LANCASTER – You would have to go back four years to Sept. 6, 2013 to find the last time Richland Center won a varsity football game, and with a 42-7 loss to the Flying Arrows last Friday night, the Hornets extended their losing streak to 37 straight games.
With the win last Friday night, Lancaster improved to 2-0 in the Southwest Wisconsin Conference, and 5-1 overall, while Richland Center fell to 0-2, 0-6.
Friday night’s contest was decided in the first half, as Lancaster scored touchdowns on all six offensive possessions, and the Hornets only crossed midfield once.
Offensively for Richland Center, they managed just 86 yards of total offense in the first half, 67 of which came on two pass plays. Lancaster accumulated 376 yards of total offense in the first two quarters before the fast clock was put into affect in the second half.
Leading the Lancaster offense was senior quarterback Evan Straka, who completed 6-of-7 passing attempts for 88 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for 115 yards and one more score on nine rushing attempts.
Straka’s touchdown run came midway into the first quarter, when he kept the ball on the option and sprinted 69 yards to the end zone.
He opened the scoring early in the first quarter with a 13-yard TD pass to sophomore halfback Dawson Bowen, who finished the game with four receptions for 34 yards and two rushing attempts for 10 yards.
Straka would later find junior wide out Morgan Seippel on a wide-open streak route, which covered 39 yards to give Lancaster a 28-0 lead with 8:32 to play in the second quarter.
Seippel finished the night with two catches for a team-high 54 yards and one TD.
Also getting in on the scoring act was senior fullback Evan Gates, who found the end zone three times on runs of 1, 6 and 2 yards. The team’s leading rusher finished the first half with 131 yards and three TDs on just 14 carries.
Other Lancaster rushers included senior Garrett Birkett with two carries for 22 yards and junior Cole Kreul, who had one carry for a 23-yard gain.
While the Lancaster offense finished the game with 381 total yards, 293 coming on the ground, the Lancaster defense held Richland Center to 202 yards of total offense, 83 coming on the ground.
Leading the Lancaster defense with four tackles each were seniors Ethan Klar and Dalton Gardner, along with junior Tanner Oyen.
Senior safety Jordan Reuter had the team’s only interception, which led to a short field and Lancaster’s fifth touchdown.
Junior kicker Tanner Oyen was a perfect 6-for-6 on extra-point kicks, making him 24-of-27 on the season.
A battle between the only two remaining unbeaten teams in the SWC will unfold this Friday night when Lancaster (2-0, 5-1) heads to Prairie du Chien (2-0, 6-0).
After just three weeks of conference action, only one team will remain unbeaten and will also punch their ticket to the WIAA playoffs, while taking sole possession atop the SWC.
The Blackhawks average 28.5 points per game, whle also averaging 158.7 yards passing and 269.2 yards rushing.
Lancaster has averaged 33.8 points per game, while also averaging 52.2 yards passing and 321.8 yards rushing.
The Lancaster defense has given up an average of 70.5 yards rushing per contest and has only given up seven rushing touchdowns in six games.
The Flying Arrows defeated Prairie du Chien last season, 42-7.