Humboldt runs past Eureka

Humboldt rushed for more than 400 yards Friday in thumping previously unbeaten Eureka, 30-14. The victory was Humboldt's third in a row.

Sports

September 27, 2021 - 9:57 AM

Humboldt High’s Gavin Page, left, hands off to teammate Trey Sommer in a game earlier this season. On Friday, the pair combined to rush for 359 yards in a 30-14 win over previously unbeaten Eureka. Photo by Richard Luken / Iola Register

EUREKA — As a football coach, Humboldt High’s  Logan Wyrick has pretty much always subscribed to the theory that the best offensive lines are the ones who consistently play together.

That typically requires the same five players in the starting lineup simultaneously.

“Now we’re doing something I didn’t think I’d ever do,” Wyrick said, in rotating out his linemen.

With six or seven equally capable players, Wyrick is able to keep his linemen fresh until the final gun.

That strategy paid off in spades Friday, as the Cubs steamrolled host Eureka, racking up 407 rushing yards in a 30-14 victory.

The win, Humboldt’s third in a row after a season-opening defeat at the hands of Ava, Mo., pushes the Cubs to 1-0 in Class 2A, District 2 play.

“We came out pretty well, especially offensively,” Wyrick said. “The offensive line has come a long ways.”

A devastating run of injuries last fall meant relying on a number of underclassmen up and down the lineup. Now, those linemen have a year-plus of varsity experience, and are eager to stay on the field.

Hence, the rotating linemen.

“I want to keep cohesion, and most of these guys have played together for so long, they know what to do,” Wyrick said.

To wit, Humboldt’s ground game took control at the outset against unbeaten Eureka on Friday.

Gavin Page rushed for a 15-yard touchdown and Trey Sommer scored from the 3 as Humboldt took a 16-0 lead in the first quarter.

Eureka found its footing, taking advantage of a pair of big plays to cut the lead to 16-14.

That’s when Humboldt took full control.

The Cubs marched the length of the field, mostly on the ground, when Sommer plowed in from a yard out to make it 24-14.

A bit of good fortune smiled on Humboldt after halftime. Sommer was headed in for another score, but fumbled the ball into the end zone, where lineman William Kobold fell on the ball for the final touchdown.

“If we cut out two big plays, we didn’t give up much at all,” Wyrick said. 

Humboldt travels to winless West Franklin on Friday. Last year, just as the injuries were taking their toll on the Cubs’ roster, West Franklin rolled to a 39-20 win.

“As we started looking at the film, I was amazed at just how short-handed we were in that game,” Wyrick said. “We had guys who had been playing certain roles on the junior varsity team have to turn around and do the same things in the varsity game.”

Sommer and Page did much of the damage. Sommer rushed 23 times for 197 yards, while Page racked up 162 yards on 20 carries. Tack on Dakota Slocum’s 18, Aiden Gean’s 17 and Cole Mathes with 10, and you have a 400-yard rushing night.

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