Cass-Midway goes big
By Matt Gerstner PrepsKC staff writer
Good things come to those who wait. Or at least that’s how it worked out for Cass-Midway Wednesday night.
The Vikings used 25 second half points to take down host and rival Drexel in a 38-20 win in the second round of the Class 1 state playoffs.
“This group has the mindset of never giving up,” Midway head coach Larry Burchett said. “They think they can take it to any team they play, and we did that tonight.”
The Vikings used the power run game and triple option to wear down the Bobcats and earn 247 rushing yards while the defense slowed down Drexel’s offense with three turnovers in the game.
Quarterback Peyton Semsch led the way with 122 yards on 24 carries and three rushing touchdowns. Semsch also added another through the air to running back Bobby Zielinski, who had a 71 yard touchdown run, a 25 yard touchdown grab, and an interception on defense.
“Everyone did their part tonight,” Zielinski said. “We just stayed focused and kept our heads, and I think that was the biggest part of the win. Just staying focused, and it ended well.”
Though things started perhaps a bit less well than the Vikings would have wished for.
Drexel took the opening drive inside the Midway 10-yard-line before Zielinski ended the chance with his interception, but the Bobcats held the ensuing drive to a three-and-out. They would cash in their second chance on a 72-yard quarterback keeper by Javyn Johnston. The extra point would fail, but Drexel had the lead 6-0.
Zielinski would answer with his 71-yard rip to put the Vikings up by one. Drexel answered with 71-yard, eight play drive capped off by an 11-yard pitch and catch from Johnston to C.J. Bolton and two-point conversion. Johnston finished 14-24 for 188 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions.
Cass-Midway answered again, this time needing with a 31-yard catch from Tanner Yahnig on fourth-and-six to bring the ball to the two-yard-line, and Semsch would punch it in from there. The extra point would fail, and the score stood at 14-13 in favor of Drexel. That’s how the half would end after Daniel Roberts picked off Semsch in the endzone on a halftime buzzer beater attempt.
As the second half came underway, the Vikings’ patience would be rewarded.
“We made a few adjustments on the offensive line and we went with our big set in the second half,” Burchett said.
That spelled disaster for the Bobcats, as the Vikings picked up 136 second half rushing yards behind Semsch and Clay Dahman, who took the lead back for Midway on a 12-yard dash.
After holding Drexel to a three-and-out, Semsch drove the Vikings down to the two before running it in again to put Midway up 25-14. Luke Boyer would pick off Johnston four plays later, and Semsch would get his third rushing score from three yards out, and the nail was being hammered in the coffin.
“They just pound on you,” head coach Nate Danneman said of the Vikings. “They counter us well. Defensively we’re not a smashmouth stopping team. They have a good offensive line, and I think our kids got tired.”
Danneman said the past few weeks, in which the Bobcats won by a combined 169-8, may have contributed to the loss.
“When you only play one half of football like we have the past few weeks, you can’t mimic a game like tonight,” he said. “I think you could tell tonight. But I was proud of the way we kept fighting.”
Drexel would add one more score on a Tyler Allen 11-yard run before Zielinski had his touchdown catch and the clock ran out. It just the second loss for Drexel, both of them coming at the hands of Midway.
“They’re a really good team and they have a fine quarterback,” Burchett said. “I just think we matchup better against them, and I think our offensive line is a bit more physical and quicker in some ways.”
Midway next takes on Skyline on Monday, Nov. 5.
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