Max Duggan and Joshua Simmons showcased why across the state, few duos compare as the two hooked up for four passing touchdowns in Lewis Central’s 56-7 victory over Creston/Orient-Macksburg during the Panthers’ homecoming game.
Duggan and Simmons connected eight times for 180 yards and the four scores, and the Associated Press No. 2 Titans pushed the pedal to the metal on the ground to the tune of 302 yards.
Duggan threw for 233 yards on 15-of-19 attempts through the air and ran for 88 yards. Lewis Central also ran for 296 team rushing yards.
An early Tristan Travis strip sack of Duggan and Garon Wurster recovery had the Panthers hyped up on the sideline, but LC found the end zone four times before Creston/O-M could.
Creston/O-M opened the game with three consecutive three-and-out drives that ended in punts.
The Panthers drove 80 yards on a scoring drive that was capped by Kylan Smallwood’s acrobatic snag of a looping Eli Loudon throw into the end zone for a 33-yard score with 7:20 left in the second quarter.
Loudon and Cael Kralik connected three times for 19 yards, Loudon picked up several timely runs and a Titans personal foul put the Panthers on LC’s half of the field, where Smallwood did much of the rest.
The Cael Kralik extra point marked Creston/O-M’s final point of the evening.
“Against an elite football team, we can’t give them field position,” Creston/O-M football coach Brian Morrison said. “We did that the entire first half until midway through the second quarter, before we got a drive going and you give them a short field and it’s going to be high percentage they’re going to put points on the board.”
The Panthers mustered 107 yards through the air and Loudon ran for 73 yards on 18 carries, finishing easily as Creston/O-M’s top rusher. The Panther defense yielded 21 points in each the first and second quarters, but hardly allowed big gains between the tackles as LC did much of its damage outside of the hashes and in the air.
“I thought our (defensive) line held their own and in the second quarter. I thought the (offensive) line protected for Eli when they had time,” Morrison said. “They were locking up man coverage against us and teams that can do that…they’ve got more hats in the box.”
Several of Creston/O-M’s top performers continue to be underclassmen as Kolby Hulett wrapped up six solo tackles and eight assisted tackles against Lewis Central’s high-powered attack.
“They’re not going to back down from anybody,” Morrison said of the youngsters. “It’s one of those deals where this year they’re going to be thrown through the gauntlet.”
UP NEXT — Creston/O-M (1-4, 0-1 in district) will play host to ADM (4-1, 0-1), as the Panthers look find their way into the district win column after defeating the Tigers 44-43 a year ago in comeback fashion. The Tigers are coming off a 28-10 home loss to Harlan.
Lewis Central 56, Creston/O-M 7
Points by quarter
LC 21 21 14 0 — 56
C/O-M 0 7 0 0 — 7
LC — Joshua Simmons 9 pass from Duggan (Drake Nettles kick), 6:41
LC — Simmons 21 pass from Duggan (Nettles kick), 3:46
LC — Duggan 10 run (Nettles kick), 2:06
LC — Dane Norville 61 run (Nettles kick), 10:53
C/O-M — Kylan Smallwood 33 pass from Eli Loudon, (Cael Kralik kick), 7:20
LC — Duggan 47 run (Nettles kick), 6:03
LC — Simmons 38 pass from Duggan (Nettles kick), 1:41
LC — Simmons 44 pass from Duggan (Nettles kick), 8:51
LC — Brady Miller 13 run (Nettles kick), 3:02.
First downs 15 7
Rushes-yards 35-296 27-70
Passing yards 107 233
Total yards 529 177
Punts-avg. 0 7-34.0
Return yards 92 41
Fumbles-lost 0-0 1-1
Penalties-yards 5-25 3-25
RUSHING — C/O-M: Eli Loudon 18-73, Andy Mills 1-9, Rylan Luther 7- (-1).
PASSING — C/O-M: Loudon 8-20-0 with one TD and 107 yards.
RECEIVING — C/O-M: Cael Kralik 4-35, Kylan Smallwood 2-26 and one TD, Brance Baker 1-35, Mark Waigand 1-12.
PUNTS-AVG. — C/O-M: Beau Barncastle 7-34.0.
TACKLE LEADERS (solo-assists) — C/O-M: Hulett 6-8, Sam Chapman 3-5, Mills 2-6, Baker 2-6, Wurster 1-3, Smallwood 0-5, Luther 1-2, Kralik 2-0, Brayton Chesnut 2-0, Ayden Filer 0-4, Andy Weis 0-4, James McDonald 0-3, Kaden Bolton 0-4, Gavin Gillam 0-2, Luke Latham 0-2, Tristan Travis 0-2, Eli Hartman 0-2, Kendall Crawford 0-1.
FUMBLE RECOVERIES — C/O-M: Garon Wurster
TACKLES FOR LOSS (YARDS) — C/O-M: Hulett 1 (-1).