February 21, 2024

Lenox sails past Woodbine to advance in playoffs

Dalton Kitzman of Lenox carries the ball through Woodbine defenders Friday at home in the first round of 8-man playoffs. Kitzman had a receiving touchdown in the 60-28 victory.

LENOX — Lenox (8-1) hosted the Woodbine Tigers (5-4) Friday for the first round of 8-man playoffs.

Lenox wasted little time, quarterback Gabe Funk scoring on first kick-off return to open a 7-0 lead with only 10 seconds elapsed. They would go on to win easily, topping Woodbine 60-28.

The Lenox defense was strong throughout the night, forcing the Woodbine quarterback, Brodyn Pryor, to throw 19 incomplete passes out of 33 attempts.

Funk came down with an interception on Pryor while senior Gio Cruz recovered a fumble.

Woodbine running back Brodie Ludwig was the bright side of the offense, getting past the Lenox defense for 154 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries.

The Lenox defenders still put up big numbers, Jordan-Martin England leading with nine tackles including five solo. Dalton Kitzman had 8.5 total, Donald Bashor had eight and Laramie Stoaks logged seven.

Trickery

In just the first half, fans saw a successful fake punt by Lenox and two onside kicks by Woodbine. Both teams reached into their bag of tricks to try and catch their opponent off guard.

It was fourth-and-4 in Lenox’s opening offensive drive when they lined up for a punt, but faked it, Funk running for five yards and the first down.

Woodbine recovered a fumble at the 25-yard line to regain possession.

After getting to the Lenox 32-yard line, Woodbine misled the Lenox defense, Pryor taking off for a touchdown. They missed the two-point conversion to make the score 7-6.

The game continued in Woodbine’s favor as they recovered their onside kick at Lenox’s 33-yard line.

Jace Smith and Bashor got a sack in on Pryor for Woodbine to lose yardage. Ludwig picked up five yards, but two sequential incomplete passes gave the ball back to Lenox.

Jace Smith (No. 72) puts pressure on the Woodbine quarterback Brodyn Pryor.

On the first play, Funk found Bashor for a 50-yard touchdown reception.

Funk was eight of 13 for 160 yards, four touchdowns and an interception.

Bashor led receivers with three catches for 84 yards and two touchdowns.

Also with receiving touchdowns were Dawson Evans and Kitzman.

Martin-England led in rushing with 102 yards on 12 carries for two touchdowns.

Jordan Martin-England runs up the middle. Martin-England had 102 rushing yards on 12 attempts for two touchdowns.

Lenox earned a safety on the ensuing drive as Pryor was flagged for intentional grounding in the endzone.

Funk and Bashor connected again in the second quarter for a 48-yard touchdown.

As time was expiring in the first half, Funk reversed away from the sidelines to make it in for a touchdown. Lenox led 38-12 at the half.

Lenox had 20 more tackles than Woodbine and averaged double the receiving yards per catch.

In the fourth quarter, Funk had a pick six against Pryor, earning him the hat trick of offensive, defensive and special teams touchdowns on the night.

Lenox travels to Audubon (8-1) Friday for the second round of playoffs.

Cheyenne Roche

CHEYENNE ROCHE

Originally from Wisconsin, Cheyenne has a journalism and political science degree from UW-Eau Claire and a passion for reading and learning. She lives in Creston with her husband and their two little dogs.