MONTEZUMA — Losing their first four games of the season, Lynnville-Sully’s Hawks could have ducked their heads and folded. The Hawks didn’t.
“This team stuck together and their attitudes were tremendous through that tough stretch,” said Mike Parkinson, Hawk head coach, who watched his team reel off five straight victories, including a 28-0 win over Montezuma Friday night in the regular- season finale.
That run of wins and the victory Friday puts the Hawks in the No. 3 spot out of Class A, District 6 for this week’s playoffs. Lynnville-Sully (5-4) travels southeast to Wayland to play the 5-4 WACO Warriors Wednesday in the first round of the Class A playoffs.
Defense has been a big factor for the Hawks in the final few games. The Hawks held the Montezuma Braves to 50 yards on 23 carries Friday night on the Braves’ field. Montezuma had just 110 yards of total offense.
Senior linebacker Bailee Samson not only forced three fumbles but recovered three fumbles in the first half for the Hawks. Samson led the Hawk defense with six solo tackles, two assisted tackles, two tackles for loss and a quarterback sack. Senior T.J. Cunningham recorded four solo stops and a fumble recovery.
“Our defense had an outstanding total effort as a unit. These kids really pursued the football well,” Parkinson said. “It was a tight game early and those turnovers changed the momentum in our favor.”
Senior Caden Doll rushed for 193 yards on 32 carries for Lynnville-Sully and scored two touchdowns. Samson and senior Daniel Zimmerman each had a one-yard touchdown run. Sophomore kicker Noah Engle booted four extra-points.
“We ran the ball very effectively, which was key in the game,” Parkinson said.
Sophomore quarterback Sage Ehresman went 4-of-8 passing for 32 yards. Cunningham and senior Darin Hofer each had one catch for 14 yards. Doll had one catch for three yards and Samson ha a one-yard reception.
Doll had three unassisted tackles and three assisted tackles for Lynnville-Sully’s defense. Senior Brandon Dunsberger made three solo stops and two assisted tackles. Zimmerman had three solos and two assisted tackles. Payton Scandridge, senior linebacker, had a quarterback sack along with one solo tackle and four assisted tackles.