A three-point lead early in the fourth quarter turned into a blowout final score when David City Aquinas football took advantage of Doniphan-Trumball mistakes and advanced into the Class C-2 state quarterfinals with a 38-14 road win on Oct. 26.
The Monarchs saw their 10-point lead trimmed to just three on a Cardinal touchdown with 11:35 left in the game then responded with a successful scoring drive with the short field, a defensive touchdown and another score from D-T territory, putting a close game away in a matter of moments.
"Our offensive line and defensive line controlled the line of scrimmage, which shaped the victory," said head coach Ron Mimick. "Our guards Tad Naiberk and Konner Adamy blocked when pulling. Our Defensive backs Braden Smith, Caden Kozisek, Michael Rerucha and Nolan Hartman defended deep balls well and tackled well coming up on short passes. Zach Chromy had a good game on both sides of the ball. Nolan Eller once again tackled well in pursuit and space."
The win means a home game on Friday against No. 2 seed Sutton – a 22-7 winner over Sutton.
"A great challenge in Sutton. Their talent in the line and backfield on both offense and defense awaits us," Mimick said.
Aquinas led 10-7 at halftime behind a 39-yard field goal at the start of the second quarter by Nolan Hartman then a Caden Kozisek 3-yard touchdown run on the next drive.
Doniphan-Trumball answered with its first touchdown set up by a 51-yard pass play on the next possession.
The Monarchs took the opening kick of the second half and pushed the lead back to 10 on a 13-play drive that amassed more than eight minutes of game time and produced seven first downs. Kyle Napier’s 19-yard run started it. Hartman’s 9-yard touchdown run ended it to make it 17-7
Griffin Hendricks made it a three-point game once again on Doniphan-Trumball’s following possession as the two teams traded extended scoring drives.
Aquinas made it five possessions in a row with points on a seven-play drive that ended with Keegan Lavicky reaching the end zone on a 2-yard plunge. The Monarchs only had to drive 51 yards when the Cardinals tried to sneak an onside kick past the return team after their touchdown made it 17-7.
Up 24-14, Aquinas stretched the margin to 17 on a fumble recovered by Nolan Eller and returned for a touchdown after a quarterback sack.
The defense forced a Doniphan-Trumball three-and-out and gave the ball over to its offense inside the 30 when the Cardinals shanked a punt for just 10 yards.
Napier was in the end zone moments later on a 15-yard run to cap the scoring.
Thanks to the unsuccessful onside kick, fumble and bad punt, 17-14 became 38-14 in fewer than 20 plays.
Aquinas only passed the ball three times and only completed one of those throws for 16 yards. But while the Cardinals held a 223-16 advantage through the air, the Monarchs held a much larger difference on the ground.
Aquinas compiled 303 yards on the ground while the defense held Doniphan-Trumball to just two.
Andy Lyons led the way with 11 carries for 83 yards, Napier took 13 handoffs for 80 yards and a touchdown, Lavicky finished with nine carries, a score and 48 yards and Zach Pandorf ran it 15 times for 47 yards.
Hartman rushed just three times for 15 yards and a touchdown.
Sutton, the opponent in the quarterfinals, took down Doniphan-Trumball 38-0.