CEDAR FALLS, Iowa — Once again, Don Bosco proved to be too big, too strong and too fast.
And too good.
For the second straight year, Midland's season came to an end at the hand of the top-ranked Dons, 80-12, in an 8-player semifinal game Thursday at the UNI-Dome.
Midland fell to Don Bosco in the same game last year 72-0 as the Dons went on to win a state title.
The Dons have won 20 straight games and are in their fifth title game in the past six years. They will face Remsen St. Mary's next Thursday.
"We just came out ready to play. We've been in this position before," defensive back Lewis Havel told the Waterloo Courier. "We came out focused and ready to lay the wood on them."
Looking to pull off the upset, Midland took a deep shot on the very first play of the game, but the pass was just off the hands of Carter Mohr. The Eagles went three and out.
Don Bosco didn't waste much time taking advantage, scoring on the second play of its first drive when Wyatt Sawvel hit Cael Tenold with a 70-yard touchdown pass just one minute, 33 seconds into the game.
The duo hooked up again with 7:14 left in the quarter on a 22-yard touchdown pass to go up 14-0.
Midland (9-3) got some life late in the first quarter. Drew Gravel blocked a punt, giving the Eagles the ball at the Dons’ 20. After an offsides call on Don Bosco (12-0), Austin Smith took the next play 15 yards for a touchdown to cut the lead to 14-6 with 3:18 left in the quarter, the first points scored at the UNI-Dome in Midland's history.
Sawvel answered with a 44-yard touchdown run, and the Dons broke the game open with a 26-yard interception return for a touchdown by Tenold to put Don Bosco up 28-6 at the end of the first quarter
Sawvel and Tenold were forces for the Dons, involved in nine of their 12 touchdowns. Sawvel threw for 187 yards on just seven attempts and added 161 yards on the ground.
Smith added a 60-yard touchdown pass from Britan Martens with 8:40 left in the second quarter to cut the Don Bosco lead to 34-12, but those were the last points scored by the Eagles.
Smith finished with 60 yards on the ground to end his season with 2,892 yards, an Iowa single-season state record in 8-player football. He ended the season with 3,803 all-purpose yards and 58 touchdowns.
Don Bosco 80, Midland 12
DB -- Cael Tenold 70 pass from Wyatt Sawvel (run failed), 10:27
DB -- Tenold 22 pass from Sawvel (Sawvel run), 7:14
Mid -- Austin Smith 15 run (pass failed), 3:18
DB -- Sawvel 44 run (pass failed), 1:19
DB -- Tenold 26 interception return (Kendall Becker pass from Sawvel), 0:09
DB -- Sawvel 17 run (run failed), 9:38
Mid -- Smith 60 pass from Britan Martens (pass failed), 8:40
DB -- Austin Svoboda 53 run (pass failed), 7:48
DB -- Tenold 26 pass from Sawvel (Sawvel run), 5:26
DB -- Sawvel 35 run (Austin Hellman run), 2:35
DB -- Sawvel 42 run (pass failed), 11:22
DB -- Svoboda 42 pass from Sawvel (pass failed), 0:11
DB -- Becker 62 run (pass failed), 8:55
DB -- Lewis Havel 38 pass from Mason Denton (run failed), 6:26
MIDLAND -- Smith 22-60, Martens 5-4, Drew Gravel 2-14, Brady Pestka 2-11.
DON BOSCO -- Sawvel 17-161, Hellman 3-7, Svoboda 7-78, Thomas Even 2-2, Becker 1-62, Denton 1-(-1), Team 1-(-1), Cael Frost 1-0.
MIDLAND -- Martens 5-18-4, 124; Smith 3-6-0, 30
DON BOSCO -- Sawvel 6-7-0, 187; Denton 1-1-0, 38
MIDLAND -- Smith 4-112, Carter Mohr 2-24, Gravel 1-13, Fisher Bisinger 1-5
DON BOSCO -- Tenold 3-118, Svoboda 2-60, Havel 1-38, Becker 1-9
Team records -- Don Bosco 12-0; Midland 9-3 (final)