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Local Sports

Lynnville-Sully powers past New London in Class A playoffs

Keep Grinding It Out Hawks

SULLY — Big plays — none given up on defense, three marked up by the offense — played a role in eighth-ranked Lynnville-Sully’s 28-0 win over visiting New London. The Hawk defense gave up little to the Tiger offense as Lynnville-Sully earned a second-round Class A playoff game with the victory.

Lynnville-Sully (9-0) is one of eight teams still standing in the Class A playoffs. There are six ranked teams and four undefeated teams in the bracket.

The Hawks take on third-ranked Hudson (10-0) at 7 p.m. Friday in Hudson. Hudson beat Pekin, 35-0, in its first-round game Friday.

“Our kids came out and got the job done tonight. We haven’t really had a game where we grind it out like that but man, our offensive line did such a great job tonight. Our backs ran hard,” Hawk head coach Mike Parkinson said after the game. “It was cold and windy, we just figured we’d run the ball and see what happens.”

In the the first meeting of these two Class A District 6 rivals was on a cold, rainy night, the Tigers had a 14-13 lead on two big plays then the Hawks scooped up a Tiger fumble scoring the winning touchdown, 20-14. The two met in Sully Friday under adverse weather conditions again — frigid temperatures with a stiff northeast wind.

All that did not faze Lynnville-Sully’s Hawks. They were on a mission at home against New London’s Tigers in the first round of the Class A football playoffs.

“We focused on the game and not the weather. It’s football weather. It’s fall, who cares what the weather is like. We had a game plan and followed it,” senior defensive back Carson Dunsbergen said. “Our defense was locked down. We had a defensive game plan, followed it and look what happened — a shutout.”

The Hawk defense was focused on not allowing big plays by the Tigers, especially from junior quarterback Isaac McSorley and junior running back Keontae Luckett. McSorley hooked up with Luckett for two long passes — one for a TD — in the first game between the two teams.

Luckett was held to 19 yards on seven carries and 20 yards on three catches. McSorley completed 9-of-26 passes for 87 yards. The Hawk defense gave up just 57 yards rushing and 87 yards passing in the game.

Lynnville-Sully had the big plays on offense. It started on the first play from scrimmage in the Friday’s game.

Senior running back Sage Zylstra and the offensive unit set the tone. With his teammates blocking, Zylstra found a hole, made a cut and was gone. He dashed 60 yards for the touchdown. Senior Brevin Hansen kicked the extra point.

It was three plays and punt for the Tigers’ first possession of the game. Lynnville-Sully started a 10-play drive at its own 33-yard line.

Junior Evan Squires, Zylstra and junior Nate Stock had runs to “grind it out” for the Hawks. Zylstra and Squires had back-to-back 9-yard runs to give the Hawks a first-and-goal at the Tiger 1-yard line. Collins pushed over the goal line right up the middle for the touchdown.

Hansen’s extra-point kick made it 14-0 with 7 minutes left in the first quarter.

The Tigers put together a drive to the Lynnville-Sully 28 when McSorley fumbled the football. Lynnville-Sully junior defensive lineman Rylan James recovered the ball with 3:32 left in the first quarter.

Lynnville-Sully had a 13-play drive taking up the remainder of the first quarter and continued into the second period. The drive stalled at the New London 28-yard line on an incomplete pass by junior running back Gage Vander Leest on a fourth-and-7 play.

The Hawks got the ball back one play later. A lateral from McSorley to Luckett was fumbled and Lynnville-Sully senior Drake Ehresman made the recovery.

The Hawks came up empty again when they failed on a fourth-and-one at the Tiger 15-yard line. Three plays and out for the Tigers and Lynnville-Sully had the ball again. This time New London senior Britt Noel intercepted a Collins pass with 5:24 left in the first half.

New London moved into Hawk territory but had to punt. The Hawks took over at their own 20-yard line with 3:11 left in the second quarter up 14-0.

The Hawks were up 14-0 at halftime as their third drive deep into Tiger territory ended on a fourth-and-two incomplete pass with nine seconds on the clock.

“It was tough going into the wind,” Collins said. “Coach (Mike Parkinson) figured out some weaknesses in their defense and we used those plays in the second half.”

Two third-quarter passes plays went for touchdowns. Collins found junior Tyson Vander Linden over the middle in stride for scoring passes of 41 yards and 46 yards in the third quarter. Hansen added the two extra points to finish the scoring, 28-0, with 1:41 left in the period.

“We came out firing at the beginning of the game and they (New London) didn’t. Then in the second half, Tyson kept getting off the line like that so we went to him two times in a row,” Collins said. “This is one more win for us, now we go get another one, taking one game at a time.”

New London had a 10-play drive down 28-0 but Lynnville-Sully’s defense stopped the Tigers on a fourth-and-14 incomplete pass play. It was turned away from the final time on a fourth-and-nine at the Lynnville-Sully 11-yard line with 5:03 left in the game. 

Luckett attempted a half-back pass under pressure from the Hawks and the pass was tipped away by Vander Linder in the end zone.

The Hawk ground game took over and powered the offense to mid-field as time ticked off. Zylstra finished with 146 yards on 24 carries and jSquires had 105 yards on 20 carries. 

Collins was 5-of-10 for 113 yards passing. Vander Linden had two catches for 87 yards.

Defensively, senior defensive lineman Kemper Lukehart racked up five solo tackles, three assisted tackles and had a quarterback sack. Ehresman had seven solo tackles.

Squires had three solos and three assisted tackles. Senior defensive lineman Jesse Van Wyk and Zylstra each had three unassisted tackles and two assisted tackles.

“This is great. Being a senior and winning the last game I play on this field. I couldn’t be prouder,” Dunsbergen said.

Parkinson said Hudson is a team with a lot of size. He said the Hawks will get ready for Hudson.

“We’ll have to use our speed against their size. They are a good team. We’ll prepare and see what we’re made of on Friday up there,” Parkinson said.

New London 0-0-0-0—0

Lynnville-Sully — Zylstra 60 yd run (Hansen kick)

Lynnville-Sully — Collins 1 yd run (Hansen kick)

Lynnville-Sully — Vander Linden 41 yd pass from Collins (Hansen kick)

Lynnville-Sully — Vander Linden 46 yd pass from Collins (Hansen kick)

Lynnville-Sully New London

18 First Downs 9

62-314 Rushes-Yds 23-57

113 Passing Yds 87

427 Total Offense 144

5-11-1 Passing 9-27-0

0-0 Fumbles-lost 2-2

2-25 Penalties-Yds 1-5

2-33.5 Punts-Avg. 6-31.3

Individual Leaders

Rushing: Lynnville-Sully-Zylstra 24-146, Squires 20-105, Stock 11-40, Collins 2-7, Hansen 3-15, Vander Linden 2-1. New London-Luckett 7-19, McSorley 11-22, Bell 3-14, Noel 2-2.

Passing: Lynnville-Sully-Collins 5-10-113-1, Vander Leest 0-1-0-0. New London-McSorley 9-26-87-0, Luckett 0-1-0-0.

Receiving: Lynnville-Sully-Vander Linden 2-87, Hansen 2-16, Zylstra 1-10. New London-Porter 5-55, Luckett 3-20, Summerfield 1-12.

Punting: Lynnville-Sully-James 2-67 (33.5 yd avg.). Bell 6-188 (31.3 yd avg.).

Lynnville-Sully Defense

Tackles (solos/assisted): Lukehart 5/3, Ehresman 7/0, Squires 3/3, Van Wyk 3/2, Zylstra 3/2, Dunsbergen 2/1, Hansen 1/1, Stock 1/1, James 1/0, Wehrle 1/0, Wyma 0/1.

Quarterback sacks: Lukehart 1.

Fumbles (recovered): Ehresman 1, James 1.

Interceptions: none.

Contact Jocelyn Sheets at
641-792-3121 ext. 6535 or

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