FALLS CITY — Falls City coach Britt Hart doesn’t have many good memories from last year’s Class 2A, Division II semifinal loss to Mart.
But there is one positive Hart took away from the 40-13 setback that he hopes will help the Beavers (13-1) in their semifinal rematch against the Panthers (11-3) at 7 p.m. Friday at The Pfield in Pflugerville.
Falls City had an 18-play drive that consumed 8 minutes and 59 seconds of the third quarter and pulled the Beavers within seven points.
“What we did in the third quarter, maintaining and controlling the clock,” Hart said. “That’s what we have to do at the beginning of the game. We’ve got to be able to control it.”
Falls City coach Britt Hart praises the Beavers’ offensive line. pic.twitter.com/LRNnpDvacr— Mike Forman (@mikeforman21) December 12, 2019
Falls City will rely as it has all season on its offensive line, which has helped the Beavers rush for 4,789 yards and average 8.7 yards per carry.
“We knew everything was going to start with the O-line,” said senior tackle Tay Yanta. “We were going to work harder every week just so we could get it done.”
Yanta and senior guards McKade Hartmann and Kevin Jendrusch returned from last season, and were joined by sophomore Brandon Moczygemba at center and junior Jacob Hoffauer at tackle.
“We knew that was going to be a big strength for us and that just pushed us to work harder during the summer so we could come through for our team,” Hartmann said.”
Falls City offensive lineman McKade Hartmann prepares for semifinal game. pic.twitter.com/iPcbIeZfDU— Mike Forman (@mikeforman21) December 12, 2019
“We all grew up together,” Yanta added, “but we had to work together to become a good unit.”
The offensive linemen went to work after the season was over and have continued working throughout the season.
“As soon as we got done in the Mart game last year, we got back in the weight room and that’s all we were doing,” Hart said. “We were pumping that iron and doing agility drills and quickness drills. I knew I had to replace two linemen. I knew coming in we were going to have to run the football and pound the football and it’s hard to stop us.”
The hard work paid off as Brady Lyssy has rushed for 2,380 yards and 36 touchdowns this season.
Lyssy rushed for 356 yards and five touchdowns in last week’s 35-28 quarterfinal win over Bremond, and gave much of the credit to the offensive line.
“It’s awesome knowing you have a back that good and you’re getting your job done up front,” Hartmann said. “That’s helping him make big plays and be a big-time player.”
Falls City offensive linemen do drills at Beaver Stadium. pic.twitter.com/AtWnBNhMg8— Mike Forman (@mikeforman21) December 12, 2019
The Beavers will need another productive game from Lyssy to keep the ball away from Mart’s explosive offense.
“We got to make it to where it’s a grind more than anything,” Hart said. “I think we’re built that way.”
Hartmann is confident the line is up to the challenge.
“It’s awesome knowing you have four dudes around you that can work as a unit and can all get after it and get the job done every play,” he said.
NOTES: Falls City will be the home team.
The winner will advance to the state final against the winner of Thursday night’s Stratford-Hamlin game.
The state final is scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.