WAVERLY — From the opening play to the final gun, Waverly-Shell Rock dominated Benton Community in Class 3A football action Friday night.
The Bobcats (2-3) fumbled on their very first play, and the ninth-ranked Go-Hawks cashed in with a pitch-and-catch from Luke Velky to Braden Holmquist. It was a sign of things to come as W-SR (5-0, 3-0) made Benton (2-3, 0-3) pay for nearly every mistake in a 45-7 Class 3A victory.
A muffed punt helped the Go-Hawks to a 14-0 lead with just five minutes played.
“I think those two series set the tone for us early,” W-SR coach Mark Hubbard said. “We were able to capitalize on those turnovers and all night our defense just did a great job for us.”
Early in the second period, the Go-Hawk offense put together a nine-play touchdown drove, capped by Gabe Santoiemma’s second TD run. He finished with 109 yards and three scores, the last a 27-yarder midway through the second period.
“I was not really surprised by this at all,” Santoiemma said. “We had prepared hard all week for this game and our scout team did a great job getting us ready. We had a lot of guys contribute to this tonight and the line just wore them down.”
The line continued to break gaps in the Bobcats’defense, and Luke Velky rounded out the first-half scoring with a 14-yard jaunt for a 35-0 lead.
“It was huge getting a big lead on them and turning their two miscues into points,” Velky said. “We just went through one of the toughest practice weeks we have ever had and it paid off. We have been able to fight off any adversity and overcome bad things that happen, and we did that again tonight.”
Benton took two drives into W-SR territory early in the second half, but was stonewalled both times. The Go-Hawks turned the second stop into a crushing blow when Velky hit Jack Seward in stride for a 75-yard score and a 42-7 advantage.
Waverly-S.R. 45, Benton 7
Benton Comm. 0 7 0 0 — 7
Waverly-S.R. 14 21 7 3 — 45
W-SR — Braden Holmquist 18 pass from Luke Velky (Brandon Hinders kick)
WSR — Gabe Santoiemma 1 run (Hinders kick)
WSR — Santoiemma 5 run (Hinders kick)
WSR — Santoiemma 27 run (Hinders kick)
WSR — Velky 14 run (Hinders kick)
Bent — Nathan Michels 8 pass from Spencer Touro (Vance Bartelt kick)
WSR — Jack Seward 75 pass from Velky (Hinders kick)
WSR — FG Hinders 24
First downs 13 12
Rushes-yards 33-92 32-237
Passing yards 95 141
Comp-att-int 29-16-0 7-5-0
Return yards 58 33
Punts-avg. 4-25.5 2-32.5
Fumbles-lost 2-2 1-1
Penalties-yards 6-50 8-70
BENTON — Spencer Touro 9-18, Parker Nolan 21-68, Wyatt Bieschke 3-7, Dylan Spina 1-minus 1.
WAVERLY-SHELL ROCK — Luke Velky 6-70, Gabriel Santoiemma 14-109, Jack Seward 3-16, Ben Hemer 1-2, Ryan Willis 1-9, Braden Holmquist 1-12, Carter Langreck 6-19.
BENTON — Touro 26-14-1, 88 yards, Luke Wiebel 3-2-0, 7 yards.
WAVERLY-SHELL ROCK — Velky 7-15-2, 141 yards.
BENTON — Jacob Janss 2-11, Riley Nolan 4-20, Luke Wiebel 3-18, Nathan Michels 5-42, Chance Shoenfelder 1-2.
WAVERLY-SHELL ROCK — Jordan Downing 1-10, Josh Halverson 1-7, Seward 2-106, Josh Halverson 1-7.