Nobody said it would be easy or pretty. Lewis Central defeated Dallas Center-Grimes 12-0 Friday, advancing to the Class 3-A semifinals at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls.
“You gotta give a lot of credit to DC-G,” Lewis Central coach Justin Kammrad said. “They played an outstanding football game. They gave us everything that we wanted, plus more. Just a hard-fought, tough football game.
“Sometimes they’re ugly (wins). Sometimes they look really good; I’m just happy to be on the winning side tonight. What our kids believe in, is alive and well.”
Getting to the UNI-Dome is hard. Not many schools can say they’ve been there in back-to-back seasons.
“I’m ecstatic right now, for our guys,” Kammrad said. “The time and work they put in. Everyone doubted them, from the time we left there last year, with the guys that we lost.
“They had a chip on their shoulder, and they wanted to prove that they belong there. I gotta give a lot of credit to my coaches, and these players. They bought in, and they did everything we asked them to do.”
Lewis Central running back Bryson Bowman carried the load offensively, rushing for 302 yards on 25 carries. Bowman put the game away with a nine-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
“He’s just a kid that grinds it out,” Kammrad said. “He toughs it out, and plays outstanding.”
Both Kammrad and Bowman praised the performance of the offensive line.
“Those guys are grinders,” Kammrad said. “They just keep battling, and getting after it. It doesn’t happen without those guys.”
Two first-quarter field goals from Zach Shudak gave Lewis Central a 6-0 lead going into the locker room.
The story of the first half for Lewis Central, three turnovers and missed opportunities. The Titans’ first fumble came after starting a drive at their own 44-yard line. After converting a fourth and short, L.C. fumbled the ball away once again.
Each time though, the Titans defense answered the call. L.C. senior Evan Mutum intercepted a Dallas Center-Grimes pass after the first fumble. The defense then forced a three and out after the second turnover.
“We’ve lived on their backs all season long,” Kammrad said. “They showed up time and time again, and kept them out of the end zone. Just extremely proud of the work they’ve put in.”
Logan Jones had a big night on defense for Lewis Central. Jones recorded four sacks on the night, three in the first half.
Bowman had runs of 69 and 70 yards in the second half for Lewis Central.
“Going to the dome is everything we worked for,” Bowman said. “All summer, all our coaches preached, you guys gotta make it, you guys gotta get to the dome. You guys gotta put in the work, and the work will pay off. If finally did.”
Lewis Central (10-1) 6 0 0 6 — 12
Dallas Center-Grimes (9-2) 0 0 0 0 — 0
LC: Zach Shudak 42 kick
LC: Shudak 24 kick
LC: Bryson Bowman 9 run (pass failed)
Rushing: Bryson Bowman, 25-302; Bret Kobes, 2-4; Jonathan Humpal, 1-5
Passing: Kobes, 5-9-16
Receiving: Brennan Kobes, 2-11; Humpal, 1-5