HUDSON — Running the football pushed eighth-ranked Lynnville-Sully’s Hawks to the team’s first undefeated regular season since 1999, a first-round playoff victory and into a Class A quarterfinal game.
“Our name brand — running the football — didn’t work tonight against a very good opponent. We couldn’t establish it like we wanted. Sometimes when you can’t get it rolling, you turn to other things,” Lynnville-Sully head coach Mike Parkinson said after the Hawks lost 30-0 to third-ranked Hudson on Friday night.
“I thought our aerial attack was good. We just didn’t connect on some things. We handled the ball well with not many turnovers. But tonight, the better team won.”
Lynnville-Sully used a rushing attack averaging 230 yards a game to go 9-0 and reach the Class A quarterfinal. The Hawks ran into a Pirate wall made of defensive tackles Dawson Ellingson (6-foot-3, 267 pounds) and Matt Seres (6-foot-2, 262) and nose guard Wes Geisler (6-foot-1, 202).
Hudson’s defense had given up an average of 44 yards rushing and 5.3 points a game through 10 games. Led by their three defensive linemen, the Pirates stymied the Hawk rushing attack, allowing just two yards on 24 carries.
Senior quarterback Elijah Collins was 8-of-22 passing for the Hawks for 67 yards. The Pirate defense recorded five quarterback sacks.
The Hawk offense reached into Hudson territory twice in the game. Lynnville-Sully had just five first downs in the game.
Hudson used four big plays offensively to push No. 8 Lynnville-Sully out of the 2017 Class A playoffs.
The Pirates scored on a 42-yard pass play and a 33-yard pass play in the first quarter to set themselves up for a 30-0 win over the visiting Hawks. Hudson quarterback Jacob Murray hooked up with Alec Staebell and Alex Hageman on the TD plays.
Down 13-0, the Hawks committed their only turnover in the game, a fumble, with 1:28 left in the first quarter. Lynnville-Sully’s defense halted Hudson after five plays and forced a punt early in the second period.
Lynnville-Sully wasn’t able to move and junior Rylan James punted. Hudson set up shop at its own 44-yard line.
On the first play, Murray went to the air for the Pirates. Lynnville-Sully senior defensive back Brevin Hansen snared an interception and returned it for 24 yards to put the Hawks at the Hudson 30-yard line.
The Hawks had a penalty to open the possession, but Collins came back to connect with Hansen for 13 yards. On a third-down play, the two hooked up again to put the Hawks at the Hudson 18-yard line.
Lynnville-Sully got just two more yards on a run by junior Evan Squires. The Hawks ran a fake field goal play, but Hansen, who is the kicker, was caught at the 16, and the Pirates took over on downs. Hudson moved the ball the ball out to its own 42-yard line.
Running out of the wildcat formation — a direct snap to the running back — Staebell broke off a 57-yard run to the Hawk 1-yard line. He capped it with a 1-yard TD run with 3:41 left in the second quarter. Staebell had 112 yards on 18 carries, mostly out of the wildcat offense, and had two catches for 70 yards.
Christian Seres, who finished with 168 yards rushing on 27 carries, got 64 yards of it on a TD run at the 2:13 mark of the second period. Wes Geisler, an offensive and defensive lineman, kicked a 37-yard field goal on the final play of the first half after hitting three of four PAT attempts.
Lynnville-Sully was down 30-0 at halftime.
“The second half was our better half of football tonight” Parkinson said. “Our kids never gave up and battled right to the end. We didn’t let them score in the second half. Our kids left it all on the field tonight, and that’s all you can ask. These kids had a tremendous season.”
The second half was a series of punts from each team. Lynnville-Sully had an eight-play series late in the third quarter. It picked up two first downs and reached the Hudson 40-yard line. The Pirate defense stiffened again and forced a punt.
James punted nine times for Lynnville-Sully for 350 yards, which was a 39-yard average for the game.
Senior Sage Zylstra had 14 yards on 10 carries as the top rusher for the Hawks. Hansen made three catches for 34 yards as the top receiver in the game. Junior Tyson Vander Linden had three catches for 21 yards and senior Drake Ehresman made one reception for 11 yards.
Senior Carson Dunsbergen led the Hawk defense with 11 tackles and senior Kemper Lukehart had 10 tackles. Squires was credited with eight tackles and senior Jesse Van Wyk had six tackles.
Lynnville-Sully finished the season a 9-1.
Hudson’s Murray was 9-of-15 for 194 yards passing. Hageman was the top receiver with 74 yards on three catches. The Pirates rushed for 291 yards in the game.
Hudson (11-0) advances to the Class A semifinals next Friday against Saint Ansgar (11-0) at the UNI Dome in Cedar Falls. Saint Ansgar defeated two-time defending Class A champion Gladbrook-Reinbeck 35-7 on Friday.
St. Albert beat Gehlen Catholic 31-10 and West Sioux defeated West Hancock 54-12 in the other quarterfinals Friday.
The two Class A semifinals will be this Friday in the UNI Dome starting with the Hudson-Saint Ansgar matchup at 10:06 a.m. followed by the St. Albert and West Sioux game at 1:06 p.m. The Class A championship game isa t 1:36 p.m. Nov. 16 in the UNI Dome.
Hudson – Staebell 42 yd pass from Murray (Geisler kick)
Hudson — Hageman 33 yd pass from Murray (kick failed)
Hudson — Staebell 1 yd run (Geisler kick)
Hudson — Seres 64 yd run (Geisler kick)
Hudson — Geisler 37 yd field goal
5 First Downs 15
24-2 Rushes-Yds 52-291
67 Passing Yds 194
69 Total Offense 485
8-22-0 Passing 9-15-1
2-1 Fumbles-lost 3-0
6-40 Penalties-Yds 7-61
9-39 Punts-Avg. 5-26
Rushing: Lynnville-Zylstra 10-14, Hansen 3-7, Squires 3-1, Stock 1-3, Collins 7 (-23). Hudson-Seres 27-168, Staebell 18-112, Cam Fulcher 6-10, Ethan Fulcher 1-1.
Passing: Lynnville-Sully-Collins 8-21-67-0, Vander Linden 0-1-0-0. Hudson-Murray 9-15-194-1.
Receiving: Lynnville-Sully-Hansen 3-34, Vander Linden 3-21, Ehresman 1-11, Zylstra 1-1. Hudson-Hageman 3-74, Staebell 2-70, Ethan Fulcher 1-26, Buzynkski 1-11, Cam Fulcher 1-5, Rodriguez 1-8.
Punting: Lynnville-Sully-James 9-350 (38.8 avg.). Hudson-Murray 5-131 (26.2 avg.).
Tackles: Dunsburgen 11, Lukehart 10, Squires 8, Van Wyk 6, Vander Linden 5, Wehrle 5, Barnett 4, Stock 4, Hansen 3, Vander Leest 3, Zylstra 2, Ehresman 1, James 1.
Interceptions: Hansen 1.
Contact Jocelyn Sheets at 641-792-3121 ext. 6535 or firstname.lastname@example.org