ROCK RAPIDS, Iowa | Jaden Snyder turned in a commanding performance Friday night.
Snyder quarterbacked West Lyon to six consecutive first-half touchdowns following a lost fumble on its first possession. He fired four touchdown passes (three in the second quarter), ran for scores of 25 and 28 yards in the first and second quarters, respectively, and combined for 208 yards total offense.
Snyder also shined on defense with a 61-yard interception in the second quarter that set up the third of his first-half touchdown passes, a one-yarder to Dylan Snyders. Snyder and his first-string offensive and defensive teammates played just two quarters for a squad who opened the season with a 41-0 triumph over Central Lyon/George-Little Rock in the 12th annual Beef Bowl at Dick Null Field/A.O. Voogd Sports Complex.
“Jaden Snyder did a great job of scratching where it itches,” said West Lyon Coach Jay Rozeboom. “That’s what we challenged him to do. He was very efficient running our offense and made some big plays on defense and special teams as well. This is a combination of a power-I and we spread it out with motion. We try to mix it up and again, we try to scratch where it itches.
“I bet Jaden’s arm is sore after tonight. We have to be able to take what the defense gives us. If they’re giving us the pass, we’ll throw the ball and if not, we’ll run the ball.”
Snyder complimented the offensive line of Tanner Oleson (5-11, 200), Korbyn Gramstad (6-0, 216), Tommy Roemen (5-11, 260), Jordan DeSmet (6-2, 225) and Trevor Van Middendorp (5-9, 250) for their outstanding performance. En route to the 243rd win of Rozeboom’s 26-year career, the Wildcats had seven first-half double-digit gains on the ground, four coming from Snyder.
Incidentally, Snyder also turned in five pass completions of double-digit yardage, including scoring catches of 21 and 30 yards to Micah Meyer in the first and second quarter, respectively.
“We’ve been working on everything, really,” said Snyder, who completed 7 of 11 passes for 125 yards while also rushing five times for 83 yards. “We’ve been doing some run, doing some pass, we’re spreading it out a little. I couldn’t do any of it without my ‘o’ line or my backs. It’s a team game.
“Most of the time, the line doesn’t get the credit they deserve. They help us get those touchdowns. They move people five yards every play. We don’t have to do much in the backfield. All we have to do is run to the hole.”
West Lyon, which hosts defending Class 2A state champion Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley next Friday, turned in 378 yards total offense while limiting its Beef Bowl opponent to just five first downs, including one in the first half. Several of the previously-mentioned linemen shined defensively as well and prevented Coach Curtis Eben’s running game from getting outside.
Central Lyon/George-Little Rock didn’t register its first first down until the 7:36 mark of the second quarter when quarterback Lucas Nagel (46 yards passing, 31 yards rushing) hit Zed Heimensen with a 34-yard pass at West Lyon’s 46-yard line.
With his team trailing 28-0 Nagel threw a five-yard pass to Brady Wright at the Wildcats’ 35. One play later, Snyder took advantage of his blocks while recording the interception that led to an eight-play, 28-yard scoring drive where three Wildcats (Snyders, Mitchell Rentschler, Monte Pottebaum) provided positive offense, either catching or running the ball.
“We knew going in they had a lot of returning starters on offense and defense and a lot of guys who had played three years,” said Eben. “We knew it was going to be a physical ball game. It’s hard to demonstrate that physicality in practice. We didn’t respond to their physicality earlier on. We kind of got punched in the mouth and didn’t get up as fast as I would have liked to see us. Hats off to Jay and his program with what they’ve established in their program.”
“This was a great way to start the season,” said Rozeboom. “Central Lyon is going to be a good football team. We have step one, now we have to keep getting better.”