DODGEVILLE — Lancaster’s 42-12 victory over Dodgeville last Friday night, along with River Valley’s 42-28 win over Platteville, assured the Flying Arrows of at least a share of the Southwest Wisconsin Conference title going into this week’s regular-season finale against the visiting Hillmen.
With Friday night’s victory over the host Dodgers, coach John Hoch’s squad improved to 4-0 in SWC play and 8-0 overall. Platteville comes to town Friday night with a league mark of 3-1, while River Valley (3-1) hosts Prairie du Chien (1-3).
Against the Dodgers last Friday night, Lancaster showed more diversification on offense, while keeping up with their smothering, aggressive nature on the defensive side.
The Flying Arrows finished the game with 452 yards of total offense to Dodgeville’s 186 total yards. They scored five touchdowns on the ground and one through the air, while limiting Dodgeville to two rushing scores.
Lancaster got on the scoreboard first on a 12-yard touchdown run by junior quarterback Evan Straka on his team’s first possession.
Straka went on to rush for two more scores later in the contest, finishing with 115 yards rushing and three TDs on 14 attempts. It is the second time this season the junior quarterback has rushed for over 100 yards, and he now has 13 rushing touchdowns on the season.
Straka’s longest run of the game was a 54-yard TD run late in the third quarter to give Lancaster a 28-12 lead going into the fourth.
In the fourth, Straka connected with senior wide out Josh Hentrich, who took a slant pass 51-yards to the end zone, and later scored his third rushing touchdown from nine yards out.
Through the air, Straka completed 7-of-13 passing attempts for 99 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Hentrich had two catches for 63 yards, while junior Garrett Birkett had two receptions for 29 yards, and senior Tanner Reuter, three grabs for seven yards.
On the ground, Lancaster managed 353 yards on 55 attempts, and was led by junior fullback Evan Gates, who finished with 179 yards ad two TDs on 28 carries.
After scoring from four yards out late in the first quarter, Gates took a handoff with 35 seconds to play in the second quarter, and raced 55 yards to the two-yard line where he was pushed out of bounds. On the very next play, Gates found the end zone, giving the Arrows a crucial 21-6 halftime lead.
Dodgeville scored first on a 30-yard TD run by Joseph Recob early in the second quarter, then found the end zone again on a seven-yard run by Recob early in the third.
On the night though, the Lancaster defense held Dodgeville to 55 yards rushing on 24 attempts, while the Dodgers completed 10-of-28 passing attempts for 131 yards.
“Our defense did really well flying to the ball,” said coach John Hoch. “On the one touchdown they did score on, we over-pursued, and got caught on a cut-back and we didn’t have anyone filling.”
The Lancaster defense was without the services of senior Jordan Mohlmann, who was resting an injury from the week before, but did have junior linebacker Jacob McCabe back in the line-up after missing two games with an injury. Mohlmann is expected to be back in action this week against Platteville.
Leading the Lancaster defense Friday night with 6.5 tackles was sophomore linebacker Troy Klein, while junior safety Jordan Reuter had five and senior lineman Jacob Ihm 4.5.
Junior Gabe Hudson led the team with two sacks, while Garrett Birkett had one interception and a 64-yard return that set up Lancaster’s final score.
After assuring the program’s 24th consecutive playoff bid the week before, and securing a share of the conference title this past week, the Flying Arrows aren’t about to let up going into this week’s regular-season finale against the Platteville Hillmen.
“We did clinch a share of the conference title, but no one wants to share their candy with anybody,” said coach Hoch.
The Hillmen come into Friday night’s contest averaging 34 points per game, while giving up an average of 20.4 to their opponents.
The Hillmen throw for an average of 130.8 yards per contest and rush for an average of 201.1 yards per game. So far this season their defense has given up an average of 83.5 yards rushing per contest and 70.7 yards per game through the air.
Last season’s meeting saw the Hillmen pull out a 28-26 thriller, where fullback Nic Wood ran for 349 yards and three touchdowns on 39 carries.
“We didn’t play good against them last year and spotted them 14 points before we even knew what was going on,” said coach Hoch. “Hopefully we can play cleaner this week, and play better.”
Lancaster 42, Dodgeville 12
(from Friday, Oct. 7)
Lancaster 14 7 7 14 - 42
Dodgeville 0 6 6 0 - 12
L - Evan Straka, 12-yard run (Tanner Oyen kick)
L - Evan Gates, 4-yard run (Tanner Oyen kick)
D - Joseph Recob, 30-yard run (kick failed)
L - Evan Gates, 2-yard run (Tanner Oyen kick)
D - Joseph Recob, 7-yard run (kick failed)
L - Evan Straka, 54-yard run (Taner Oyen kick)
L - Josh Hentrich, 51-yard pass from Evan Straka (Tanner Oyen kick)
L - Evan Straka, 9-yard run (Tanner Oyen kick)
First downs - L 22, D 11. Rushing - L 55-353, D 24-55. Passing yards - L 99, D 131. Passes - L 7-13-1, D 10-28-1. Fumbles-lost - L 1-1, D 1-0. Penalties-yards - L 5-65, D 9-80.
L: Evan Gates 28-179, Evan Straka 14-115, Tanner Reuter 2-24, Drew Reuter 3-22, Ty Mayne 4-8, Garrett Birkett 2-7.
D: Joseph Recob 5-38, Josh Shepler 1-37, Noah Durst 6-11, Houston Stanek 11(-31).
L: Evan Straka 7-13-1, 99.
D: Houston Stanek 10-28-1, 131.
L: Josh Hentrich 2-63, Garrett Birkett 2-29, Tanner Reuter 3-7.
D: Logan Uren 2-46, Jack Hellmann 4-40, Lance Johnsrud 1-30, Josh Shepler 2-19.