The West Central Area/Ashby football team finished a crazy 2020 season with a 5-2 record after defeating Staples-Motley 48-27 on Friday night in Barrett. The Knights led 34-6 at the half and finished with 432 yards of offense.
The Knights scored on their opening drive when Jordan Lohse broke loose for a 39-yard TD run behind some great blocking from Tate Christenson. This capped a 6-play, 65-yard drive and give the home team a 6-0 lead. Jaden Norby scored the first of his two touchdowns with 1-yard plunge at 11:21 of the second quarter to put the Knights in front 12-0. Evan Paulson connected with Torin Olson on a 41-yard TD pass with 8:29 left in the first half, giving WCA/Ashby an 18-0 advantage. Norby’s second TD, a 14-yard run was followed by a two-point conversion pass to Lohse, increased the Knights lead to 26-0 with 6:03 on the clock. Following a muffed punt, recovered by Staples-Motley, the visitors scored on a one yard run to get the Cardinals on the board as they trailed 26-6 with 4:03 left in the second quarter. The Knights quickly answered back when Tate Christenson then caught a 15-yard pass from Norby and a two-point conversion pass from Paulson to make it a 34-6 lead for WCA/Ashby at the half.
The Knights extended their lead to 42-6 when Anthony Sykora scored on a 10-yard run and senior lineman Shane Wrolson added a two-point conversion run. Knights senior linebacker Connor Nadgwick then scored on a 43-yard run, increasing the Knights lead to 48-6. The Cardinals showed grit and determination and managed to put together several scoring drives but when the clock hit zeros on the 2020 season the Knights were victorious.
For Staples-Motley, Isaiah Schultz completed 13-of-22 passes for 143 yards and one touchdown. Chandler Braith was on the receiving end of 6 passes for 114 yards and lineman Alex Giza added 39 yards as part of a hook-and-ladder combo with Braith. The Knights held the Cardinals to 29 rushing yards on the night.
Friday night marked the final game for 11 seniors. Austin Mattson, Brady Reeve, Connor Nadgwick, Jaden Norby, Jordan Lohse, Kade Olson, Nate Kisgen, Shane Wrolson, Tate Christenson, Trent Koloski put on the pads for last time and capped off an exciting, positive time for Knights Football. This group went to the state tournament as freshmen and finished as section co-champions as seniors. During their four years they were a part of 22 Knights’ victories and countless memories and learning opportunities.