MONTEZUMA — Defense dictated the tone of Friday night’s regular-season finale for Lynnville-Sully. The Hawks already had the Class A District 6 championship and a playoff spot wrapped up before taking on host Montezuma.
There was no slip-up this season. The Braves denied the Hawks an undefeated regular-season run a year ago.
The Class A eighth-ranked Hawks went to Montezuma Friday night and took care of business with a 40-0 rout of the Braves. The Hawks also recorded the school’s first undefeated regular season since 1999.
“I’m so proud of these young men. This was something special, but we still have work to do,” Lynnville-Sully head coach Mike Parkinson said. “It took is while to get rolling tonight. Defensively, we played outstanding all night.”
The Hawks’ defense had four takeaways and held the Braves to 13 yards rushing and 107 yards passing. Senior Kemper Lukehart had four solo tackles and two assisted tackles. Senior Carson Dunsbergen had two interceptions, one he returned 19 yards for a TD in the second quarter.
Dunsbergen recorded four unassisted tackles and one assist tackle. Junior Evan Squires made three solo stops and three assisted tackles. Squires and senior Sage Zylstra combined for a quarterback sack and each had a fumble recovery.
“I can’t say enough about how our defense played tonight. Carson Dunsbergen had a fantastic game. He really raised his level of play taking us all with him,” Parkinson said.
Lynnville-Sully’s offense got on the scoreboard at the 6:03 mark of the first quarter. Senior quarterback Elijah Collins connected with junior Tyson Vander Linder for an 11-yard TD pass. Senior Brevin Hansen kicked the extra point for a 7-0 lead.
Dunsbergen returned an interception with 6:14 left in the second quarter and with Hansen’s kick the Hawks were up 14-0. Lynnville-Sully’s Squires rolled into the end zone from 8 yards out at the 2:21 mark. Hansen’s kick made it 21-0 at halftime.
“Montezuma came out well prepared. We had to shake off the bye-week rust,” Parkinson said. “Once the offensive found its groove all the pieces came together at the end of the second quarter and into the third quarter. Along with our defense, our special team play was good and the field position favored us because of that.”
Zylstra capped an opening second-half drive for the Hawks with a 3-yard touchdown run. Junior Gage Vander Leest broke loose for a 48-yard run to the end zone at the 7:28 mark of the third quarter.
Vander Leest was the leading rusher for the Hawks with 63 yards on five carries. Zylstra had 32 yards on 10 carries. The Hawks finished with 153 yards on the ground.
Collins, who was 11-of-19 passing for 124 yards, connected with senior Drake Ehresman for Lynnville-Sully’s final score of the game. The 18-yard scoring pass play came with 3:51 left in the third quarter and Hansen kicked an extra point.
Ehresman caught three passes for 77 yards. Hansen made five catches for 27 yards.
“When we got rolling, I thought we showed the mark of a really good team. We don’t always have to start big. We can get the lead and over the course of the game add to it,” Parkinson said.
The Hawks found out their first-round playoff opponent — New London, which finished third in District 6. Lynnville-Sully pulled out a 20-14 win three weeks ago at New London in district play
Lynnville-Sully hosts New London at 7 p.m. Friday in Sully.
Contact Jocelyn Sheets at 641-792-3121 ext. 6535 or firstname.lastname@example.org