MOUNT AYR — It wasn’t a hard decision naming a most valuable player after Mount Ayr’s 28-7 victory over the West Central Valley Wildcats in the opening round of the Class 1A state football playoffs.
Mount Ayr senior Braydee Poore made play, after play, after play for the undefeated Raiders here Wednesday evening.
But, none were bigger than a 71-yard touchdown he hauled in from quarterback Jacob Sobotka late in the third quarter. Poore’s TD catch gave Mount Ayr — which struggled to finish drives on offense in the first half — a little breathing room with a 14-7 lead.
“He’s a playmaker,” said Mount Ayr coach Derek Lambert. “He’s got great hands, great elusiveness and great open-field speed and he showed those skills tonight, especially on that big touchdown pass. That play really shifted the momentum of the game in our favor.”
Lambert said Poore’s touchdown catch came on a smash-and-go play.
“Their cornerbacks were jumping our short routes all night,” Sobotka said, “so the play call worked perfectly. I rolled out, Braydee stopped on his short route, I pump faked and the corner came flying up like we expected.
“I threw it, and at first I thought I’d thrown it too far. But, when you’re throwing to a 6-foot, 3-inch, state high jumper it’s pretty hard to overthrow him. He ran right under it for the touchdown. That play really shifted the momentum.”
But, that wasn’t all for Poore.
In the fourth quarter, with the score still 14-7, Poore intercepted WCV quarterback Bryce Kearns at midfield and returned it 30 yards into Wildcat territory.
That interception led to a 4-yard plunge by Mount Ayr running back Zane Sickles with 7:12 left in the fourth quarter, giving the Raiders a 21-7 lead.
Mount Ayr’s Riley Weehler put the finishing touches on the victory later, charging into the endzone with 3:27 remaining in the game and giving Mount Ayr a 28-7 lead.
Mount Ayr (10-0) now hosts Ogden (6-4) 7 p.m. Monday in the second round of the Class 1A playoffs. The Raiders played at Ogden earlier this month, defeating them 19-7.
Mount Ayr 28, WCV 7
WCV 0 7 0 0 - 7
Mount Ayr 0 7 7 14 - 28
W — Rob Irlmeier 3 run (Tanner Ruhland kick), 10:21
M — Lincoln Martin 1 run (Zach Vanderflught kick), 5:47
M — Braydee Poore 71 pass from Jacob Sobotka (Vanderflught kick), 2:16
M — Zane Sickels 4 run (Vanderflught kick), 7:12
M — RIley Weehler 5 run (Vanderflught kick), 3:27
Rushing: W - Rob Irlmeier 18-91, Ryan Join 5-15, Grant Dudley 6-6, Brian Keller 1-6, Bryce Kearns 9-(-13). M - Zane Sickels 8-53, Lincoln Martin 8-29, Erik Freed 4-17, Riley Weehler 4-10, Jacob Sobotka 10-10, Cody Stackhouse 2-4.
Passing: W - Kearns 10-17-2 for 103 yards. M - Sobotka 9-16-0 for 130 yards.
Receiving: W - Alex Arnburg 4-45, Joint 3-37, Irlmeier 3-21. M - Braydee Poore 4-105, Dylan Doman 1-11, Stackhouse 1-7, Shane Swank 2-2, Freed 1-5.
Tackles (solo-assists): M - Mason Mercer (6-8), Stackhouse (2-6), Sickels (4-3), Joe Ricker (3-3), Weehler (2-3), Lincoln Martin (1-4), Freed (2-2), Levi Martin (1-3), Johnathan Triggs (2-1), Sobotka (0-2), Dylan Doman (1-1).