WAUKEE, Iowa — A game effort by Abraham Lincoln wasn't enough Friday.
The Lynx stunned Waukee by scoring off an early blocked punt and led the No. 4 Warriors 14-10 at halftime. But one long pass and a big second half by Trevor Allen turned the game around.
Waukee (7-1, 4-0) clinched the Class 4-A Division 4 title with a 23-14 victory at Waukee Stadium. The outcome left A.L. (5-3, 3-1) to play Southeast Polk for second place next week.
The winner of that game at C.B. Stadium will be at home in the first round of the 4-A playoffs.
Payton Hiffernan blocked Cody Call's punt on the first series of the night by the Warriors Friday, and Jake Whalen picked the ball up and carried it 22 yards to the end zone to give the Lynx a 7-0 lead.
Waukee answered with a 25-yard field goal by Ike Bruns on the ensuing drive, then moved in front 10-7 on a 28-yard scoring pass from Ben Ferkin to Koy Schneiter in the second quarter.
A.L. went 82 yards on 11 plays on its next possession to reclaim the lead on a 9-yard touchdown run by Hiffernan with 23 seconds left in the half. The junior then blocked a 47-yard field-goal attempt by Bruns on the final play of the second quarter to preserve a 14-10 advantage for the Lynx.
“Shoot, we were up at halftime and feeling good about ourselves,” A.L. coach Justin Kammrad said. “The No. 4 team in the state, and we were right there with them.
“Our kids need to understand that you played a great team, and you played with great effort. We just made mistakes tonight at key times.”
One of them came on a 39-yard pass play from Ferkin to tight end Michael Jacobson that set up the first of Allen's two touchdown runs, a go-ahead score from four yards out.
The junior tailback then carried the ball nine times for 53 yards as the Warriors, winners of seven straight, went up by two scores at 23-14 with 10:24 to play.
“We just kept running,” said Allen, who has 19 rushing touchdowns. “We knew if we kept putting it on them that they would tire out and quit, so we just kept running the ball.”
Allen finished the night with 125 yards on 33 carries. He had only 36 yards at halftime.
A.L.'s defense was outstanding in the first half, limiting 4-A's second-leading rushing team to just 41 yards on the ground. Dylan Garner had a pair of sacks and three tackles for losses before the break.
But the Lynx offense mustered little outside of that second-quarter drive. Prior to Waukee's final score, A.L. had a fourth-and-7 at the Warrior 40. It failed to convert as Brandon Colpitts couldn't pull in Jared Thompson's pass. The Lynx only had one first down after that.
“They beat us with a long pass. We still made them grind it out. Trevor Allen is a great back, and we prevent the long, long play tonight,” Kammrad said. “That was the No. 1 plan tonight — to limit turnovers and limit big plays. Unfortunately, our offense sputtered at times.”
CB Abraham Lincoln (5-3, 3-1) ............................ 7 7 0 0—14
Waukee (7-1, 4-0) ................................................ 3 7 7 6—23
AL: Jake Whalen 22 blocked punt return (Harrison Jones kick)
W: FG Ike Bruns 25
W: Koy Schneiter 28 pass from Ben Ferkin (Bruns kick)
AL: Payton Hiffernan 9 run (Jones kick)
W: Trevor Allen 5 run (Bruns kick)
W: T. Allen 4 run (pass failed)
RUSHING: AL, Garner 10-32, Hiffernan 9-56, Thompson 8-(-3), Rocha 1-3. W, Allen 32-125, Ferkin 4-(-10), Gray 3-14, Boulanger 1-1, Team 1-(-2).
PASSING: AL, Thompson 10-19-0 90. W, Ferkin 7-14-0 114.
RECEIVING: AL, Tracy 3-32, Colpitts 3-27, Ehrenberg 2-15, Scheinost 1-11, Garner 1-5. W, Schneiter 3-64, Allen 2-(-3), Stanley 1-14.