CEDAR FALLS—For the fourth time in school history and for the third time in a different class, West Lyon can call themselves state champions.
After taking the state title in 1998 and 1999 in Class 2A, the Wildcats went on to take the Class 1A state title in 2010. This year marks the fourth title in three different classes, claiming the top spot in Class A.
Much like the Wiildcats have done through the regular season and postseason, West Lyon won the game in dominating fashion, outgaining B-G-M 439 to 121, gaining 329 yards on the ground.
West Lyon’s offense took the field 11 times and scored on seven of said drives with touchdowns, punting twice and turning the ball over on its opening possession.
“We got beat last year and had a terrible taste in our mouths and if there was anything we could do in the offseason to make ourselves better we did it,” said West Lyon coach Jay Rozeboom. “The kids worked hard in the weight room, went out for other sports, went to speed camp and really worked hard to get to this point.”
After the Bears’ opening drive stalled, three plays into West Lyon’s first drive on Brandon Snyder’s first pass attempt, the Bears’ Jack Kline picked off Snyder and brought it back 55 yards for a score to make it 7-0, putting the Wildcats in unfamiliar territory.
“We really haven’t been down all year and I was wondering how we would respond to the adversity and I was just really proud of how the guys came together as a team,” Rozeboom said.
After the interception that put his team down early, the Wildcats and Snyder responded with a seven-play drive that was capped off with a Snyder 34-yard scamper to make it 7-7.
“Our coaches just drilled ‘respond to adversity’,” Snyder said on the scoring drive. “When you make a big mistake like that, my teammates just picked me up. Bad things are going to happen against a good team, it’s about how you respond.”
“We just went back to the basics and had a great job of blocking up front to make some big plays,” Rozeboom said. “We were able to win the line of scrimmage and showed some of our speed. We told the kids to just play your game and keep doing what you’re doing and we’ll be just fine.”
Forcing the Bears into a three-and-out on their next possession, the snap on the punt attempt sailed over the kicker’s head and Reagen Meyer was the first to pounce on the ball, giving the Wildcats another score at 14-7.
B-G-M turned in its biggest drive of the day on its next possession, traveling all the way to the West Lyon 33 yard line. A timeout by West Lyon and two incomplete passes later, Chase Grotewold stepped in front of a pass attempt for the interception.
Snyder ripped off a 69-yard run to put the Wildcats on the three-yard line on the first play of the drive. Bennet Feuchtenberger pounded it in to make it 21-7 West Lyon with 2:05 still remaining in the first quarter.
West Lyon wasn’t done.
Snyder ripped off a 60-yard run after breaking a few tackles in the second quarter to make it 28-7 in favor of West Lyon.
“That’s all my offensive line,” Snyder said. “Jake Newborg, Matt and Neil Metzger, Lorenzo Romero and Britton Van Beek and my ends Cody (Bauman) and Paul (Ter Wee). They were just controlling the line of scrimmage all day. Anyone can run through those holes. I can’t thank them enough.”
The real dagger came after the Wildcats stopped the Bears on a fourth down at the B-G-M 33-yard line at the 1:09 mark before the half.
On the first play of the series, Snyder hooked up with a wide-open Kyle Groeneweg for a 33-yard score to all but seal it at 42-7 just before halftime.
“In my opinion, our coaching staff is best in the state compared to anyone,” Snyder said. “The time they spend in the film room and how much preparation that goes into each week is just ridiculous and it shows every week.”
West Lyon got the ball to start the second half and promptly marched down the field that included a 49-yard pass completion to Cody Bauman. Kaleb Heyer pounded It three times to finally put it in, making it 49-7 for the final score.
Snyder finished with 181 yards on the ground on only seven carries. After throwing an interception on his first pass attempt, Snyder completed his next four passes with 110 yards and one score. Heyer rushed for 75 yards on 13 carries. Vaughn Moser hauled the rock five times for 32 yards and Feuchtenberger had 30 yards and a score of seven carries.
Groeneweg made two catches for 41 yards and a score. Cody Bauman had one catch for a 49-yard gain. Paul Ter Wee had a 20-yard reception.
Heyer led the defense with six total stops, including five solo tackles. Matt Metzger had the only sack for either team, totaling five stops. Dylan Whalen and Chase Grotewold each had four stops. Grotewold also had an interception. Meyer recovered a fumble in the end zone for a score.
West Lyon closes the season with a perfect 13-0 record and a Class A state title.
“All the hard work, we do it for days like this when we can call ourselves state champs,” Snyder said.