By Jordan Harmelink | Contributing Writer
MILFORD-Central Lyon/George-Little Rock did all of its damage in the third quarter and rolled to another Class 2A District 1 win with a 51-0 decision over Okoboji Friday, Oct. 5.
The visiting Lions outgained Okoboji 420 yards to 29 yards and scored 35 points in the third quarter.
“I don’t know if we’ve ever done that,” said Central Lyon/George-Little Rock coach Curtis Eben of his team’s third quarter. “I think that just shows when we play well and that momentum is rolling, we can pile it on and that’s what good teams do.”
The Lions led just 7-0 entering the half, but got the ball to start the third period and took off.
Central Lyon/George-Little Rock got large chunks of yards from Trey Murray, Lucas Nagel and Austin Metzger and the Lions essentially walked down the field to start the second half. Murray finished off the drive with a 1-yard plunge into the end zone. Tanner Vanden Top provided pressure on the quarterback on Okoboji’s next possession, forcing a bad pass that fluttered into the waiting arms of Parker Netten who returned it 23 yards for a score. The defensive score was the Lions’ first since 2016.
A pair of touchdown throws from Nagel to Kole Telford and Metzger made it 34-0 Lions, then Nate Klingenberg hit Addison Metzger for a 25-yard score to cap the 35-point third period. Jackson Jager added a safety early in the fourth quarter and Klingenberg raced for another long touchdown run, his second score of the night, to make the 51-0 final.
“At halftime we had a nice discussion and came out with a different attitude,” Eben said. “It’s never about the opponent, it’s about us.”
The first half presented multiple opportunities for the Lions to boast a larger halftime lead. Central Lyon/George-Little Rock had two drives stall on fourth down inside Okoboji territory and had two passes fall incomplete in the end zone that could have led to a larger halftime lead.
“We came out and played down to the competition to begin with and our guys weren’t focused,” Eben said. “Defensively, I thought we played well all night, but offensively we just couldn’t get into a rhythm. It was the same thing as last week. We’ll drive and move the ball, but we just have to capitalize and come away with points. When we play good teams that’s something we have to do,” Eben added.
The Lions’ only score in the first half came at the 8:09 mark of the second quarter when Vanden Top capped off a 12-play drive (11 runs, 1 pass) with a score. Central Lyon/George-Little Rock’s defense was solid throughout the contest, holding the Pioneers to just 29 yards of total offense and three first downs, including just one first down in the first half. Carter Krull led the way with six tackles while Dylann Van Berkum added five total stops for the Lion defense. Kolten Bus, Vanden Top and Jager each recorded a sack, with Kalen Meyer adding a pair of tackles for loss. Netten had the Lions’ only turnover of the night with his 23-yard interception return for a score.
Offensively, the Lions ran for a season-high 350 yards, led by Nagel’s 130 yards on 16 carries. Nagel also completed four passes on nine attempts, getting two scores from Telford and Austin Metzger. Vanden Top and Murray each had over 70 yards rushing off at least 10 carries.
Central Lyon/George-Little Rock improved to 2-1 in Class 2A District 1 and play host to Sioux Center this week. The Warriors defeated MOC-Floyd Valley 7-0 last week and also hold a 41-0 win over Okoboji to make their 2-1 district record.
“I think they’re very similar to us in that they’re kind of an up-and-down team,” Eben said of Sioux Center. “Offense and defense, they have guys that can make plays and we know each other really well. We’ll have to go out and win the line of scrimmage to come out with a win at home.”