Waukee piled up 282 rushing yards in a 44-7 second-round win over Ankeny Centennial on Monday.
With the win, the Warriors’ 10th in 11 games this season, they will advance to face top-ranked Dowling Catholic on Friday at Williams Stadium in Des Moines. The winner will advanced to the semifinals at the UNI-Dome on Oct. 15.
For just the third time all season, Waukee didn’t have a 100-yard rusher. Trevor Allen, who was injured in a week eight game against Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln, has had a lightened work load with just 18 carries in the last three games, including 10, for 41 yards, against Centennial. Pat Gray and Chase Fegenbush have shouldered the load. Gray ran for 79 yards and a touchdown on just six carries, while Fegenbush carried 12 times for 59 yards. A.J. Allen added 78 yards, 67 of which came on a touchdown run.
“We feel we have three very capable backs, which will keep us with fresh legs and hopefully provide different kinds of challenges for the teams we are facing,” coach Scott Carlson said.
Ben Ferkin completed 5-of-9 passes for 93 yards, throwing touchdown two touchdown passes to Koy Schneiter.
Waukee logged a 56-13 first-round victory over Des Moines Hoover on Oct. 30, scoring two touchdowns in the first and blowing the game open with a five-touchdown second quarter in a game that saw seven Warriors find the end zone.
Trevor Allen ran for a touchdown and returned a punt 85 yards for a second score in the first quarter. Ferkin, who was 7-of-10 passing for 134 yards, threw touchdown passes to Michael Jacobson and Schneiter in the second quarter, Bryce Hingst added a rushing score and A.J. Allen and Gray returned interceptions for touchdowns.
Waukee is aiming for its first trip to the UNI-Dome since 2004, when the Warriors lost a 3A semifinal game to Harlan. But standing in the way is a quarterfinal game with top-ranked Dowling Catholic (11-0).
“I think this team has been as good as any group we’ve had in recent years in reacting well to the pressure of big games and the adversity that can occur in game situations,” Carlson said. “The thing that helps our group is the confidence that comes from battling through tough situations and staying focused on the next play.
“That is a characteristic that will be magnified as you get into this part of the season.”
The Maroons are led by junior quarterback Ryan Broyle. He has completed 64 percent(93-of-145) passes for 1,417 yards, 18 touchdowns and just two interceptions. He also leads the team with 903 rushing yards and 18 rushing scores.
“What makes Boyle so difficult to defend is he is a legitimate run/pass threat,” Carlson said. “If you can’t get some pressure on him, he will pick you apart. And not only is he fast, but he’s also a physical runner.
“Combine that with the fact that they have a very good deep threat with (Rico) Gafford, and we have our work cut out for us.”
Senior receiver Rico Gafford has caught 25 passes for 535 yards and 10 touchdowns.
The Warriors will also face a tough defensive lined that has allowed just four touchdowns in the last five games.
“Their defensive front is as good as any around, so we’ll have to do a great job of staying on our blocks and finding the daylight that is available,” Carlson said. “Not very many teams have been able to do that this year, so we’ll have our hands full.”