Gehlen bows out of playoffs with loss to No. 3 Woodbury Central

Tuesday, November 1, 2022
(Photo Courtesy of Blake Stubbs) Gehlen’s Kale Pearson tries to fight for yardage in Friday’s playoff game at Woodbury Central. The Jays were limited to just 24 rushing yards on 14 carries in the loss.

MOVILLE — Third-ranked Woodbury Central controlled the line of scrimmage and jumped on every opportunity in the first half, opening up a huge cushion on its way to a 48-7 victory over Gehlen Catholic in a Round of 16 game of the Class A football playoffs Friday.

“They were clicking on all cylinders, especially in the first quarter,” said Gehlen Catholic coach Jeremy Schindler. “We gave up a big play on one drive. It was just a blown coverage. We had guys where they weren’t supposed to be. Then we get a first down before we stall out and have to punt. Then they just started picking away at us.”

Max McGill finished each of the Wildcats’ first two drives with touchdown runs.

“We couldn’t stop the run,” Schindler said. “Then after their second score we got a big return, but then we throw a pick. Next thing you know we are down 21-0.”

Eric McGill hauled in a 27-yard touchdown pass from Drew Kluender and Woodbury Central led by three touchdowns after one period. The Wildcats kept it up in the second period. Max McGill scored his third touchdown of the day on a 36-yard run, then Will De Stigter caught a 15-yard touchdown pass from Kluender to make it 35-0.

Gehlen did have a brief opportunity to get back into the game. The Jays got a touchdown on a 5-yard pass from Connor Kraft to Brandon Gengler to get on the board.

“We got a score, then we got an interception and got deep into their end of the field,” Schindler said. “If we get a touchdown there, we get the ball first to start the second half and maybe we have something. But we ended up throwing an interception in the end zone. We really needed that score.”

Trailing 35-7 at the break, the Jays were taken totally out of their game plan.

“We want to be able to establish some kind of run game, but at that point we have to put the ball in the air and it didn’t go well,” Schindler said. “We had trouble pass protecting. When we did try to run we had trouble with our run blocking. They weren’t bigger than us, put they were physical and controlled the line. They are wrestlers. Those guys are tough as nails and you can tell they’ve been in the weight room.”

Gehlen Catholic was a little better in the second half, Schindler said, but still got outscored 13-0 after the break.

“It was just too big of a hole,” he said.

The Jays end their season at 8-2.

“Our guys have a lot of be proud of, going 8-2 and getting a playoff win last week,” Schindler said. “We have a strong group of seniors that have really left their mark. Now it’s up to our underclassmen to keep it rolling.”

Woodbury Central improved to 10-0 and will host its quarterfinal matchup against 8-2 Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn.

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