DeKALB — Marey Roby didn’t just score three times to help Lena-Winslow’s 38-25 win over Carrollton to claim a Class 1A state title.
He also had a key interception late in the first half to ensure the Panthers’ fifth state championship and fourth at Huskie Stadium.
“When we’re prepared, good things can happen,” said Roby, who ran for 241 yards on 27 carries. “When the line blocks, good things can happen. They’ve done that all year long and make us backs look good.”
Roby scored all his touchdowns in the second quarter, helping the Panthers overcome three first-half turnovers. Roby and coach Ric Arand said the line was dominant, paving the way for 452 rushing yards, including 115 for Jake Zeal.
“It’s just the best feeling in the world,” lineman Tyler Croatt said. “We’ve been doing it all year, and now we’re in front of like thousands of people. It’s just fun.”
The Panthers (12-2) led 30-19 at halftime, but Carrollton (12-2) scored first in the third quarter with quarterback Grant Pholman plunging in for a 1-yard score, pulling the Hawks to within six.
But Lena-Winslow answered with a sustained drive, ending with a short run by Luke Benson for a score and a 38-25 lead with 10:39 left in the fourth quarter.
Le-Win started the scoring when Jake Zeal went 60 yards for a touchdown midway through the first quarter. But early in the second quarter, Carrollton broke through, scoring on an 18-yard pass from Grant Pohlman to Kyle Leonard. The drive was on a short field, set up when Matt Beiermann recovered a fumbled punt. It was the third Le-Win turnover but the first one the Hawks scored on, taking a 7-6 lead.
That’s when Roby started to heat up. He broke off a 46-yard run and set up his own 2-yard run for a touchdown as the Panthers retook the lead. But then the teams started trading scores, with Pohlman breaking loose for 63 yards, the biggest gain by far to that point for Carrollton, making the score 14-13.
Roby then added a 45-yard scoring run on third-and-12, building the lead to nine. But the big plays continued as Pohlman found Gus Coonrod on a 47-yard streak as Carrollton pulled to within 22-19.
“I told these guys numerous times in the huddle we’re OK, we can’t play any worse,” Arand said. “We just were giving up big plays.”
Just before half, Roby went 47 yards to push the lead to 30-19, then made sure the Hawks wouldn’t answer before the half by intercepting Pohlman.
“We were just trying not to be beat over the top,” Roby said. “He threw it right to me so I had to make that catch.”
The Panthers had 10 tackles for a loss in the win, including four by Brody Mahon. Mahon also had the Panthers’ only sack of Pohlman. Henry Engel added 2.5 tackles for a loss.
Pohlman finished 9 of 24 for 111 yards, plus ran for 156. Roby said stopping Pohlman was a priority for the Panther defense.
“We just wanted to stop (Pohlman),” Roby said. “We knew he was a load and we knew we had to slow him down.”
Source: The Daily Chronicle