The St. Mary’s Springs football team had won the previous four meetings against city rival Winnebago Lutheran, but WLA was always up for a battle. Not on Friday.
Despite not having head coach Bob Hyland on the sidelines, Springs dominated every facet of the game in a 56-0 drubbing at WLA’s Viking Field.
It was the largest margin of victory in the 12 meetings between the teams.
“We were clicking. We were winning our one on one matchups in the passing game which helped,” Springs quarterback Evan Henderson said. “We were getting off the ball and our backs were hitting the holes.”
The game statistics weren’t much closer than the final score. Springs (2-0, 1-0) outgained WLA 446-27 and didn’t allow the Vikings a single first down.
“They were definitely motivated,” Henderson said of the Ledgers defense. “They knew that wasn’t Springs defense like it had been (last week against Ozaukee). They knew they had to step it up and they did this week.”
Hyland underwent hip surgery earlier in the week, and coordinators Kyle Krueger and Shawn O’Loughlin were in charge of running the well-oiled machine that was even better than usual with Evan Henderson completing 9 of 10 passes for 204 yards and three touchdowns.
“Evan had all day back there; was only pressured once,” Krueger said. “As a passer this is his best game of his career. He was just confident.”
Henderson hit Eric Feldner in stride on a 65-yard touchdown pass late in the first quarter to make it 21-0. In the second quarter, he hit Ryan Grandlic on an out pattern, and Grandlic turned that into a 37-yard touchdown. Henderson and Feldner connected again on a fade pattern for a 21-yard score to make it 35-0.
The first-half damage wasn’t done, however, until Darin Ward took a pitch to the right side of the formation cut back to his left and walked into the end zone to make it 42-0.
While Springs looks ticketed for another trip to Madison, WLA is off to a rough start with lopsided losses to Lakeside Lutheran and Springs, and injuries to a thin roster occurring in both games. WLA coach Bill Heinkel said his squad will need to become tougher to avoid its worst season in more than a decade.
“We understand that for two weeks in a row we’ve played two teams that hit hard, and we need to have learned from this if we’re going to be a football team,” Heinkel said. “If we don’t learn to hit better because of this we’re not going to get better.”