WAHOO — In the quarterfinals of the playoffs, it doesn’t matter how much a team wins by, as long as the team survives and advances. This is information that apparently wasn’t given to the Wahoo Warriors — specifically running Trevin Luben — before their game against Adams Central on Friday.
Luben rushed for 226 yards and four touchdowns in the opening half of the Class C-1 quarterfinals against the Patriots to give the Warriors a commanding lead they would only add to in the second half. Peyten Walling picked up two touchdowns in the second half for Wahoo and the Warriors rolled into the semifinals with a 45-7 win over Adams Central.
The Warriors only needed 14 yards from Luben in the second half; he finished with 240 for the game.
“I have to give all the credit to my line for making it easy for me out there,” Luben said. “When you can get 10 yards per carry and start a game with a couple big pops like that, it makes it easy. They make it so easy for me every game and it’s a great feeling.”
It didn’t take long for Luben and his line to make their mark on the game. After an interception in the end zone brought the ball out to the Wahoo 20-yard line, it only took Luben three rushes to open the scoring.
An 83-yard rushing touchdown from Luben on Wahoo’s next drive gave the Warriors a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.
The Patriots got on the board next with a 10-yard touchdown reception by Leif Spady, but it and the extra point would be their only points of the game.
Luben scored twice more in the second quarter, including a 1-yard plunge as time expired in the half to send Wahoo into the break with a 31-7 lead. Jesus Zaragoza also connected on a 27-yard field goal in the quarter.
“(Luben) has done a nice job down the stretch for us of toting the ball,” Wahoo coach Chad Fox said. “He’s carrying 20, sometimes 40 times a game for us when we need him. He’s done an exceptional job for us and he’s a great running back. He sometimes makes it look too easy, but some of that credit goes to our offensive line."
Walling took the first carry from scrimmage of the second half 69 yards for a touchdown and later caught a 40-yard touchdown that pushed the game into a run-the-clock situation.
The touchdown reception was Wahoo’s first completed pass of the evening.
The Warriors now advance to face Aurora, where they’ll look to avenge a 55-21 loss in the third week of the season.