West Branch Goes on the Road and Rolls Past Osage in 1A Opening Round


Photo by Jeff Yoder

Your Prep Sports

Osage entered the opening round of the playoffs the top-ranked offensive in Class 1A averaging better than 460 yards and 38 points per game.

On Friday it was the West Branch offense that stole the show.

Beau Cornwell passed for 269 yards and accounted for five touchdowns as sixth-ranked West Branch went on the road and rolled up 489 yards of offense in a 56-14 win over Osage (7-3) in a 1A opening round contest.

West Branch (9-1) scored on its first two drives and never trailed on Friday matching its season-high scoring output while snapping a two-game playoff losing skid.

“I think we performed pretty well running the ball, passing the ball the offensive line did a great job the entire game,” Cornwell said. “Receivers caught great passes and Tanner ran really hard. It was an all-around great team effort.”

Tanner Lukavsky rushed for 205 yards and three touchdowns and also caught a touchdown pass as West Branch used a balance attack to advance to the Class 1A quarterfinals.

West Branch had four different players score touchdowns as Trey Eagle and Brady Lukavsky each hauled in touchdown passes in the win.

The Bears finished with 220 rushing yards to go with its 269 yards through the air.

“I think the diversity is what makes it tough to stop,” West Branch coach Butch Pedersen said. “We had seven kids catch passes tonight and it’s pretty tough to cover that.”

The Bears’ reward for an 8-1 regular season was a nearly three-hour bus ride to face an Osage team riding a six-game winning streak.

West Branch responded by jumping to a 14-0 lead and building a 35-14 halftime cushion.

“We talked all week long that when you get in the playoffs it’s honor to be there,” Pedersen said. “So let’s get on the bus and lets go.”

West Branch needed less than two minutes to take a lead.
The Bears forced Osage to go 3-and-out on the opening possession of the game and Wyatt Goodale returned the punt 17 yards to the Green Devin 14 yard line.

On the Bears’ first offensive play Cornwell ran 14 yards for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead with 10:03 left in the first quarter.

Lukavsky made it 14-0 when he caught a 9-yard touchdown pass from Cornwell to cap an eight-play, 76-yard touchdown drive.

Osage senior quarterback Brett Bobinet kept the Green Devils in the game with first-half touchdown passes of 13 yards to Thor Maakestad and 29 yards to Jarrett Scharper.

The 29-yard strike to Scharper cut the lead to 21-14 with 4:44 left in the first half but West Branch scored a pair of touchdowns in the final two minutes to take a 35-14 halftime lead.

Tanner Lukavsky capped a seven-play, 70-yard march with a 7-yard touchdown run to make it 28-14.

West Branch then marched 62 yards in six plays and just 42 seconds and took a 35-14 lead n a 26-yard touchdown strike from Cornwell to Brady Lukavsky.

“When we are running the ball like we were tonight that helps a lot,” Cornwell said. “When teams have to honor Tanner and they start to load the box we can shred them with the passing game.”

Tanner Lukavsky put the game out of reach in the second half with touchdown runs of 52 and 86 yards.

Lukavsky has now rushed for 1,234 yards and 17 touchdowns in 10 games this season.

“We have a runner back that is extremely good in Tanner,” Pedersen said. “When he gets that kind of tempo and that kind of flow going it’s hard on a defense.’

The leading passer in Class 1A entering the playoffs, Bobinet completed 19-of-42 passes for 247 yards but it wasn’t nearly enough.

West Branch limited the Green Devils to just 22 rushing yards and 247 yards of total offense.

The 14 points for Osage were a season-low, eight points fewer than its previous low of 22 in a win over Sumner-Fredericksburg.

“I thought our defense played extremely well,” Pedersen said. “This team was leading Class 1A in offense, averaging like 48 points and we held them to 14 points and I thought they did a great job. Our special teams coverage was excellent. We talked to them all week long that we had go three pronged on the whole thing and that’s exactly what we did we played a very good football game.”

West Branch will travel to third-ranked and defending Class 1A champion Van Meter (10-0) next Friday for a 1A quarterfinal.

“We know that a really long bus ride won’t affect us,” Cornwell said. “We are going to go in there confident and do our thing.”

                             WB               OSA

First downs                  15                        21

Rushes-yards           22-220               34-22

Comp-Att-Int             15-24-0              19-42-0

Passing yards           269                       247

Total yards                 489                       269

Punts-Avg.                 4-29                    5-48.4             

Fumbles-lost              0-0                       0-0

Penalties-yards        10-81                   5-31

West Branch  14  21  14  7  –  56

Osage              8    6    0   0  –  14

WB – Beau Cornwell 14 run (Cornwell Kick)

WB – Tanner Lukavsky 9 pass from Cornwell (Cornwell kick)

OSA – Thor Maakestad 13 pass from Brett Bobinet (Hayden Meek pass from Bobinet)

WB – Cornwell 1 run (Cornwell kick)

OSA – Jarett Scharper 29 pass from Bobinet (Pass failed)

WB – Tanner Lukavsky 7 run (Cornwell kick)

WB – Brady Lukavsky 26 pass from Cornwell (Cornwell kick)

WB – Tanner Lukavsky 52 run (Cornwell kick)

WB – Trey Eagle pass from Cornwell (Cornwell kick)

WB – Tanner Lukavsky 86 run (Cornwell kick)

Individual Statistics

RUSHING – WB: Tanner Lukavsky 12-205, Beau Cornwell 7-8, Wyatt Goodale 1-3, Wyatt Hamby 4-4.

PASSING – WB: Beau Cornwell 15-24-0 269

RECEIVING – WB: Trey Eagle 4-84, Tanner Lukavsky 3-63, Wyatt Goodale 3-43, Brady Lukavsky 2-46, Thomas Gould 1-25, Brett Schiele 1-6, Zach Thompson 1-2.