COUNCIL BLUFFS — Lewis Central coach Jim Duggan said after his team’s 51-7 Class 3-A first-round win over Carroll that it wasn’t about style points.
That’s largely in part because Central struggled to get going early on despite being ahead 24-0 at halftime. It trailed but trailingthe Tigers in total yardage at the break.
Max Duggan, who was 0 for 6 with one interception in the first half, finally got it going, though.
He ran for three touchdowns and passed for two more to lead the Class 3-A No. 2 and second-seeded Titans into a second-round matchup with Harlan next week.
Duggan finished with 126 passing yards, completing 6 of 13 attempts, and ran the ball 12 times for 91 yards.
Brady Miller added 83 yards on 10 carries for the Titans — all of them coming in the second half.
“It’s just about win and move on,” Jim Duggan said. “We did some good things. We did some bad things. But we won and now we get to play again next week.”
The Titans benefited from excellent field position in the first half, starting three drives inside the Carroll 30. They came away with 17 points on those drives.
Julian Nightser scored the other Titan touchdown in the half when he picked off Carroll quarterback Colby Vincent and returned it 82 yards for a touchdown. Nightser intercepted another pass in the second half.
“We had a couple short fields and had the opportunity to punch it in. That’s part of the game, and we took advantage of it,” coach Duggan said.
“We didn’t play our best game tonight, but again, we won, and we’re moving on,” he added.”
Draven Williamson rushed 19 times for 74 yards to lead the Tigers, whose season ends at 6-4.
Carroll coach Dennis McCartan said the first-half mistakes were too much to overcome, even though the as theTigers outgained the Titans 128-113 in the first half.
“We said at halftime that we were our worst enemy. And they had two great returns, but we had mental breakdowns there, and we didn’t have our lane responsibilities taken care of,” McCartan said.
“We had a shanked punt, and you throw a pick-six. We felt very confident at halftime that we were in the game and that we did know they were reeling. They were throwing out stuff that they probably didn’t expect to have to do tonight,” McCartan said.”
The Titans (10-0) came out in the second half looking sharper as Duggan marched them 61 yards on eight plays on their first possession.
He capped the drive by tossing a 5-yard touchdown pass to Josh Simmons as the lead grew to 31-0.
Duggan then connected with Dane Norville on a 55-yard touchdown pass to make it 37-0.
Jim Duggan said it was tough to pinpoint why his team was out of rhythm early and what changed later.
“It's hard to say. When you're dealing with 15-, 16-, 17-, 18-year-old kids, you know a lot of things can change the outcome of the game. Apparently whatever we did wasn't perfect, so we'll have to revisit maybe and adjust,” he said.
Carroll finally got on the board with 2:17 left in the third quarter on a 43-yard touchdown run by Abraham Dirkx to make it 37-7.
But Duggan answered on the next drive with a 19-yard touchdown run to make it 44-7.
Carroll (6-4)......................................0 0 7 0—7
At Lewis Central (10-0)...........10 14 13 14—51
LC: Max Duggan 1 run (Drake Nettles kick)
LC: Nettles 42 FG
LC: Duggan 8 run
LC: Julian Nightser 82 interception return (Nettles kick)
LC: Josh Simmons 5 pass from Duggan (Nettles kick)
LC: Dane Norville 55 pass from Duggan (kick failed)
C: Abraham Dirkx 43 run (Max Neu kick)
LC: Duggan 19 run (Nettles kick)
LC: Logan Katzer 17 run (Nettles kick)
RUSHING: C: Draven Williamson 19-74, Colby Vincent 3-4, Abraham Dirkx 2-41, Ryan Johnston 7-23, Jack Troutman 1-(minus)6, Kelin Jones 1-4. LC, Max Duggan 12-91, Mike Gittins 9-47, Brady Miller 10-83, Dane Norville 1-14, Logan Katzer 4-42.
PASSING: C: Vincent 8-21-2 64. LC: Duggan 6-13-2 126.
RECEIVING: C: Jang Jioklow 4-34, Isaiah Badding 2-13, Cade Schable 2-17. LC, Thomas Fidone 1-32, Gittins 1-7, Josh Simmons 2-19, Norville 2-68.