Hawks eliminate Warriors in third year in a row
WAYLAND — Rain-soaked and muddy, the WACO football team dropped a 40-8 decision to Lynnville-Sully in the first round of Class A football playoffs on Wednesday.
Both teams had some trouble holding onto the football and staying on their feet in the less-than-ideal weather, but the Hawks were able to dominate the ground game, pushing their way through the WACO line and limiting WACO backs to their lowest net yardage of the season.
The loss marked the third straight year that the Hawks knocked out WACO in the first round.
Lynnville-Sully set the tone for the game when Caden Doll returned the opening kickoff 62 yards to the 1-yard line and then crossed the goal line on the first play from scrimmage.
The PAT attempt was no good, and the Hawks led 6-0 just 30 seconds into the game.
Both teams struggled to get anything going for a while after that, though, as they punted on the next nine straight possessions.
With three minutes left in the half, Doll capped an eight-play, 80-yard drive with another touchdown run to put Lynnville-Sully up 12-0.
WACO faked a punt on their next possession but couldn’t pick up the first down, turning the ball over on their own 38-yard line.
Doll drove though the Warrior line again, carrying for 18 yards and then for the last 20 into the end zone, and Lynnville-Sully took an 18-0 lead into the break.
The rain only came down harder after halftime, and WACO punted on its first possession of the second half.
They got the ball back when Isaac Black recovered Lynnville-Sully’s fumbled handoff, but turned it over on downs.
The Hawks added to their score with an 8-yard touchdown run by Daniel Zimmerman with 4:25 left in the third quarter, putting WACO at a 24-0 deficit.
The Warriors got their only score with 1:34 left in the quarter.
Lynnville-Sully turned the ball over on downs at the WACO 46-yard line, and Braden Blake connected with Bryce Achen on a 54-yard touchdown pass to get the Warriors on the board.
Dylan Carlson’s run for the two-point conversion was good.
Lynnville-Sully responded with a four-play drive capped by Doll’s 1-yard touchdown carry just two seconds into the fourth quarter, and extended their lead to 32-8.
They scored their final touchdown of the game just over four minutes later, after recovering WACO’s onside kick attempt.
Bailee Samson rushed one yard into the end zone to cap the seven-play, 43-yard drive.
On the night, WACO came up with just three first downs — one by rushing and two by passing. The Hawks had 19 — 18 by rushing and one by penalty.
The Warriors typically rely on their ground game, but were shut down by the Hawks. They had only 38 net rushing yards on the night to Lynnville-Sully’s 417.
The Hawks’ offense was entirely on the ground; they didn’t gain a single passing yard on the night.
WACO picked up 73 yards in the air.
Blake was 3-for-14 passing for 73 yards.
Along with Achen’s 54-yard touchdown catch, Black had a 10-yard reception and Tucker Janecek made a 9-yard catch.
Janecek led the Warriors with 48 rushing yards. Cey Saeugling was the only other Warrior with positive yardage; he gained 4 yards in the game.
Defensively, Janecek had a team-high 12 tackles. Jackson Gerot had nine and Saeugling had eight tackles.
Saeugling had two tackles for loss and a sack.
WACO finishes the season 5-5.