Senior workhorse Jordan Ratermann had 247 yards rushing and five touchdownson 29 carries Saturday for the Mater Dei Knights in a 49-21 Class 4A first-round playoff win on Saturday over Olney-East Richland.
But coach Jim Stiebel placed the credit squarely on the big bodies opening the holes.
"Our five linemen up front had an outstanding day," said Stiebel, whose team will be at home against Rochester next week. "(Guard) Joe Hemann had some amazing blocks and was putting people on the ground just about every play."
With Olney focusing the defense on trying to stop Ratermann early, the Knights quickly switched strategy.
"We ran the 'Wildcat' (formation) and forced them to cover the quarterback," said Stiebel, who switched receiver Jared Thole to quarterback in the Wildcat set. "Once they started looking at the quarterback, we started going to Jordan."
That proved to be a winning formula for the Knights.
"The films that we saw, that's where teams had the most success against them was inside runs," Stiebel said of Olney. "We did a good job of mixing that up and giving different guys carries so they couldn't key on one guy."
Thole ran for 71 yards on 13 carries as Knights quarterback Sam Toennies threw only six passes.
The Mater Dei defense held Olney to 49 yards rushing and also had seven sacks.
Mount Carmel 29, Central 21
The Central Cougars threw an early scare into Mount Carmel despite playing in the Golden Aces' vaunted "Snake Pit," but still couldn't pull out a victory.
"We gave them a dogfight, that's for sure," said Central coach Brian Short, whose team finished 6-4 and was leading 7-0 for much of the first half. "We came out pretty hot today. We forced two turnovers on their first two drives and recovered an onside kick. We had the ball almost the whole first quarter."
Cameron Voss had two rushing touchdowns and also threw a touchdown pass to Dalton Smith. Voss replaced starter Josh Dunning at quarterback early in the third quarter after Dunning went down with what Short said was a concussion.
Central's Jacob Timmermann also had several big receptions, one on a fake punt, and forced two fumbles on defense.
The Cougars scored in the fourth quarter to cut the Mount Carmel lead to 29-21, but the Golden Aces were able to run out the clock.
Greenville 49, Freeburg 22
Greenville quarterback Daulton Young threw five touchdown pases as the Comets beat the Freeburg Midgets.
The Midgets grabbed a 6-0 lead on a 44-yard touchdown pass from Joseph Wolf to Robby Vail with 5:36 left in the first quarter.
The Comets scored seven unanswered touchdowns to build up a 49-6 lead.
Erik Turok's 2-yard touchdown run with 4:30 left in the first quarter got the Comets rolling.
Hutchinson connected with Daulton Young on TD passes of 59 and 36 yards during a 28-point, second-quarter outburst.
Jacob Homann had a 23-yard touchdown and caught a 3-yard touchdown pass from Wolf to account for the rest of the Midgets' scoring.
Wolf completed 11 of 19 passes for 152 yards in the loss.
The Midgets end their season at 5-5.
The Comets improve to 10-0. They'll play Robinson in the second round of the playoffs.
Carlyle 29, Eldorado 14
The Carlyle Indians improved to 9-1 and advanced to the second round of the playoffs for the second time in the last three years by beating the Eldorado Eagles.
The Indians will play the Staunton Bulldogs (6-4) in the second round of the playoffs. The Bulldogs knocked off top-seeded Fairfield 8-0 Saturday.