SPIRIT LAKE - On a cold night, it took Spirit Lake's offense about a quarter to warm up. But once the Indians picked up steam, Sheldon had no chance.
After leading just 7-0 after one quarter of play, Spirit Lake erupted for 29 points in the second quarter to take a 36-0 halftime lead.
The Indians' Bryson McCabe then scored his third touchdown of the night on a 94-yard run to start the second half and Spirit Lake cruised to a 43-7 win.
Spirit Lake running back Cody Poock (10) walks into the end zone virutally untouched on a 2-yard run in the second quarter against Sheldon in Monday’s Class 2A second-round game in Spirit Lake.
EDN photo by David Swartz
McCabe scored three touchdowns while rushing for 160 yards on four carries and catching two passes for 41 yards for an offensive total of 201 yards.
But he was quick to defer credit.
"Our linemen just did an excellent job all night," McCabe said. "The word for the week was 'passion' and it all came out tonight."
Spirit Lake advances to the Class 2A quarterfinal against Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley this Friday. The Nighthawks, who defeated Spirit Lake 25-10 in Week 5 of the regular season, advanced with 45-7 win over Garner-Hayfield/Ventura on Monday.
Spirit Lake struggled on its first two drives. A bad long snap on the first drive forced the Indians to a long yardage situation.
The Indians got good field position on the next drive at their own 48, but Cody Poock fumbled on the first play.
The Spirit Lake defense held as the Orabs turned the ball over on downs.
Two penalties halted Spirit Lake's third drive.
But on the fourth drive, the Indians went to work. The Indians drove across midfield to just inside the 40-yard line. McCabe took a short pass from quarterback Paul Brown, found a seem and went to the end zone at the 1:47 mark in the first quarter.
Spirit Lake soon got the ball back, again with good field position at the Sheldon 44. McCabe ended the first period with a 24-yard run as the Indians started the second quarter with first-and-10 at the 20.
It took just three plays for Spirit Lake to score again. Cody Poock went for 8 yards and then Brown tried to go up the middle and was stopped after a yard again.
But on third-and-1, Brown ran to the right side, broke a tackle and went in from 11 yards out. The kick by Brett Cochran-Bray made the score 14-0 with 11 minutes left in the half.
Sheldon put its best drive together on its next possession, getting to the Sprit Lake 32. A pass by Chris Balster that appeared headed for a touchdown was broken up by Spirit Lake's Nic Amundson on third down.
Sheldon then turned the ball over on downs and Spirit Lake began to move the ball again. A pass from Brown to Andrew Ites followed by a 19-yard run by Poock put the ball at the Sheldon 31. Another connection between Brown and Ites took the ball to the Sheldon 5-yard line. Poock was stopped after 3 yards on his first run, but then went in untouched around the right side from 2-yards out on the next play. Brandon Stoll then passed to Max Kruse for a two-point conversion to make it 22-0.
With 3:10 left in the first half, McCabe scored on a 26-yard run with 3:10 remaining.
The final score of the half was an unusual play as Sheldon was flagged for an illegal shift, but the Orabs fumbled the ball. With no whistle, Brad Mart picked up the ball and went 28 yards for the score. Cochran-Bray's kick made it 36-0.
Spirit Lake apparently had a rough start to the second half as a good return was called back on a penalty. The Indians then had a holding call on the first play from scrimmage.
But with first-and-16 from the 6-yard line, McCabe followed his blockers to open field, got some blocks at around midfield and went 94 yards for the score.
Ahead 43-0, the Indian reserves took the field the rest of the game. Sheldon scored with 7:43 remaining on a 15-yard run by Logan Otis.
Unofficially, Poock had 38 yards rushing on six carries. Brown finished with 35 yards on five carries. Alec Henrickson had two carries for 24 yards and Kenten Murray had four carries for 14 yards.
Brown was 5-of-9 passing for 110 yards, all in the first half. Ites had two catches for 45 yards and Casey Spaeth had one catch for 24 yards.
Sheldon was held to 117 yards rushing on 34 carries. Balster was 4-of-17 passing for 22 yards.