Panthers knock off Dragons, Raiders win first and Rebels fall
TRACY -- As Isaac Dolan relaxed on the field after the game, no one could argue that the junior quarterback had earned some time to rest.
"Isaac Dolan had a really good game, and threw some deep balls that the kids were coming down with," Tracy-Milroy-Balaton co-head coach Derek Flann said. "He made a lot of good reads, and wasn't careless. That was a heck of a game for a junior this year."
In what was touted as a slugfest between two undefeated heavyweights, Dolan instrumented a 41-7 victory over the Adrian Dragons (5-1, 5-1) Friday night in a Little Sioux Conference match-up.
"It feels so amazing," Dolan said of the win. "I heard there were quite a few doubters, and that motivated us. We knew we could play with them and win. I think our defense shutting them down to seven points was amazing, and our offense played well."
Dolan was nearly perfect on the night. He was 12-for-22 for 260 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran the ball 11 times for 70 yards and two touchdowns, accounting for 330 yards of total offense and five touchdowns.
"I'd say it is (my best performance)," Dolan said. "The stats weren't as amazing as I've had, but I think I did a good job of taking what they gave me and also not trying to force anything."
Flann agreed with Dolan's assessment of his performance.
"Some of the plays that he made in the backfield were some that not a lot of high school kids can do," Flann said. "It's nice to have that kid on your sideline."
While Dolan was instrumental in the victory, his offensive line was able to provide time and opportunity to make plays.
"He (Dolan) had too much time," Adrian head coach Randy Strand said.
"Give their offensive line credit, anybody that sits back there with that kind of time and that kind of athlete; he's going to pick you apart."
Adrian managed just over 200 yards of total offense in the game. Glen Kruger had 57 yards on 12 carries, while Jesse Brake had 43 yards on 15 carries. Brett Nowotny was 6-of-12 with 43 yards through the air, but threw two interceptions.
"They are a very good football team and they played a very good football game," Strand said. "They didn't do anything we didn't think they were going to do, it's just that they made the plays and we didn't."
The Panthers' (6-0, 6-0) first big play came on their first drive of the game. After the Adrian drive stalled, the Panthers took over on their own 20-yard line.
T-M-B moved the ball to their own 35, and Dolan took care of the rest.
He hooked up with David Schmidt (four catches for 105 yards) for 65 yards to put the Panthers on the board first.
The Dragons went three-and-out on their next drive, giving the Panthers the ball on their own 43.
Dolan once again picked apart the Adrian defense on the next drive.
After a penalty on the Dragons, he finished the drive with an 11-yard touchdown scamper to propel the Panthers to a 14-0 lead.
"I did my best trying to read their defense," Dolan said. "They mixed it up a lot and disguised their coverage sometimes. When we were in passing situations, they went into a 3-5 defense, and left a lot of gaps open for those draws. We took what they gave us."
Adrian was forced to punt on their next posession, but a mishandled return gave the Dragons the ball on T-M-B's 19-yard line.
Kruger finished the drive with a one-yard run early in the second quarter to pull the game back within one touchdown.
"I think we played about as well as we could have played," Flann said after the game. "We made one mistake down on the goal line where we gave them a seven yard field, but other than that, it was a very good Adrian team. To put up that score against them was a heck of an effort by our kids."
T-M-B came right back with another score, this time Dolan to Schmidt worked again as the Panthers took a 21-7 lead.
"We got back within one touchdown, but we couldn't rise for the occasion," Strand said.
Adrian threatened on its next possession, but came up empty. Behind a combination of Brake and Kruger, the Dragons marched down the field.
However, facing a fourth and four from the 11, Nowotny's pass was broken up, ending the Dragon threat.
Dolan orchestrated one last scoring drive before the half. With the ball and three minutes until halftime, Dolan threw for 26 yards and ran for 27 more as the Panthers scored their 28th point with just six seconds left before halftime.
"I think we're making progress to where we want to be at this point in the season," Flann said. "We've had a couple of good games, this was the game we looked at as the competition for our competition at a playoff level. It was nice to get a win here. It will be big for the next couple of weeks as we move into the playoffs."
T-M-B turned the ball over to start the second half, but the Dragons were unable to take advantage of the good field position.
Taking over at the T-M-B 30, Adrian moved down to the six before John Swenhaugen intercepted a Nowotny pass to end the threat.
T-M-B answered with another touchdown on its next posession. In four minutes, the Panthers covered 80 yards to paydirt, and increased their lead to 35-7 heading into the fourth quarter.
The Panthers added another score late in the game to take the 41-7 victory.
"I thought our offense could put up points, but I didn't know about 41 though," Dolan said. "We had a lot of confidence, and we knew we could play with just about anybody. After a win like this, we really have a lot of confidence."
For Adrian and Strand, next week will be a time to start over against a good team.
"I'm not disappointed," Strand said after the game. "This is high school football, you can't get disappointed in this, these are high school kids. I'm excited about getting back to it and getting started again next week. Now it's a character thing. It's not how we did, it's how you want to be remembered for our seniors."
T-M-B will face Fulda next week, while the Dragons will have another tough contest against Dawson-Boyd, who will travel to Adrian as another undefeated opponent.
"I would be very disappointed if our kids didn't show up ready to play football," Strand said. "That's just they way they are."
Adrian 0 7 0 0 -- 0
T-M-B 14 14 7 6 -- 41
Dawson-Boyd 42, MCC 0
DAWSON -- The Dawson-Boyd Blackjacks (6-0) proved they're a legitimate contender Friday evening, shutting out the Murray County Central Rebels (3-3), 42-0, in Little Sioux Conference football action.
Blaine Jacobsen was the leading rusher for the Rebels, gaining 44 yards on 13 carries. Jeremy Storm followed with 28 yards on nine carries, while Scott Beach had 14 yards on eight attempts for the Rebels.
Quarterback Kyle DeLong completed 1-of-4 passes for one yard, hitting target Ben Clarke.
The Rebels, who host Minneota Friday, gained a scant 100 total yards for the game.
MCC 0 0 0 0 -- 0
Dawson-Boyd 8 28 6 0 -- 42
Fulda 7, Canby 6
CANBY -- The Raiders earned their first victory of the season on Tom Kuhl's 57-yard pass reception from Aaron Leinen in the second quarter. Tyler Goedtke was true on the PAT for the game-winning point.
Fulda 0 7 0 0 -- 7
Canby 0 0 0 6 -- 6