DONIPHAN — Doniphan-Trumbull rode a wave of momentum to a 46-0 victory over Ravenna Thursday night in first-round play of the Class C-2 state football playoffs.
With the No. 9-rated (Omaha World-Herald) Cardinals leading 14-0, the Bluejays had a chance to get back into the game when Blake Chramosta recovered a fumbled punt return at Doniphan-Trumbull’s 35-yard line with 1:56 remaining in the first quarter. Thanks to a 23-yard run by fullback Josh Boardman, Ravenna had first and goal at the 3.
However, the Cardinals (7-2) turned back Ravenna (4-5) on four consecutive running plays and then responded with an 18-play, 96-yard drive that consumed nearly 7 1/2 minutes. Riley Wiltfong’s 11-yard touchdown pass to Ian Askey capped the march, giving Doniphan-Trumbull a 20-0 lead with 3:44 to play in the first half.
Doniphan-Trumbull coach Brent Breckner said the goal-line stand, coupled with the long scoring drive, was obviously a big turning point.
“It was a tight game at that point and (Ravenna) had busted a big run when we didn’t finish a play and we answered there,” Breckner said. “That was huge.”
Ravenna coach Mark Hudson said the way Doniphan-Trumbull took control of the game in that key sequence is the mark of a good team.
“They bowed their back and they anchored in,” Hudson said. “We lost some individual battles there near the goal line and they just put their foot on our throat and did what they had to do.”
With Ravenna already reeling, Doniphan-Trumbull was able to tack on another TD with 15 seconds left before the intermission when Wiltfong hit Nathaniel Armon with a 28-yard scoring pass on a fourth-and-10 play to lead 26-0. The score was set up by Eric Toben’s fumble recovery.
“That was a big momentum play,” Breckner said. “We’ve done a pretty good job (this season) at the end of the half of coming up with some plays. We had some time on the clock and we had a shot.”
Doniphan-Trumbull ran just two offensive plays in the third quarter, but both were productive. First, Wiltfong connected with Armon for a 75-yard TD pass with 8:43 left in the third quarter and later, Jordan Slough ripped off a 59-yard scoring run to put the Cardinals ahead 39-0 with 6:41 remaining in the third.
“We’re up and down all over the chart this year,” said Hudson, whose team had lost at Doniphan-Trumbull 40-14 one week earlier in the final game of the regular season. “When it’s good, we’re good. And when it’s not good, we just let it snowball on us.
“Doniphan-Trumbull has a great team and we needed some breaks to go our way in order for things to go our way and we didn’t make the breaks. We didn’t take advantage of our opportunities.”
Slough finished with 192 yards and three TDs on 17 attempts, carrying just once in the second half. The 180-pound junior scored on runs of 1, 35 and 59 yards and also had a 40-yard punt return in the first quarter to set up a scoring drive.
“It has just kind of become (routine),” Breckner said. “Jordan rushes for around 200 yards and it’s just kind of a regular day. He sees things well, he’ll bounce stuff (outside) and our offensive line is opening up holes for him and he hits the gaps hard.
“He’s been making plays and he’s been huge for us, that’s for sure.”
Slough didn’t have to carry the load alone, however. Wiltfong finished 9-of-17 passing for 187 yards with four TDs and no interceptions as four of his final five completions went for scores.
Armon was Wilftfong’s main target, catching seven passes for 170 yards and three TDs. The Cardinals, who rushed 35 times for 278 yards, displayed plenty of balance as they finished with 465 yards of total offense.
Breckner said that balance will need to continue for Doniphan-Trumbull to stay alive in the playoffs. The Cardinals play at No. 5 Crofton (7-1) next Wednesday in second-round playoff action.
“I know it’s going to get pretty tough, going up to Crofton and they’re going to be physical, for sure,” Breckner said. “We’ve got to get our intensity going again and try to match that physicality and put points on the board and get some stops.”
Boardman led Ravenna with 55 yards rushing on 12 attempts. Chramosta was 4-of-12 passing for 43 yards and the Bluejays were limited to 161 yards of total offense.
“We played pretty well on defense and our defense is getting better and better,” Breckner said. “It was a good win — a good team win.”
Doniphan-Trumbull 46, Ravenna 0
Ravenna (4-5)............................0 0 0 0—0
Doniphan-Trumbull (7-2)...........................14 12 13 7—46
D-T—Jordan Slough 1 run (pass failed), 5:51.
D-T—Slough 35 run (Creighton Buhr pass from Riley Wiltfong), 3:03.
D-T—Ian Askey 11 pass from Wiltfong (pass failed), 3:44.
D-T—Nathaniel Armon 28 pass from Wiltfong (pass failed), :15.
D-T—Armon 75 pass from Wiltfong (pass failed), 8:43.
D-T—Slough 59 run (Armon kick), 6:41.
D-T—Armon 29 pass from Wiltfong (Armon kick), 6:04.
First downs 8 20
Rushes-yds. 39-118 35-278
Att.-Comp.-Int. 4-12-0 9-17-0
Passing yds. 43 187
Return yds. 0 87
Punts-avg. 5-34.6 0-0.0
Fumbles-lost 2-2 2-1
Penalties-yds. 9-72 2-10
Rushing—Ravenna, Boardman 12-55, Chramosta 10-42, Bock 8-15, Nozicka 1-4, Sieczkowski 6-2, Folkers 2-0. Doniphan-Trumbull, Slough 17-192, Williams 5-35, Schuppan 4-27, Pfeiffer 5-23, Wiltfong 3-3, Team 1-minus 2.
Passing—Ravenna, Chramosta 4-12-0 43. Doniphan-Trumbull, Wiltfong 9-17-0 187.
Receiving—Ravenna, Bock 2-22, Schott 1-12, Teichmeier 1-9. Doniphan-Trumbull, Armon 7-170, Askey 1-11, Pfeiffer 1-6.