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Lucas leads No. 1 Cossacks past MCM

McCook Central/Montrose quarterback Bryce Smart is sacked by Sioux Valley's Jake Schneider (62) during a prep football game Friday in Salem. Also pictured is MCM's Matt Wegener (37). (Luke Hagen / Republic)

SALEM — McCook Central/Montrose has seen enough of Daymein Lucas.

Sioux Valley's senior running back bounced off tackles, broke free for big gains and scored three touchdowns Friday night to keep the No. 1-ranked Cossacks unbeaten this season. The meeting — which included the last two unbeatens in Class 11B — handed MCM its first loss.

"He's a horse," McCook Central/Montrose coach Ryan Evans said following his team's 34-7 loss to Sioux Valley. "And he's been a horse for four straight years."

Lucas had 30 rushes for 216 yards and scored twice in the fourth quarter on one-yard TD runs to seal the victory over the No. 5-ranked Fighting Cougars. The 5-foot-10, 185-pounder also set the tone early.

Sioux Valley opened the game with an 11-play, 73-yard drive that was capped by a one-yard touchdown run from Lucas. He had eight runs on the drive in which only one third-down conversion was needed.

"The line blocked awesome," Sioux Valley head coach Dan Hughes said.

McCook Central/Montrose tied the game at 7 with 6:22 in left in the first half on a three-yard touchdown run from senior Paul Lauck. But that was it.

Sioux Valley, now 6-0, scored on back-to-back possessions before halftime for a 14-point lead.

With 2:39 left, Dalton Hanson took a handoff to the right and dashed past the goal line on fourth-and-goal from the 6-yard line.

After a three-and-out by the Fighting Cougars, Sioux Valley scored on a four-play drive that was highlighted by a 31-yard run from Lucas. Then, with 5.1 seconds before halftime, quarterback Noah Puetz found Tyler Schwartz for a nine-yard touchdown pass.

That score was brutal, Evans said.

As good as Lucas was, Sioux Valley's defense highlighted the second half. The Cossacks forced MCM to turn the ball over on downs twice while the Fighting Cougars were threatening inside the five-yard line.

"That's what happens against good teams," Evans said. "They had their backs against the wall and they rose up."

Then Lucas and Sioux Valley's potent rushing attack finished out the game, putting the finishing touches on 370 yards of total offense, 349 of which came from its ground attack. Schwartz had 17 carries for 106 yards. Puetz was 2-of-7 passing for 21 yards.

The Fighting Cougars, who host Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan on Friday, had 168 yards of offense. Junior running back Austin Thu had 12 carries for 53 yards and quarterback Bryce Smart had 14 carries for 32 yards.

"I think our kids learned some lessons tonight and see the areas they need to improve," Evans said.

Scoring summary

First quarter

SV: Daymein Lucas 1 run (Brennan Stoltenberg kick)

Second quarter

MCM: Paul Lauck 3 run (Parker Scheier kick)

SV: Dalton Hanson 6 run (Stoltenberg kick)

SV: Tyler Schwartz 9 pass from Noah Puetz (Stoltenberg kick)

Fourth quarter

SV: Lucas 1 run (Kick failed)

SV: Lucas 1 run (Stoltenberg kick)