High school football: New London-Spicer Wildcats ramp up the offense, 39-6

Read how NLS scored early, often in section win over Montevideo to set up rematch with No. 1 Albany

111820.S.WCT.NLS FB Connor Rothwell
New London-Spicer senior running back Jack Novak (11) jumps into the arms of junior fullback Connor Rothwell after Rothwell scored a touchdown during Tuesday's Section 6AAA quarterfinal against Montevideo from Pederson Field in New London. Patrick Bernadeau / West Central Tribune

NEW LONDON — New London-Spicer and Montevideo last faced off on the gridiron in 2012.

In a meeting that was eight years in the making, the Wildcats took little time to get reacquainted on Tuesday.

Scoring on its first three possessions, fourth-seeded NLS walloped the fifth-seeded Thunder Hawks 39-6 during a Section 6AAA quarterfinal from Pederson Field.

With the victory, the Wildcats are scheduled to play in the semifinals at 2 p.m. Saturday at Albany. The Huskies advanced by shutting out Sauk Centre 62-0. On Oct. 23, Albany captured an 8-0 victory at NLS.

The Wildcats racked up 388 yards against Montevideo.


111820.S.WCT.NLS FB Jack Novak
New London-Spicer senior running back Jack Novak sidesteps a Montevideo defender during Tuesday's Section 6AAA quarterfinal from Pederson Field in New London. Patrick Bernadeau / West Central Tribune

In likely his final home game, senior running back Jack Novak led the way with 17 carries for 159 yards and two touchdowns. He also had two interceptions from his free safety position. Junior quarterback Kyle Doty went 9-for-13 passing for 126 yards and two scores.

Facing 4th-and-1 on its opening drive, NLS (3-4) lined up in the I formation. Instead of giving the ball to Novak, Doty handed it off to junior fullback Conner Rothwell, who rumbled up the middle for a 7-yard rushing touchdown.

After the defense stopped Montevideo (1-3) deep Wildcats territory, NLS again was faced with a fourth down. On 4th-and-3 from the Thunder Hawks 29-yard line, Novak picked up the first down on a 9-yard run. On the following play, Kyle Doty fooled the defense with a play-action fake before finding senior tight end Mason Toutges alone for the 20-yard TD grab.

Montevideo responded on the ensuing drive with some fourth-down magic of its own. On 4th-and-long in enemy territory, junior quarterback Kaden Boike lofted a pass over the defense and into the hands of senior wide receiver Kadin Huntley for a 25-yard scoring catch to make it 14-6.

Photo Gallery: Montevideo Thunder Hawks at New London-Spicer

Huntley finished with four catches for 77 yards.


Less than 90 seconds later, NLS answered thanks to another clever play-action pass. After faking the ball to a running back and a wide receiver in motion, Doty found senior wide receiver Jaden Zylstra down the right sideline. Zylstra came down with the catch in double coverage at Montevideo’s 5-yard line. Two plays later, senior fullback Tim Thein made it 20-6 on a 3-yard rush.

The home team pulled away in the second half thanks to an 18-yard scamper from Novak in the third quarter and a 9-yard rush in the fourth. Also in the fourth, Doty tossed his second touchdown of the game on a 23-yard connection to Zylstra. The senior wide receiver had four grabs for 71 yards. He also had five tackles and an interception on defense.

Senior defensive tackle Nick McKenzie had a team-high nine tackles for NLS.

Freshman running back Francis O’Malley led the Thunder Hawks with 23 rushes for 96 yards.

NLS 39,
Montevideo 6

Montevideo (1-3) 0 6 0 0 — 6
NLS (3-4) 6 14 6 13 — 39
Scoring Plays
N – Connor Rothwell 8 run (run failed)
N – Mason Toutges 20 pass from Kyle Doty (Jaden Zylstra pass from Doty)
M – Kadin Huntley 25 pass from Kadin Boike (kick failed)
N – Tim Thein 3 run (pass failed)
N – Jack Novak 18 run (run failed)
N – Zylstra 23 pass from Doty (kick failed)
N – Novak 9 run (Gabe Rohman kick)


First downs: 11 … Penalties: 2-25 … Rushing (Individual and team): Francis O’Malley 23-96, Landen Knoshal 3-6, Kaden Boike 8-(-25) Braden Schultz 1-0 35-77 … Passing (Individual and team): Boike 8-16-171-3. 8-16-171-3 ... Receiving (Individual and team): Kadin Huntley 4-77, Schultz 3-82, Cole Augeson 1-12 … Interceptions: None … Fumble recoveries: 1 … Tackles (solo-assist): N/A … QB sacks: N/A

New London-Spicer

First downs: 15 … Penalties: 2-7 … Rushing (Individual and team): Jack Novak 17-159, Tim Thein 6-14, Connor Rothwell 5-33, Brycen Christensen 4-46, Kyle Denz 1-5, Nathan Vosika-Scherzberg 1-4, Kyle Doty 1-1. 35-262. … Passing (Individual and team): Doty 9-13-126-0. 9-13-126 ... Receiving (Individual and team): Jaden Zylstra 4-71, Christensen 2-25, Mason Toutges 2-31, Thein 1-(-1). 9-126 … Interceptions: Novak 2, Zylstra 1 … Fumble recoveries: Toutges 1 … Tackles (solo-assist): Nick McKenzie 8-2, Rothwell 6-0, Logan Woelfel 5-1, Jon Garcia 4-2, Zylstra 5-0 … QB sacks: N/A

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