NORFOLK – Lutheran High Northeast’s offense made the muscles of scoreboard operators ache during all of the team’s regular-season games.
The Eagles followed that same soreness-inducing strategy Thursday night in a playoff battle with Elmwood-Murdock.
Lutheran High Northeast stopped the Knights 68-24 in the first round of the Class D-1 state playoffs. LHNE scored on six straight series to create a commanding lead at halftime. The team turned a 16-8 margin after one quarter into a 54-8 gap at the break.
The Eagles (7-1) entered the postseason with one of the best offenses in the state. The team reached the 50-point plateau in all eight regular-season games and posted 90 points against Madison Oct. 12. Lutheran High Northeast scored 64, 85, 52, 60, 62 and 50 points in its other victories. The squad’s only loss came in a 70-66 game against Wakefield Sept. 14.
Lutheran High Northeast scored first in Thursday’s game, but Elmwood-Murdock responded with a successful drive of its own. Drake Spohr sprinted past the LHNE defense for a 57-yard touchdown run. He then connected with Noah Willey on a two-point conversion pass to make it 8-8.
The Eagles controlled the game’s momentum after that. The team collected three touchdown runs and three touchdown passes to create a 46-point halftime lead. Lutheran High Northeast added solo touchdowns in each of the next two quarters to reach the 68-point mark. Spohr delivered touchdown runs from the 35-yard line and 5-yard line in the fourth quarter for E-M.
Spohr ended the game with 226 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries. He also completed six passes for 57 yards. Andy Meyer ran 13 times for 39 yards and Massimo Lojing posted 11 yards on seven carries. Lojing caught four passes for 42 yards and Willey made two receptions for 15 yards.
Spohr highlighted E-M’s defense with two sacks and 11 solo and ten assisted tackles. Willey intercepted one LHNE pass and made two solo and four assisted stops, and Lojing collected eight solo and six assisted tackles.
Meyer compiled three solo and seven assisted tackles and Noah Jones generated a pair of solo stops. Jaxson Spellman made one solo and one assisted tackle and Levi Offner and Gus Pope each tallied one assisted tackle.
Elmwood-Murdock finished its season 4-5. The Knights made the program’s 17th playoff appearance and gained strength as the year went on. Elmwood-Murdock won three of its final four regular-season games to qualify for the postseason.
Elmwood-Murdock 8 0 0 16 – 24
Lutheran High Northeast 16 38 8 6 – 68