WATERLOO — Count seventh-ranked Denver among the playoff-bound high school football teams looking to hone their game in Friday’s regular-season finale.
The Cyclones showed a razor-sharp edge as they wrapped up a perfect Class 1A, District 2 season by slicing up Central Springs, 44-0.
Denver (8-1) scored on its third offensive play with Riley Wright cutting around the left end for a 19-yard score. On their next possession, the Cyclones carved up the Panthers on the ground with Bo McMahon bursting through the middle for a three-yard TD jaunt, and the rout was on.
“I think all the way through we came out and executed the game plan very well,” Denver coach Rhett Barrett said. “We got to work out a few of our flaws against a very good team, and we are really close to being the team we need to be starting the playoffs. I feel very comfortable going into next week, no matter who it may be.”
Quarterback Sam Joerger orchestrated another long drive midway through the second period and capped it with a two-yard scoring plunge, then made it 28-0 when he rolled right and raced 78 yards to paydirt.
“Our offensive line really made everything happen tonight,” Joerger said. “We were clicking so well together and no matter what the coaches called we ran it well.
“We watched a lot of film on them and they were big up front, with a big running back. We went in knowing we had to play hard-nosed football and we had to play with confidence.”
The Cyclones limited 240-pound Zack Santee to just 78 yards on 23 carries.
“Right now we cannot complain about the way we are playing,” added Joerger. “We have put in the hard work and we just need to continue to stay focused and play our game.”
Denver picked up a pair of short touchdown bursts from McMahon in the third quarter to widen the advantage to 42-0.
McMahon finished with 63 rushing yards while Joerger picked up 133 on the ground and threw for 103 more.
“This is the third year in a row we have hosted a first-round game and it is just awesome,” Barrett said. “This group of seniors has won 38 games in their four years together and that beats the all time record at Denver for most wins by one class.
“We are building a new tradition and hopefully the younger class is going to keep it going.”
Denver 44, Cent. Springs 0
Cent. Springs 0 0 0 0 — 0
Denver 7 21 14 2 — 44
Den — Riley Wright 19 run (Kain Eagle kick)
Den — Bo McMahon 3 run (Eagle kick)
Den — Sam Joerger 2 run (Eagle kick)
Den — Joerger 78 run (Eagle kick)
Den — McMahon 15 run (Eagle kick)
Den — McMahon 1 run (Eagle kick)
Den — Safety, ball snapped out of end zone
First downs 8 14
Passing yards 29 103
Comp-att-int 2-6-0 7-11-0
Return yards 41 96
Punts-avg. 3-34.7 0-0.0
Fumbles-lost 4-3 1-0
Penalties-yards 3-32 3-30
CENTRAL SPRINGS — Zack Santee 23-78, Azik Hodak 10-30, Zach Ryg 4-2, Sebastian Beck 1-7.
DENVER — Bo McMahon 8-46, Sam Joerger 9-133, Jaden Forde 1-0, Riley Wright 4-32, Cael Krueger 4-40, Nathan Eggena 2-minus 4, Connor Smith 2-21.
CENTRAL SPRINGS — Kisner 2-6-0, 29 yards.
DENVER — Joerger 5-8-0, 103 yards, Krueger 2-3-0, 0 yards.
CENTRAL SPRINGS — Dylan Marker 1-5, Ryg 1-24.
DENVER — Krueger 3-87, McMahon 1-10, Wright 1-6, Dalton Austin 1-0.