By TOMMY WELLS
BRYSON – Coletyn King did about everything anyone could have asked of him on Thursday night in Strawn Greyhounds’ bi-district playoff game.
The sophomore running back scored two rushing touchdowns, caught a 20-yard scoring pass, returned an interception for another score and tacked on a safety en route to leading Strawn to a lopsided 72-6 rout of the Gold-Burg Bears in Bryson.
Strawn will advance to the regional round and face Jayton. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Trent.
Just how lopsided was Strawn’s win? It was 46-6 after the end of the first 10 minutes of play – with the Greyhounds running just 12 plays on offense.
Yeah, it was that lopsided.
With the win, Strawn improves to 9-2 for the season and, more importantly, advances to the second round of the Division II six-man state playoffs to face either Jayton or Vernon Northside.
“I really liked our intensity,” ‘Hounds head coach Dewaine Lee said. “It was a lot better than it’s been. It was overall team intensity.
“I liked the way the guys played together and talked.
“We had good communication, and that is what we have been lacking.
“I was proud of the way our defense got after them for the most part, but we have to still do a better job on tackling. We over-pursued a few times and let them outside.
“But we can fix that. I was real proud our guys got after them.”
Three years ago, a strong Strawn team was upset by Lueders-Avoca in the first round of the playoffs. Lee said he and his staff made sure that would not happen on Thursday.
“(Three years ago) we did not prepare like we should have, and that was on me,” Lee said.”I will take the blame on that one. I promised myself and the kids that it would never happen again.
“(Thursday) our kids came out and played like they were playing a 7-3 team instead of a 3-7 team. We (coaching staff) never said one thing all week about Gold-Berg’s record and never said one negative thing about them.
“We did what we needed to do. I am proud of the kids’ intensity and effort.”
Abram Jaramillo and Harrison Nowak got the fireworks going early for Strawn.
On the game’s first play from scrimmage, Nowak took a pitch from King and lofted a deep pass to Jaramillo, who pulled the ball in, sidestepped a would-be defender and raced into the end zone to complete the 46-yard scoring play. Jacob Trujillo’s ensuing extra-point kick staked the Greyhounds to an 8-0 lead only 10 seconds into the contest.
Gold-Burg didn’t find the game quite as much fun on their initial possession. Strawn’s Grayson Brandenburg hauled down Bears’ running back James Cantwell for a 4-yard loss on a fourth-and-nine play, forcing Gold-Burg to turn the ball over on downs at its own 35 after just four snaps.
Strawn didn’t need that many plays from scrimmage to find the end zone. In fact, the Greyhounds needed just one to boost its lead to 16-0.
King garnered Strawn’s second touchdown on the ‘Hounds first play, taking a pitch around the right side and dancing 35 yards for a touchdown.
The worse was yet to come for the Bears.
After Strawn had forced Gold-Burg to punt away its next possession, Nowak gave the Greyhound fans reason the smile.
On first down, he reeled off a run of 33 yards to the Bear 12. One play later, King capped the series by racing in for his second TD of the contest.
Strawn continued to pile on the points from there.
King caught a 20-yard touchdown pass from Nowak less than three minutes later and pushed the SHS lead to 30-0 with 3:52 left in the first period.
Gold-Burg, the District 11 runner-up, finally managed to get its offense in gear on its fourth series. On first down, the Bears picked up a 41-yard scramble from spread back Tim Metz.
Two plays later, he lofted a short pass into the end zone for the Bears’ only score.
Gold-Burg trailed Strawn by a 30-6 margin with 3:01 remaining in the first quarter.
The Bears’ happiness lasted a mere 12 seconds. After Anthony Garcia had covered Gold-Burg’s onside kick attempt, Nowak gave Strawn the momentum right back by hitting Chance Mackey with a 45-yard scoring pass.
Nowak added a fourth TD strike less than two minutes later, hitting Jaramillo on a 60-yard scoring play that send the Greyhounds into the second quarter holding a 46-6 cushion.
Offensively, Strawn rolled six TDs on just 12 offensive plays in the first quarter.
Strawn picked up right where it left off in the second. Justin Little inflated the Greyhounds’ lead to 48 points, at 54-6, on the fourth play of the second quarter by following the blocks of Izaac Velasquez and Ryen Sparks into the end zone from 15 yards out.
King was far from through with the Bears.
After Strawn’s kick had pinned Gold-Burg at its own 6, Brandenberg and King hauled down Metz for a 5-yard loss on first down. Two plays later, King caught Metz in the backfield again for a safety.
King’s safety staked Strawn to a 56-6 lead with 7:23 left in the first half.
Jacob Trujillo got into the scoring act for the Greyhounds minutes later. He capped Strawn’s third possession of the quarter with a 28-yard scoring run.
King all but drove the final nail into the Bears’ coffin less than a minute later.
Following Strawn’s ensuing kick, King stepped in front of a Gold-Burg pass and returned it 20 yards for the final touchdown.
As a team, the Greyhounds amassed 336 yards of offense in the contest.