If Friday’s game is any indication, the Iola-Scandinavia football team is set to make a late-season run for a playoff spot.
The Thunderbirds improved to 3-2 in the Central Wisconsin 8 Conference and 4-3 overall with a 53-7 win over Amherst at Thunderbird Field.
“Anytime you win, you feel good about it,” coach Scott Erickson said. “When you have a solid win, you have something to build on.”
The T-Birds used three second-quarter touchdowns to take a 27-7 halftime lead on Parents’ Night before outscoring the Falcons 26-0 in the second half.
Devin Peterson had another big night running the ball for I-S with 186 yards in 19 carries, including a 3-yard touchdown in the first quarter, a 10-yard score in the second quarter and an 8-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
Ronnie Knapstein scored on runs of 12, 3 and 4 yards and finished with 69 yards, while Bradley Hardel added 64 yards, including a 63-yard score in the third quarter.
Brady Huettner scored the T-Birds’ final touchdown on a 20-yard run in the fourth quarter.
The I-S defense also rose to the challenge, holding the Falcons to 127 yards of offense.
“The guys played well,” Erickson said. “We had some consistency on both sides of the ball and our defense played the way they’re capable of playing. We stopped what they did best.”
Erickson singled out guard Cole Sorenson, defensive lineman Lucas Albers, linebacker Jordan Beyersdorf, defensive back Dylan Thorne and Peterson and Knapstein in the offensive backfield.
The win means the T-Birds have to win one of their final two games to qualify for the playoffs. I-S will play at Shiocton Friday and close out the regular season Thursday, Oct. 21, at Weyauwega-Fremont.
Both teams are also in the hunt for a playoff spot, which means each game is big, according to Erickson.
“We want to get better every week,” he said. “It comes down to fundamentals.”