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Hawks advance with shutout of New London (Hometown Press article)

posted Nov 3, 2017, 9:14 AM by webmaster@lshawks.org

Hawks advance with shutout of New London

With a dominating performance over New London on Friday, Oct. 27, the Hawks advanced one step closer on their road to the UNI-Dome. L-S faced the Tigers earlier in the year and won 20-14, and in their second meeting, the Hawks shut out the Tigers, 28-0. This is the Hawk’s fourth shutout of the year.

“We are very proud of the way we played and how we demonstrated the bond of brotherhood,” noted L-S Coach Mike Parkinson.

Junior Evan Squires carries the ball past a New London Tiger with blocking help from senior teammate Jesse Van Wyk. Squires was the Hawks’ second-leading rusher on Friday.

Despite the cold, L-S was in high gear from the first step onto the field, scoring on the first play. Following his kickoff return, senior Sage Zylstra took the ball on a pitch and rushed 60 yards to score the first touchdown of the night. Classmate Brevin Hansen sent the ball through the uprights for the extra point to give L-S an early 7-0 lead.

After a short New London possession, L-S quickly got the ball back to march about 70 yards down the field. The drive ended when the Hawks pushed senior Elijah Collins one yard into the end zone to score the second touchdown of the night. Hansen kicked the successful extra point.

The Hawks continued to hold off the Tigers but went scoreless in the second quarter. Going into halftime, the L-S boys led 14-0.

As the night went on and the temperatures dropped even more, L-S continued to battle. Coming off the halftime break, the Hawk defense didn’t give up much ground, and the offense was able to go on another scoring drive. Collins connected with junior Tyson Vander Linden for a 41-yard touchdown pass. Hansen completed the PAT, bringing the score to 21-0.

Elijah Collins hands off to fellow senior Sage Zylstra, the leading L-S rusher with 146 yards on 24 carries.

The L-S Hawks raise their helmets in victory after shutting out New London in the first round of playoffs on Friday.

L-S wasn’t satisfied, stopping yet another New London drive and completing one of their own. Collins hit Vander Linden in stride once again, this time with a 46-yard pass for the fourth and final touchdown of the night. Hansen’s PAT was a success.

Defense continued to fight until the final sound of the buzzer, securing L-S the win over New London, 28-0, and advancing them to the second round of the playoffs.

“We played well,” Parkinson said, “and I thought the boys were focused on winning the game to get to the next round. They've been very focused all year, and now our goal is starting to become a reality, but we must prepare like that this week.”

The Hawks rushed for a total of 314 yards. Some big contributors were Zylstra with 146 yards in 24 carries, junior Evan Squires with 105 yards on 20 carries, and junior Nate Stock rushing for 40 yards on 11 carries.

Collins completed five of his 10 attempts, throwing 113 yards and two touchdowns. Vander Linden led in receiving, totaling 87 yards on his two receptions. Hansen also had two receptions on the night and totaled 16 yards.

A key defensive player for the Hawks was senior Kemper Lukehart, who had nine tackles, one of them being for negative yardage. Lukehart also had the only sack of the night. Zylstra and senior Drake Ehresman each had five tackles.

This week, the Hawks looked to have solid practices leading up to the quarterfinal round this Friday.

“We still have a lot of work to do to improve, and we feel like our best game is still out there, so when everything comes together, a big win will happen,” Parkinson said.

L-S is scheduled to travel to Hudson to face the Hudson Pirates this Friday, Nov. 3, at 7 p.m. The Pirates are 10-0 and are coming off of a 35-0 win over Pekin. For those who can’t make the drive, audio only of the game will be on thecube.com/e/757533. Whoever wins on Friday will advance to the semifinal round on Friday, Nov. 10, at the UNI-Dome against the winner of the Nov. 3 game of Gladbrook-Reinbeck versus Saint Ansgar.

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