Lutheran North News

Lutheran North Sets Tone Early in Rout of Scott City

After surviving a scare in the district championship last week, the Lutheran North football team wanted to set the tone from the opening kickoff of a Class 2 quarterfinal Friday night.

Mission accomplished. 

North scored the first 24 points and put up video game-like numbers on offense, while its defense smothered a potent Scott City squad in a 57-8 rout. 

“You definitely wanted to set the tone right away especially when you go on the road,” said Lutheran North coach Carl Reed, who told reporters his team's players were not available to talk to the media due to a violation of team rules earlier this season. “A team like this has a tremendous home-field advantage and you can take that away.”

Lutheran North (13-0) will play the winner of Summit Christian and Lathrop. Those teams will play in a quarterfinal at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

Lutheran North quarterback Brian Brown threw for 380 yards and four touchdowns. Jordan Smith caught nine balls for 155 yards and a pair of scores. Ali Wells ran for 76 yards and two touchdowns and caught four balls for 87 yards and another score. Jalen Head ran for 46 yards and a touchdown.

Scott City (11-2) mustered just 144 yards from scrimmage against a fast and physical Crusaders defense.

“They’ve got really good players,” Scott City coach Jim May said. “They were better than us at most positions.”

North dominated the first half, scoring on six of its seven possessions, including the first four.
Brown went 16 for 20 passing for 235 yards, including three touchdowns. Smith caught six of those passes for 89 yards, including a 41-yard touchdown pass.

Head and Wells did damage for North on the ground, combining for 105 yards on 11 carries. Each back scored a touchdown.

“We just needed to get the ball in our playmakers’ hands,” Reed said. “It’s not about what they do, it’s about what we do and if our guys are playing hard and they’re committed to the system, they will do a tremendous job.”
North jumped out to a 16-0 lead on Roni Rutledge 6-yard run. The Crusaders outgained Scott City 166-27 and had nine first downs to the Rams’ one in the opening frame.

Brown found Wells for a 17-yard touchdown pass to make it 24-0 early in the second quarter and ran another in from 14 yards out later in the frame.

Brown ended the half in style, leading North 51 yards in 47 seconds. Cameron Griffin capped the drive with a juggling 4-yard touchdown catch to give the Crusaders a 42-8 halftime cushion.

“It was a big play and I think it gave us a little more momentum going into halftime,” Reed said.

North’s defense held a Scott City offense that averaged 48 points a game entering the contest to just 84 yards from scrimmage in the first half. The Crusaders sacked Rams quarterback Spencer Stratman three times, led by Travion Ford’s two.
“They have a great offense,” Reed said. “They do some really neat things on offense. We had a terrible breakdown on a pass play that allowed them to get a big play so we’ve got to clean that up. But we feel like our defense can compete with anybody. If you can score on our defense you’re pretty good.”

Scott City’s lone score of the game came on a Jimmy May 1-yard run early in the second quarter. The score was set up by a 42-yard catch by Joe Panagos, which accounted for half of the Rams’ yardage in the game’s first 24 minutes.

“My kids weren’t going to quit,” Jim May said. “We were at halftime and we were going to have 24 more minutes of fun.”

Scott City opened the second half by recovering an onside kick, but after driving deep into North territory, the Rams turned it over on downs.

“We talked about it at halftime,” Reed said. “We sent the hands team on. We just didn’t do a good job of executing.”

The Crusaders answered with an 86-yard march capped by a 41-yard bomb from Brown to Smith to make it 48-8 and start the running clock. North’s defense added a safety early in the fourth and Wells capped the scoring with a late 8-yard run.

“We came out and played hard from the beginning,” Reed said. “We made a couple of mistakes along the way but the kids gave great effort overall.”
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