SPIRIT LAKE - While quarterback Alec Henrickson's return to the line-up was much anticipated, the entire Spirit Lake team worked together to pummel MOC-Floyd Valley 55-0 in a Class 2A first-round game on Wednesday.
The victory sets up a rematch with Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley on Monday in Spirit Lake. The Nighthawks defeated Garner-Hayfield/Ventura 34-13 in their first-round.
BHRV and Spirit Lake have begun to build a history over the past two season. The Nighthawks defeated the Indians in the regular season in 2012 and Spirit Lake avenged the loss in the playoffs on the way to a Class 2A state title.
Spirit Lake's Axel Johnston grabs a 2-yard touchdown pass from Alec Henrickson (3) on the Indians' first drive against MOC-Floyd Valley on Wednesday.
Photo by David Swartz
BHRV defeated Spirit Lake 31-8 in Week 5 of the season this year. The Indians obviously will try to repeat history.
Wednesday's game against MOC-Floyd Valley may have been a statement game.
Spirit Lake started with the ball and promptly marched down field. On third-and-goal at the 2-yard line, Henrickson connected with Axel Johnston for the first score of the night with 8:59 left in the first quarter.
After the PAT, the Indians tried an onside kick on the ensuing kickoff-a play they have often done through the season.
While MOC-Floyd Valley recovered, they soon had to punt after a pair of third-down false starts halted their progress.
While the punt pinned Spirit Lake at the Indian 14-yard line, it didn't matter.
The Indians began another drive, which included converting a fourth-and-inches play around midfield by Josh Hofstra. Hofstra followed that with another first-down run that took the ball into Dutch territory.
On the next play, Henrickson connected with Austin Folsom down the right sideline for a 48-yard touchdown. The kick made the score 14-0.
The Dutch again started a drive near midfield on their ensuing possession. A pass from Stefan Kinsinger to Elijah Dahl took the ball to the Spirit lake 23-yard line. But four plays later, MOC-Floyd Valley turned the ball over on downs.
The Indians' next drive stalled, but the Dutch didn't fare any better on its next drive. On third-and-2 deep in their own territory, a snap went over Kinsinger's head and he was tackled for a big loss.
The Indians had the ball at the Dutch 42 after the ensuing punt and Folsom found some running room around the right side and down the sideline for a touchdown as the Indians led 20-0 with 10:15 remaining in the half
Spirit Lake scored again on a 4-yard run by Trevor Jensen that capped a 10-play drive with 5:53 left in the first half.
Hofstra scored on a 13-0 run with 3:07 on the clock as the Indians led 34-0 at the break.
In the second half, Henrickson connected with Folsom on a 37-yard strike to start the running clock. Kenten Murray added a 2-yard touchdown run.
Unofficially, Spirit Lake held the Dutch to 28 rushing yards on 29 carries. Spirit Lake had 21 first downs compared to just four for the visitors-none in the second half.
Look for more on the game in Saturday's Estherville News.