The St. Mary’s Springs football team wanted to come out Friday night to test its passing game, something it hasn’t used too often.
The Ledgers got what they were looking for and more, using a balanced offense in a 49-20 win over North Fond du lac in a Flyway Conference contest played at the Oriole Athletic Complex in North Fond du Lac.
“We knew we wanted to pass a little bit more this week so we practiced that a lot this week,” Springs running back Ike Floyd said. “Zach (McLaughlin) was throwing the ball good tonight.”
After a North Fondy (3-4, 2-3) punt to start the game, the Ledgers got the ball at the Oriole’s 25-yard line. Two straight completions from McLaughlin brought the ball to the 9, where Floyd scored to give Springs an early 7-0 lead.
“We tried to throw the ball a bit more and I think we only had like 16 plays in the first half,” Ledgers coach Bob Hyland said. “We wanted to run a few more plays with that first offense but we couldn’t.”
McLaughlin finished the first half going 4-for-6 for 83 yards and a touchdown, but was pulled at the half because of a 42-6 lead. His touchdown came in the second quarter on a 25-yard pass to Brennen Ottery.
“I think this was his finest game throwing the ball,” Hyland added. “Every pass except for one was in position to be caught. It was pretty darn good.”
McLaughlin set the tone for the offense, which totaled 393 yards, with 241 of them coming in the first half due to a running clock in the second.
With McLaughlin coming out, it gave opportunity to Floyd, who entered the game a short distance away from breaking the school’s career rushing mark. He got that on his first carry in the third quarter, when the senior busted a 61-yard touchdown run to give the Ledgers a 49-6 lead.
Floyd finished with a team-high 143 yards, along with four touchdowns.
“I didn’t even know I was the leading rusher, coaches were telling me congratulations and I was like what for,” he said. “But it feels great.”
Floyd scored three touchdowns in the first half and was accompanied by Sam Spranger rushing for 137 yards of his own along with a 20-yard TD run in the second quarter.
North Fond du Lac started out the game with a successful passing game, eventually scoring early in the second quarter on a 30-yard TD pass from Mitch Ballwanz to Parker Parrish. The Ledgers made adjustments and after that, and the Oriole offense went quiet.
“We got great coaches that can line us up and we can stop the run,” Springs’ Dan Zacherl said. “We are just working each week to get better.”
Ballwanz threw for 178 yards and 2 TD, but 152 of them came in the first half. Parrish was a threat offensively, catching five balls for 79 yards and a TD.
“They have more speed at the receivers and if they can get their quarterback a little time, he can throw it,” Hyland said. “That was the one thing that worried me was that they had those receivers that we have a hard time covering. We had to get to the quarterback and we were able to do that after the first couple of series.”
The Orioles scored on their last two possessions of the game, getting a 26-yard TD pass from Ballwanz to Colton Krupp and then Colton Catt ran it 76-yards with just 30 seconds left.
Catt finished with a game-high 169 yards on 11 carries.
North Fond du Lac will have its hands full the next two weeks as it continues to push for a playoff spot. The Orioles travel to Winnebago Lutheran Friday and then host Kettle Morain Lutheran to finish the regular season.
Springs, on the other hand, will look to make it 35-straight wins as it travels to face KML Saturday.
Springs…7 35 7 0– 49
NFDL…0 6 0 14– 20
SMS– Ike Floyd 9 run (Zach Hintze kick), 9:14.
SMS– Floyd 5 run (Hintze kick), 11:26.
SMS– Mark Austin 63 yard punt return (Hintze kick), 9:39.
NFDL– Parker Parrish 30 pass from Mitchell Ballwanz (Parrish kick failed), 7:58.
SMS– Brennen Ottery 25 pass from Zach McLaughlin (Hintze kick), 6:10.
SMS — Floyd 1 run (Hintze kick), 4:17.
SMS— Sam Spranger 20 run (Hintze kick), 2:32.
SMS— Floyd 61 run (Hintze kick), 10:31.
NFDL— Colton Krupp 26 pass from Ballwanz (Parrish kick), 4:45.
NFDL— Colton Catt 76 run (Parrish kick), 26 seconds.
First downs 11 5
Total yards 393 347
Rushing 302 169
Yards passing 91 178
Comp-Att-Int 9-16-0 5-7-0
Rushing: SMS– Ike Floyd 14-143-4 TD; Sam Spranger 10-137-1 TD. NFDL– Colton Catt 11-158-1 TD.
Passing: SMS– Zach McLaughlin 4-6-83-1 TD. NFDL– Mitchell Ballwanz 9-16-178-2 TD.
Receiving: SMS– Brennen Ottery 3-73-1 TD; Collin Ottery 2-19. NFDL– Parker Parrish 5-79-1 TD; Zach Zander 2-61; Colton Krupp 1-26-1 TD.