GARRETSON - Kimball/White Lake used a punishing ball-control offense and a solid defense to knock out the previously undefeated Garretson Blue Dragons 42-14 and advance to the Class 9AA championship game.
In a battle of Missouri Valley Conference foes, Kimball/White Lake (8-3) advances to play Bon Homme (10-1) in the championship game at 1 p.m. Thursday
Already leading 28-14 at halftime, the WildKats got the second half kickoff and used a fake punt to keep the drive going. After back-to-back penalties, KWL faced 1st-and-35 and immediately converted on two pass plays. Five plays later, quarterback Javen Holan hit Cody Westendorf on a 21-yard scoring pass for a 36-14 lead.
"That's what we've been able to do over the last couple of game," coach Dale Taylor said. "We've been making a lot of big plays."
Garretson (10-1) drove to the KWL 6-yard line, but the WiLdKat defense pushed the Blue Dragons back to the 15-yard line and then on fourth down Garretson threw an incomplete pass and turned the ball over on downs.
From there KWL used almost nine minutes on offense and scored on a 1-yard run by Fredericksen to end any hopes of a Blue Dragon comeback.
"It took us awhile to figure out what we were doing this year and where are personal needed to be," Taylor said of his team's 8-3 record. "We were a little banged up at the beginning of the year. We weren't focused early but now our kids are as focused as they've ever been."
All indications seemed to point to a Garretson blowout. The Blue Dragons began their first drive after receiving the opening kickoff, at their own 33-yard line. On the first play from scrimmage Garretson's Isaiah Robinson raced 67 yards for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead.
That quick score didn't bother the WiLdKats. KWL took the ensuing kickoff and proceeded to march 63 yards on seven plays and saw Carter Frederickson score from 33 yards out. The 2-point conversion failed, and the score was 7-6.
The WiLdKats held the Blue Dragons to a three and out and then went on a 13-play drive that spanned 94 yards and was capped by a Holan 1-yard run. The 2-point conversion was good, and KWL led 14-7.
The Blue Dragons answered as quarterback Brennan Mudder scored from 2 yards out and the contest was tied at 14.
On their next procession the WiLdKats regained the lead-going on a 65 yard drive that ended with a Holan 3-yard run. With the 2-point conversion the score was KWL 22 and Garretson 14.
The Blue Dragons took the kickoff and drove to the KWL 16 yard line and were poised to tie the game. But a Robinson fumble was picked up by the WiLdKats' Ty Namanny who raced 70 yards for a touchdown and KWL went into halftime with a 28-14 lead.
For the WiLdKats, Namanny finished with 163 rushing yards and one touchdown, while Fredericksen tallied 133 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. Holan threw for 79 yards and one touchdown, while scoring one on the ground. Justin Becker caught two passes for 24 yards, while Cody Westendorf caught one touchdown. Westendorf tallied seven tackles in the win.
For Garretson, Robinson ran for 130 yards and one touchdown, while Mudder passed for 52 yards on four completions. Drew Blosmo caught two passes for 28 yards. Mudder added one rushing touchdown.
G: Isaiah Robinson 67 run (Cody Erickson kick)
KWL: Carter Fredericksen 33 run (kick failed)
KWL: Javen Holan 1 run (Fredericksen run)
G: Brennan Mudder 2 run (Erickson kick)
KWL: Holan 3 run (Cody Westendorf run)
KWL: Ty Namanny 80 run (kick failed)
KWL: Westendorf 21 pass from Holan (Justin Becker pass from Holan)
KWL: Fredericksen 1 run (kick failed)