BAXTER — Rob Luther was stuck in a dilemma during the second half of the Baxter football team’s game against Springville on Friday night.
The eighth-ranked Bolts were leading by 37 points with 9:48 to play in the game, but star wide receiver Travis Lindemoen was still a touchdown and a handful of yards away from setting two all-time 8-man records.
Luther decided to keep his first-team offense in the game for one more possession, and Lindemoen’s 65-yard touchdown broke both two receiving records on the same play.
The Bolts ended up needing every point they could get as Springville rallied against Baxter backups during an 87-71 victory.
“We got him to three (touchdowns), and we were going to put everyone on the shelf for the night,” Luther said. “I was torn by it. The guys wanted to try to get these records at home on Senior Night. I am happy for Travis and Braydon and all the guys really.”
Lindemoen finished his night with nine catches for 231 yards and four touchdowns. He now has an all-time 8-man single season best 27 touchdowns and 1,433 receiving yards on the season.
“It was really important to my family and friends, and to me, to do this on Senior Night at home,” Lindemoen said.
On the record-setting touchdown, Lindemoen got behind the defense on a go route then hauled in the long pass from senior Braydon Aker.
The completion was good enough to set the yardage record, but Lindemoen went ahead and sprinted to paydirt as well.
“I didn’t expect to break any records at the start of the year,” Lindemoen said. “We wanted to go 9-0. We lost the one game, but this whole season has been about getting as many wins as we can and making this as memorable of a season as we possibly can.”
The Baxter offense is playing about as well as a unit can play right now. The Bolts have won six straight games and scored at least 50 points in those games. Last week’s 50-20 win over WACO was in just one half of play.
Aker is having a huge season as well. The Baxter senior threw for 306 yards and six touchdowns against Springville. He also rushed for 122 yards and five touchdowns. Aker leads all classes with 56 touchdowns this season.
Aker’s four TD passes to Lindemoen on Friday covered 25, 24, 20 and 65 yards. Lindemoen kept the record-setting football and was recognized after the game.
“It was special to me. I will always remember them announcing the records over the loud speaker. That means a lot,” Lindemoen said.
Aker averaged 15.3 yards per carry on the ground. Aker’s TD runs came on runs of 39, 5, 41, 22 and 1. Aker has now thrown for 40 TD passes and rushed for 15 on the season.
Senior Devin Carson also had a productive night for the Bolts (7-1). He finished with 92 yards and a touchdown on seven carries and gained 61 yards and scored once on two catches.
“I was proud of Travis more than anything tonight. It was a big deal to the team to do this at home,” Carson said. “We’ve had a lot of fun this year. It’s been a great season. We have one more to go though.”
Luther missed most of the first half to attend his son Trent’s Senior Night at Ankeny High School. The Bolts scored 30 points on the 15 plays the coaching staff scripted before the game.
The final score was indicative of how the game went. The Bolts led 67-36 at halftime and led 87-44 with 9:37 to play before giving way to the backups.
Springville scored 27 unanswered points in the final 8:46 to make the final margin respectable.
“Our 2s came out there, and I didn’t think they gave very good effort,” Luther said. “It just got sloppy at the end. You have to pull your starters out at some point. It just wasn’t pretty. We dominated that game tonight though.”
The Bolts’ starting offense scored on 12 of their 13 possessions in the game.
Springville (2-7), which has lost six games in a row, had some success against Baxter at times. But sophomore Cole Damman picked off a pass on the Orioles’ second possession to allow the Bolts to go up by two scores.
Aker completed a three play, 49-yard drive with a 6-yard TD pass to senior Marcus Mitchell. That made it 24-8 with 4:45 to go in the first quarter.
Baxter kept it the game at two scores until the Bolts’ defense forced a turnover on downs. That helped the home team go up 38-16 after Carson’s 44-yard TD run.
Springville’s Zach March returned the ensuing kickoff 75 yards for a touchdown. Then, after Baxter’s only punt of the game, the Bolt defense got another turnover on downs.
Aker put his team up 44-22 with a 41-yard TD run on the only play of the drive. March then returned the kickoff 66 yards for his second return TD on the night.
The two teams traded touchdowns on the next three possessions.
Aker scored on a 22-yard run, March got another TD on a 45-yard pass from Kyle Koppes and then Lindemoen came within one of the TD record with a 24-yard TD catch.
“He’s one of my best friends. I love playing with him,” Lindemoen said of Aker. “It’s been quite a season for all of us.”
Junior Will Clapper made sure the Orioles didn’t sustain any rhythm on offense. He got a strip sack on Koppes and then recovered the fumble to give the ball back to the Bolts.
Two plays later, Aker scored from 1-yard out. Lindemoen made an acrobatic 28-yard catch on the play before to set up the touchdown.
“Our offense was kind of made for the 8-man game. We’ve adapted a little bit. I feel proud of our coaches and kids for making this work,” Luther said. “We have a lot of fun with the offense and the tempo and with the playmakers we have. Braydon Aker runs the show and then he’s got plenty of weapons.
“Sometimes guys get lost in the mix like (Bryce) Bacon and (Jusson) Roush, who has really come into his own. Then Clapper may be the best linemen in 8-man. That makes my job pretty easy.”
Baxter forced back-to-back punts against Springville’s offense to open the second half. The Bolts’ offense then took advantage of those punts by scoring twice to go up 81-36. The first TD was a 41-yard TD pass from Aker to Carson and then Lindemoen tied the touchdown record with a 20-yard scoring catch.
Lindemoen’s record-setting TD catch capped the Bolts’ scoring early in the fourth quarter.
“Travis is a great kid. He was the Homecoming king and a likable guy,” Luther said. “He’s selfless, too, so when you have a guy like that set records, it makes it a little more special.”
It was a goal of Luther’s to try to get all nine seniors in the scoring column on Senior Night. Six of those seniors scored points as Aker, Lindemoen, Carson and Mitchell all scored TDs, Bacon had a PAT, Joe Keeling rushed for a 2-point conversion and Roush caught a 2-point pass from Aker.
The Bolts, who are not eligible for the playoffs, try to finish their season with seven straight wins. Baxter plays Easton Valley (2-6) at 7 p.m. Friday in Preston.
Springville 16-20-0-35 — 71
Baxter 30-37-14-6 — 87
Baxter — Braydon Aker 39 run (Aker run)
Springville — Jacob Hungate 33 run (Zach March run)
Baxter — Travis Lindemoen 25 pass from Aker (Aker run)
Baxter — Marcus Mitchell 6 pass from Aker (Aker run)
Springville — March 13 pass from Kyle Koppes (March run)
Baxter — Aker 5 run (run failed)
Baxter — Devin Carson 44 run (Aker pass to Roush)
Springville — March 75 kickoff return
Baxter — Aker 41 run (run failed)
Springville — March 66 kickoff return
Baxter — Aker 22 run (Aker pass to Damman)
Springville — March 45 pass from Koppes (Hungate run)
Baxter — Lindemoen 24 pass from Aker (Lindemoen run)
Baxter — Aker 1 run (Bryce Bacon kick)
Baxter — Carson 41 pass from Aker (pass failed)
Baxter — Lindemoen 20 pass from Aker (Joe Keeling run)
Springville — Koppes 35 run (March run)
Baxter — Lindemoen 65 pass from Aker (run failed)
Springville — Caleb Weber 30 pass from Koppes (Lucas Pilipovic kick)
Springville — Pilipovic 36 run (Pilipovic kick)
Springville — Spencer DeMean 49 run (kick failed)
Springville — Gabe Dlouhy 1 run (Piliopovic kick)