHS answered on its next series, as Rattenborg scored from 2 yards out to get the Lynx lead back to 35 points.
WCHS had five players — Mathis, Hisler, Hanson, Jamin Stuhr and Skyler Scott — with at least five tackles. Three others — Jack Van Diest, Kyzer Stanley and Tyler Olson — finished with four.
The Lynx find themselves in the driver’s seat for the district title with games against Gilbert and Boone remaining. They’ll head out on the road to take on Gilbert Friday night at 7:30 p.m.
“I think we’re peaking right now and I think we’re going to stay this way for a while,” McKinney said. “We’re not overlooking anybody.”
Mason City 0 0 0 7 — 7
Webster City 22 6 7 7 — 42
WC — CJ Hisler 83 run (kick blocked), 10:13.
WC — Trey Mathis 6 run (Mathis run), 7:23.
WC — Devon Stoakes blocked punt in end zone (Mathis run), 1:19.
WC — Mathis 4 run (pass failed), 1:32.
WC — Chase Rattenborg 7 run (Ty McKinney kick), 7:20.
MC — Connor Dalen 1 run (Eric Lensing kick), 11:24.
WC — Rattenborg 2 run (Trey Lyons kick), 5:12.
First downs 12 18
Rushing 10 16
Passing 2 2
Penalty 0 0
Rushes-yards 36-178 50-417
Passing yards 42 69
Comp-Att-INT 6-17-1 2-5-0
Return yards 57 11
Sacked-yards lost 0-0 0-0
Punts-Ave 4-39 1-46
Fumbles-lost 2-0 4-1
Penalties-yards 3-45 3-25
Time of Possession 25:11 22:49
Webster City Lynx
Player Att Yds TD
CJ Hisler 11 173 1
Trey Mathis 21 164 2
Chase Rattenborg 18 80 2
Player Com Att Yds TD
C. Rattenborg 2 5 69 0
Player Rec Yds TD
CJ Hisler 1 48 0
Tyler Olson 1 21 0
Player So Ast Tot
Trey Mathis 6 1 61⁄2
CJ Hisler 5 2 6
Jamin Stuhr 5 1 51⁄2
Skyler Scott 4 3 51⁄2
Connor Hanson 5 0 5
Jack Van Diest 3 2 4
Kyzer Stanley 3 2 4
Tyler Olson 3 2 4
Ty McKinney 3 0 3
Devon Stoakes 2 2 3
Trey Lyons 2 0 2
Charlie Stansfield 2 0 2
Gage Rossing 1 0 1
Mason City Mohawks
Player Att Yds TD
Connor Dalen 16 131 1
Ben Amundson 8 28 0
Jalen Wynter 10 11 0
Alec Niver 2 8 0
Player Com Att Yds TD
Connor Dalen 5 12 38 0
Kale Hobart 1 5 4 0
Player Rec Yds TD
Sebastian Brock 2 33 0
Carter Thomas 3 7 0
Will Fingalsen 1 2 0