Dowling Catholic quarterback Ryan Boyle stood on crutches helplessly a year ago as his team lost in a playoff quarterfinal.
Nothing impaired his game Friday.
Boyle ran all over the field and the top-ranked Maroons beat No. 4 Waukee 14-9 Friday in a Class 4-A quarterfinal at Williams Stadium.
The quarterback, who missed last year’s loss to Southeast Polk with a knee injury, rushed for 147 yards and passed for a touchdown.
“Last year, I was on crutches on the sidelines,” Boyle said. “I hated that feeling.”
Teammate Luke DeVenney returned a punt 90 yards for Dowling’s only other points.
“I couldn’t decide if I was going to run or not,” DeVenney said. “I saw a wall and we had a bunch of great blocks that set me up for the TD.”
The win set up a rematch between the unbeaten Maroons (12-0) and Valley (11-2). Dowling beat Valley 37-26 on Sept. 6. They will meet in a semifinal at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls at 7 p.m. next Friday.
Waukee’s Ike Bruns kicked three field goals covering 22, 41 and 37 yards.
Dowling scored both of its touchdowns in the first quarter. Boyle hit Nate Christian with a 5-yard touchdown pass with 1:31 left.
The Maroon defense forced Waukee (10-2) to punt on its following possession. DeVenney backpedaled to his own 10-yard line, then turned on the speed.
“DeVenney is a playmaker,” Boyle said of his teammate. “We knew he’d do something big.”
For the night, DeVenney returned four punts for 158 yards. He had a 37-yard return on the other touchdown drive.
“We know Waukee’s a great team, they shut us down a little bit,” DeVenney said. “But we fought through it, we battled. Now we’re getting Dome.”
Waukee’s Bruns booted two field goals in the second quarter to narrow Dowling’s lead to 14-6.
“He’s a great kid, he probably thinks of himself as a soccer player,” Waukee coach Scott Carlson said. “He loves the game of football as well.”
His final one came with 11:51 remaining in the game.
Waukee reached the 4-A quarterfinals for the first time in school history.
“It’s only one year, it’s one year in time,” Carlson said.
“It’ll take some time to see how much this means to our program.”
Dowling held Waukee’s Trevor Allen to 73 yards rushing. He finished the season with more than 1,300 yards.
The Maroon defense also delivered three sacks, one by lineman Max Morris.
“Our defense is the strong point of our team,” Morris said.
D–Christian 5 pass from Boyle (McLellan kick)
D–DeVenney 90 punt return (McLellan kick)
W–FG Bruns 22
W–FG Bruns 41
W–FG Bruns 37
Rushing–Waukee: T.Allen 22-73, Gray 5-12; Dowling: Boyle 30-147, Christian 8-61, Dowell 7-36.
Passing–Waukee: Ferkin 5-14-0-42; Dowling: Boyle 9-18-0-89.
Receiving–Waukee: Schneiter 1-30; Allen 2-8; Sturm 2-4; Dowling: Gafford 4-47, Palmer 3-16, Christian 1-5.