CEDAR FALLS — Top-ranked Don Bosco of Gilbertville will play in its fifth 8-player state championship game in six years after demolishing Midland, 80-12, Thursday at the UNI-Dome.
Don Bosco (12-0) scored on its second play from scrimmage and routed the Eagles (9-3) for the second consecutive season in the semifinals.
The victory was the Dons’ 20th consecutive, and their 80 points were the most scored in a semifinal game in state playoff history.
“That stuff is a little surreal,” Don Bosco head coach Colby Yoder said. “The great thing about our kids is they keep plugging away. They just look at the next game and that is kind of what we talk about over the years, playing for the next game.”
Wyatt Sawvel rushed for 161 yards and four touchdowns and passed for 187 yards and four scores for a team that has outscored its first three playoff opponents 204-12.
“We knew coming out we could beat them,” said Sawvel, whose team also defeated Midland in its season-opening game, 60-26. “Our goal is not to make the semifinals. So it is good to carry on our tradition.”
Sawvel hit Cael Tenold on a 70-yard pass on Don Bosco’s second play, and before Midland could blink it was 28-6 at the end of the first quarter.
“I believe we can score with a multitude of guys,” Tenold said. “We are unpredictable. We can do just about anything to score.”
The Dons rolled to 523 yards, out-gaining the Eagles by nearly 300 yards. Don Bosco also picked off four Midland passes. Additionally, the Dons held 2,832-yard rusher Austin Smith to just 60 yards on 22 carries.
“Our main thing we really focus on is defense,” Svoboda said. “If we don’t let them score, they can’t win. We try to pay attention and go hard on defense.”
The Dons were nearly unstoppable in the first half, rolling to 316 yards as Tenold had touchdown catches of 70, 22 and 26 yards and returned one of the Dons’ three first-half interceptions for another touchdown.
Sawvel had rushing scores of 44, 17 and 35 yards, while Austin Svoboda scored on a 53-yard touchdown run.
“We just came out ready to play. We’ve been in this position before,” defensive back Lewis Havel said. “We came out focused and ready to lay the wood on them.”
The Dons will play Remsen St Mary’s next Friday in the 8-player championship game at 10 a.m.
Yoder said the next seven days won’t be much different than the past three months for the Dons.
“I think every week we’ve come in focused to play football,” Yoder said. “We try to get better every week and that is what we have been preaching since day one.”
Don Bosco 80, Midland 12
Midland 6 6 0 0 — 12
Don Bosco 28 28 12 12 — 80
DB — Cael Tenold 70 pass from Wyatt Sawvel (run failed)
DB — Tenold 22 pass from Sawvel (Sawvel run)
Mid — Austin Smith 15 run (pass failed)
DB — Sawvel 44 run (pass failed)
DB — Tenold 26 interception return (Kendall Becker pass from Sawvel)
DB — Sawvel 17 run (run failed)
Mid — Smith 60 pass from Britan Martens (pass failed)
DB — Austin Svoboda 53 run (pass failed)
DB — Tenold 26 pass from Sawvel (Sawvel run)
DB — Sawvel 35 run (Austin Hellman run)
DB — Sawvel 42 run (pass failed)
DB — Svoboda 42 pass from Sawvel (pass failed)
DB — Becker 62 run (pass failed)
DB — Lewis Havel 38 pass from Mason Denton (run failed)
First downs 10 15
Rushes-yards 31-89 33-308
Passing yards 154 215
Comp-att-int 8-23-4 7-8-0
Return yards 0 60
Penalties-yards 1-1 6-30
Punts-avg. 4-38.7 1-(-7)
Fumbles-lost 0-0 3-0
MIDLAND — Smith 22-60, Martens 5-4, Drew Gravel 2-14, Brady Pestka 2-11.
DON BOSCO — Sawvel 17-161, Hellman 3-7, Svoboda 7-78, Thomas Even 2-2, Becker 1-62, Denton 1-minus 1, Team 1-(minus 1), Cael Frost 1-0.
MIDLAND — Smith 3-6-0, 30 yards, Martens 5-18-4, 124 yards.
DON BOSCO — Sawvel 6-7-0, 187 yards, Denton 1-1-0, 38 yards.
MIDLAND — Smith 4-112, Fisher Bisinger 1-5, Carter Mohr 2-24, Gravel 1-13.
DON BOSCO — Tenold 3-118, Svoboda 2-60, Becker 1-9, Havel 1-38.