INWOOD, Iowa | Iowa's top-ranked Class 1A football team took the first step toward its ultimate goal with a resounding opening-round playoff win here Friday night.
West Lyon blanked IKM-Manning 35-0 with its usual workmanlike performance, posting its seventh shutout of the season. The Wildcats (10-0) scored on all five of their first-half possessions then turned it over to reserves for the second half.
That sets up a second-round game against defending 1A state champion Hull Western Christian here next Friday. West Lyon handled the Wolfpack 55-14 on Oct. 6, but Western was one of just three teams to score against the Wildcats this season.
Yes, West Lyon did have its punishing rushing attack clicking, and despite a strong wind, versatile quarterback Jaden Snyder also passed for 146 yards and two touchdowns. Monte Pottebaum rushed for 82 yards and two scores while the Wildcat defense pitched its third consecutive shutout.
“IKM-Manning is a good team, they play hard and physical,” West Lyon Coach Jay Rozeboom said. “We weren't quite ready to go and they gave us a scare early. I'm glad we were able to bounce back and make plays at the end.”
Unranked IKM-Manning, in the playoffs for the first time since 2014, took the opening kickoff and moved from its own 20 to the 41. The Wolves, though, fumbled on third-and-1 and it was recovered by Stefan Van Beek of West Lyon.
The Wildcats then flashed a sign of what was to come, running the ball eight straight times and scoring on a 2-yard plunge by Pottebaum. After forcing a punt, Snyder completed his first two passes, the first a 15-yarder to Micah Meyer and then a perfectly executed screen to Dylan Snyders, who followed a wave of blockers 35 yards to the end zone.
It was 14-0 after one quarter and Snyder rolled around right end on a 15-yard keeper at the 9:27 mark of the second quarter. Pottebaum pounced on a fumble at the IKM-Manning 47 and six plays later carried several would-be tacklers into the end zone on an impressive 16-yard touchdown run.
A long punt return by Snyders set up the final touchdown, a 25-yard pass from Snyder to Meyer that was tipped in the air and hauled in by the lanky receiver with 1:54 remaining in the half.
Snyder wound up completing 8 of 12 passes for 146 yards and rushed for 36 yards on three carries.
“You can't look past any week, you have to prepare and do what you have to do,” Snyder said. “It's not going to be given to you, you have to work hard and go out there and play your game. We had a good overall week and a good night tonight.
“We didn't know if we were going to be able to utilize the pass tonight with the weather but the wind kind of calmed down and we can kind of do everything, so credit that to the 'O' coordinator. They're kind of a smash mouth team and wanted to shove it down our throats but we just had to buckle up, read our keys and make plays on defense.”
IKM-Manning nearly averted the shutout late in the game when Carter Irlmeier raced downfield on a screen pass, but was caught from behind and fumbled just before he reached the end zone. West Lyon recovered and ran it out to the 10-yard line.
“I think we did a great job of making them defend the whole field, which we're trying to do” Rozeboom said. “I thought our guys did a pretty good job up front against a physical IKM-Manning team and now we get to move on to next week. We did some bending on defense but didn't break and were able to make some stops and get turnovers.
“This is the first step and we have another big step next week, so hopefully we'll have a good week of preparation.”
Western Christian improved to 8-2 with a 28-18 win over Avoca AHSTW in another first-round game Friday night.