Lynnville-Sully, Prairie City-Monroe and Pella Christian hit the football playoff road Wednesday. They all face teams which favor the ground game more than the passing game.
Lynnville-Sully is at Wayland against WACO’s Warriors in Class A action. Kickoff is 7 p.m.
“They are definitely a run-first team with a couple of good backs and a big front line,” said Mike Parkinson, Lynnville-Sully Hawks’ head coach. “We’ll have to play good, solid football and make adjustments during the game to what they come at us with both offensively and defensively.”
The Hawks opened the season with four straight losses, but have a five-game winning streak going now. Both teams are 5-4 on the season. WACO has won three games in a row.
WACO’s offense is powered by the running game of junior Tucker Janecek and sophomore Bryce Achen. Janecek has 1,182 yards on 141 carries and has scored 15 touchdowns for the Warriors. Achen rushed for 901 yards on 144 carries.
Lynnville-Sully also likes to control things with a ground game. Seniors Caden Doll and Bailee Samson are the forces out of the backfield for the Hawks. Doll has piled up 963 yards on 130 carries and scored 12 touchdowns. Samson had 533 yards on 89 carries, scored six touchdowns, plus returned two punts for touchdowns.
“We’ve been playing pretty good football down the stretch. We talk about what we want to do offensively, and work to make it work for us,” Parkinson said.
Samson is one of two players in Class A with 10 quarterback sacks this season. He has 33 solo tackles and 22 assisted tackles. Doll leads the Hawk defense with 52 solo stops and 37 assisted tackles. Payton Scandridge, another senior, has 32 unassisted tackles and 44 assisted stops. Scandridge and Samson each have five fumble recovers. Lynnville-Sully has 17 fumble recoveries as a team.
PCM’s MUSTANGS ride down the road to meet Class 2A fifth-ranked Mediapolis Bulldogs on Wednesday. Kickoff is 7 p.m. in Mediapolis. The Mustangs are 4-5 and the Bulldogs stand at 9-0.
“They are a really, really good defensive team with a dominant defensive line,” said Greg Bonnett, Mustang head coach. “Offensively, they have a quarterback with a good arm and he throws the ball to a number of guys. They use their running game to set up the play-action passing.”
That quarterback is Drew Foster, who is 68-of-140 for 1,358 yards with 17 touchdown passes. The Bulldogs’ top rusher is Drew Buster with 745 yards on 102 carries.
Bonnett said the Mustangs have to control the clock and keep the Bulldog offense off the field.
“We have to block well and get Blake Williams loose in our run game. We’ll need to strike for some big plays on offense,” Bonnett said. “This is a challenge for us. Defensively, we have to get off the field and not allow them to convert on third-and-long situations.”
Senior running back Blake Williams has rushed for 1,115 yards on 198 carries for PCM this season. He has scored 10 touchdowns. Ronnie Marshall also has 10 touchdowns, while rushing for 269 yards on 59 carries.
The Mustangs’ passing attack is triggered by quarterback Logan Gilman, who has completed 33-of-69 passes for 508 yards. Zach Uhlenhopp has 12 catches for 206 yards and Rickey Reeve has 10 receptions for 132 yards.
Williams leads the Mustang defense with 47 solo tackles and 28 unassisted tackles. Brandon Charls has 29 solo stops and 18 assisted tackles.
PELLA CHRISTIAN’s Eagles take on the undefeated third-ranked Council Bluffs St. Albert Falcons Wednesday in Council Bluffs. The Falcons boost a 9-0 mark in Class 1A action, while the Eagles are 4-5.
“They are a perennial state powerhouse. We have our work cut out for us, but the guys will go into the game as we’ve gone into the other games this season, with a strong effort to win,” said Rick Kacmrynski, Eagle head coach.
Pella Christian faces St. Albert, which has rolled up 2,698 yards on the ground this season. The Falcons are led by freshman Elijah Finn with 713 yards on 114 carries plus has passed for 250 yards, going 22-of-51. Travis Miller is a sophomore quarterback, completing 32-of-61 passes for 665 yards.The Falcons have two other running backs with more than 400 yards rushing apiece.
Defensively, the Falcons have 33 takeaways — 16 interceptions and 17 fumble recoveries.
The Eagles’ offense has relied on senior workhorse Mason Howerzyl with 1,032 yards on 210 carries. Freshman Miles Wichhart has 49 carries for 257 yards. Senior quarterback Colton Collins has completed 41-of-90 passes for 629 yards.
Zach Van Zee, a senior, leads the Pella Christian defense with 60 solo tackles and 27 assisted stops. Freshman David Kacmarynski has 48 solo stops and 24 assisted tackles.