On Friday night at Bob Sanger Field, the West Hancock football team crushed visiting Madrid from the opening snap, as the Eagles beat the Tigers in the second round of the Class A playoffs, 57-14.
On the first play of the game for West Hancock, senior Cole Kelly took the ball on a handoff and ran it seven yards. On the second play, he ran the ball 63 yards for a touchdown.
After Madrid's opening drive ended with the Tigers turning the ball over on downs, the Eagles quickly put more points on the board, thanks to a 40 yard run from quarterback Cayson Barnes, and a three-yard touchdown run from Kelly. After less than seven minutes of play, the Eagles led the Tigers, 14-0.
The Eagles added another eight points before the end of the first on a 20 yard score from Matthew Francis, and 14 more before the half on rushing scores by Kelly and Francis, and a blocked punt that Kelly returned for a touchdown.
At halftime, West Hancock held a 43-0 lead.
In the third quarter, both teams punted on their opening drives. On Madrid's second offensive possession, sophomore Rylan Barnes intercepted Tigers' quarterback Brady Leonard, and returned the ball for a pick-six to put the Eagles' up, 50-0.
The Tigers finally got on the board in the fourth quarter when senior Connor Williams scored on a six-yard touchdown run. After a three and out by the Eagles' offense, Madrid added another touchdown, this one one a 15-yard reception from senior Gabe Peterson.
With six minutes remaining in the game, junior Braden Walk returned a kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown, the Eagles' second special teams score of the game, and the finishing touches on a lopsided West Hancock win.
Madrid was the fourth straight opponent that West Hancock has beaten by at least 43 points, and the seventh straight by at least 28.
"Our guys are ready to play," West Hancock head coach Mark Sanger said. "They're excited. With this year, you never know when your last game at home or your last game is going to be, and our seniors have taken that to heart. They led our team, and our guys played well. It was a fun game for them."
Kelly finished the night with 133 rushing yards on 12 carries, with two rushing touchdowns, and one special teams score.
"It's because of my offensive lineman," Kelly said of his recent numbers on the ground. "I'm nothing without those guys."
On defense, senior Chase Kronemann finished with a team-high 12 tackles, and an interception.
The Eagles find out their third-round opponent on Saturday at noon.
With the loss, Madrid ends its season with a 3-4 overall record.
Shane Lantz covers sports for the Globe Gazette. You can reach him at Shane.Lantz@GlobeGazette.com, or by phone at 641-421-0526. Follow Shane on Twitter @ShaneMLantz.
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