TAKE NOTICE: Lynx impress on both sides of ball, dole out beating to Carroll
Mathis, Rattenborg, Hisler and Cherry combine for 433 yards, average 9.8 yards per tote
WEBSTER CITY — Trey Mathis extended his arm and showed the ball to everyone before he even reached the line of scrimmage on a simple carry up the middle early in the third quarter Friday night at Lynx Field.
He saw the hole. It was wide enough to drive a Zamboni through. Next stop: the end zone.
It was that kind of night for Mathis and WCHS — fun from the opening whistle until the final horn, as the Lynx lambasted a shellshocked Carroll, 55-0. It was the most lopsided outcome in the history of the series and the Tigers’ worst loss since a 72-0 defeat at the hands of Audubon in — are you ready for this? — 1971.
“I didn’t really expect that,” Mathis, the Lynx senior all-state tailback said after he rushed for 174 yards and three touchdowns. “I expected this to be a down and dirty game, so I feel great with where we are. But we can always get better.”
That will always be the company line, but it’s hard to find many areas where WCHS (2-0) could have been better on Friday.
The Lynx three-headed backfield beast — Mathis, spinback Chase Rattenborg (130 yards, two touchdowns) and wingback CJ Hisler (66 yards, one touchdown) — chewed up 370 yards and averaged — averaged — 9.7 yards per carry in less than three quarters of work. Freshman Jaxon Cherry, the future of the Lynx offense, put up plenty of highlights in the fourth quarter with 63 yards and a score.
WCHS finished with 484 yards of offense, all on the ground, and scored touchdowns on eight of its nine possessions in the first, second and fourth quarters. The only thing to stop the second-half machine? The final horn with the ball inside the Carroll 10.
The backfield was certainly dominant, but so was the offensive line. After an inconsistent performance in Week 1 against Spencer, the group of JJ Moore, Neven Dorothy, Trey Shannon, Beau Klaver and Truman Klein owned the trenches. Klaver missed the second half due to injury, but the big boys never missed a beat.
“I was really happy with the way the line played,” WCHS head coach Bob Howard said. “We felt (Carroll) had a good defensive team, but we really controlled the line of scrimmage.”
Dorothy, making just his second start, said the nerves that rattled him in the opener were a distant memory. He played like it too.
“I was pretty comfortable out there,” Dorothy said. “Our pad level was really good this game and we were really good off the ball. Now we just need to keep improving.”
WCHS scored on its first four possessions and led 28-0 before even 9 minutes had ticked off the clock. Rattenborg set the rout in motion on the fourth play — a sweep around the right end that he took 69 yards to the house.
A five-play drive, capped by a 31-yard sprint by Hisler around the left end made it 14-0 just a few minutes later.
WCHS defensive end Jamin Stuhr forced a fumble that was gobbled up by Jack Van Diest on Carroll’s next play from scrimmage, and three Mathis runs later — the last a 4-yard burst up the gut — it was a three-score game.
“After we hit them with that third one, the game wasn’t over, but it was hard to come back,” Howard said. “It just kind of snowballed from there.”
Mathis’ second TD was a stiff-arm thing of beauty late in the second period, as he planted a Carroll defender on his behind on his way to a 24-yard score.
Mathis and Rattenborg both topped the 100-yard plateau in the first half and they were out of the game by the 4:50 mark of the third.
WCHS upped its margin to 35-0 on Mathis’ ball-showing 6-yard TD early in the third, and Rattenborg bulled his way in from the 2 on the Lynx next series to make it 42-0.
Kyzer Stanley got his first offensive series of the season and scored from 3 yards out late in the third, and then Cherry took over in the fourth. Running like anything but a freshman, he keyed an 80-yard drive that ate more than 7 minutes off the clock and ended it with a 5-yard run at the 4:13 mark of the fourth.
And the offensive explosion was only half the story.
The WCHS defense continued its stingy ways, as it limited Carroll (1-1) to 127 yards of total offense. Bruising fullback Ryan Johnston was held to 32 yards.
Carroll put the ball on the turf six times, and WCHS recovered five of the fumbles and turned them into 28 points. The Tigers were also stuffed on fourth down twice, including on fourth-and-1 at their own 37 in the first quarter when they were still in the game.
“It’s all about consistency in practice and then showing up in the games,” Stuhr, who also recovered a fumble and made three tackles, said.
Mathis, Skyler Scott and Connor Hanson all made five tackles. Hanson, an undersized nose tackle, chased down Carroll quarterback Slade Sibenaller from behind on a fourth-down scramble in the second quarter that gave the ball back to WCHS.
News flash: Nose tackles aren’t supposed to run down quarterbacks.
“We have good team speed,” Howard said. “And I think they’re starting to get a little bit of team pride about playing defense and getting excited about playing defense and stuffing people. But it’s just two games.”
The WCHS defense has yet to yield a point in those two games. In fact, going back to last season, it’s been 12 quarters since an opponent reached the end zone against the unit, and you better believe the Lynx know that.
“We take a lot of pride in it,” Stuhr said. “Every time we score, we have a mindset that it’s zero-zero. All the way to the buzzer, it’s zero-zero.”
Stuffing Johnston was the key. He gouged WCHS for three TDs a season ago when the Tigers came out on top, but he had nowhere to run Friday night.
“Coach talked about him all week,” Scott, who stood up Johnston several times, said. “We knew he was going to be a big target, but I just went in there and hit him.”
Stanley joined his fellow defensive end Stuhr with three tackles.
WCHS will continue its early-season homestead on Friday when it faces unbeaten Ballard (2-0) in the Class 3A District 2 opener at 7:30 p.m.
Carroll 0 0 0 0 — 0
Webster City 28 0 20 7 — 55
WC — Chase Rattenborg 69 run (Ty McKinney kick), 10:01.
WC — CJ Hisler 31 run (McKinney kick), 6:53.
WC — Trey Mathis 4 run (McKinney kick), 5:43.
WC — Mathis 24 run (McKinney kick), 3:03.
WC – Mathis 6 run (McKinney kick), 10:55.
WC — Rattenborg 2 run (McKinney kick), 4:50.
WC — Kyzer Stanley 3 run (kick blocked), 1:45.
WC — Jaxon Cherry 5 run (Trey Lyons kick), 4:13.
First downs 6 16
Rushing 6 16
Passing 0 0
Penalty 0 0
Rushes-yards 27-82 56-484
Passing yards 45 0
Comp-Att-INT 3-13-0 0-3-0
Return yards 179 34
Sacked-yards lost 1-7 0-0
Punts-Ave 2-46 1-14
Fumbles-lost 6-5 0-0
Penalties-yards 2-16 5-41
Time of Possession 19:49 28:11
Webster City Lynx
Player Att Yds TD
Trey Mathis 18 174 3
Chase Rattenborg 12 130 2
CJ Hisler 8 66 1
Jaxon Cherry 6 63 1
Keegan Hisler 2 16 0
Austin Mason 5 15 0
Ty McKinney 1 11 0
Kyzer Stanley 2 8 1
Connor Hanson 2 1 0
Player Com Att Yds TD
C. Rattenborg 0 3 0 0
Player So Ast Tot
Skyler Scott 5 0 5
Connor Hanson 5 0 5
Trey Mathis 4 2 5
Jamin Stuhr 3 0 3
Kyzer Stanley 2 2 3
Jack Van Diest 2 1 21⁄2
Charlie Stansfield 2 1 21⁄2
Ty McKinney 2 0 2
Tyler Olson 1 0 1
Tyler Moothart 1 0 1
Devon Stoakes 0 1 1⁄2
CJ Hisler 0 1 1⁄2
Truman Klein 0 1 1⁄2
Ryan Zuetlau 0 1 1⁄2
Gage Rossing 0 1 1⁄2
Player Att Yds TD
Slade Sibenaller 9 68 0
Ryan Johnston 13 32 0
Abraham Dirkx 2 7 0
Jack Troutman 1 0 0
Caden Kock 2 -1 0
Player Com Att Yds TD
S. Sibenaller 3 13 45 0
Player Rec Yds TD
Tory Feldman 1 36 0
Ryan Johnston 1 5 0
Cade Schable 1 4 0