TRURO — Don Betts can’t recall the last time he took a selfie.
So when Betts took his cell phone out of his pocket, raised it above his head and told his team to get behind him, it meant his No. 1 Dike-New Hartford football team had accomplished something worth documenting.
With a punishing ground game and a relentless defense, the Wolverines rolled to a 37-0 victory over No. 7 Interstate 35 Friday in a Class 1A playoff quarterfinal.
The victory advanced Dike-New Hartford (11-0) to the UNI-Dome for a semifinal game against Pella Christian (8-3) Saturday at 10 a.m.
“Never,” laughed Betts when asked if he had taken a selfie before. “I don’t think I’ve taken more than one or two my whole life. I’m not sure how it worked.”
Dike-New Hartford scored on its first two possessions, taking its opening possession on a nifty, seven-play, 65-yard drive capped by a Drew Sonnenberg one-yard sneak.
Cade Bennett, who rushed 31 times for 249 yards and three touchdowns, scored on a 43-yard run the next time the Wolverines got the ball and it was 13-0 midway through the first quarter.
“It was great. We came out here and gave it our all. It was a tough game, but we got it done,” Bennett said. “I feel like we are the best that we have been all year.”
The Roadrunners (10-1) just could not keep up, especially without running back Mason Cassady and his 1,300-plus rushing yards. Cassady hurt an ankle in I-35’s playoff-opening win over Mount Ayr and was on crutches Friday.
Without him, D-NH was able to limit star receiver Richie Griglione’s impact, holding him to six catches for 69 yards.
The Roadrunners crossed midfield just twice and finished with 141 total yards. Both Parker Kiewiet and Ryan Moore picked off I-35 passes, and the Wolverines recovered a fumble in the first half that stopped one of the Roadrunners’ best drives.
“We’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting and working hard all year to do this,” said Kiewiet, whose 48-yard interception return set up one of Bennett’s three scores, a seven-yard run in the third quarter.
Dike-New Hartford rushed for 301 yards as a team and finished with 488 total yards
“We came in here with a lot of confidence because our guys work hard and that is where our confidence comes from,” lineman Owen Goos said.
“It means a lot, but we are not done yet,” added Goos. “We have more to do.”
The Wolverines led 16-0 at halftime as Isaac Jorgensen connected on a 40-yard field goal with 4 seconds left to half.
Then, after stuffing I-35 on its opening possession of the second half, D-NH marched down the field and got a 27-yard touchdown pass from Sonneberg to Ryan Moore.
Bennett added touchdown runs of seven and three yards as the Wolverines earned a return to the UNI-Dome after a one-year absence.
“They are dialed in, focused and definitely excited,” Betts said of his team. “Great experience for them to get to this point. The work they put in, the time and effort ... just thrilled for them.
“This was a heck of a football team and it took a great effort on our part to get the win. I did not expect at all that it would be this big of a margin.”
Dike-N.H. 37, I-35 0
Dike-N.H. 13 3 14 7 — 37
Interstate 35 0 0 0 0 — 0
DNH — Drew Sonnenberg 1 run (kick failed)
DNH — Cade Bennett 43 run (Isaac Jorgensen kick)
DNH — FG Jorgensen 40
DNH — Ryan Moore 27 pass from Sonnenberg (Jorgensen kick)
DNH — Bennett 7 run (Jorgensen kick)
DNH — Bennett 3 run (Jorgensen kick)
First downs 23 9
Rushes-yards 43-301 22-62
Passing yards 80 79
Comp-att-int 6-12-0 7-22-2
Return yards 107 0
Punts-avg. 2-46.5 5-40.2
Fumbles-lost 0-0 2-1
Penalties-yards 7-66 4-30
DIKE-NEW HARTFORD — Bennett 31-249, Sonnenberg 2-minus 6, Cade Fuller 3-42, Tristan Cleveland 4-12, Drew Larsen 3-4.
INTERSTATE 35 — Jack Smith 11-22, Carter Bussanmas 2-12, Joey Bregar 7-30, Richie Griglione 1-1, Team 1-minus 1.
DIKE-NEW HARTFORD — Sonnenberg 6-12-0, 80 yards.
INTERSTATE 35 — Bregar 7-22-2, 79 yards.
DIKE-NEW HARTFORD — Fuller 3-25, Derek Kinney 1-20, Tim Koop 1-8, Moore 1-27.
INTERSTATE 35 — Griglione 6-69, Bussanmas 1-10.