Davenport West’s football team walked to the sideline after the first quarter Thursday night trailing 7-6. It limped into the locker room 12 minutes later staring at a 36-point deficit.
Dubuque Senior scored 28 points in the final 4 minutes, 45 seconds of the second quarter en route to a 56-13 triumph in a Class 4A District 6 opener at Brady Street Stadium.
“It was very shocking,” West senior tailback Dot Combs said. “We thought we could compete with them the whole game. The second quarter just took off. I don’t know what happened.”
Missed tackles and two turnovers on its end of the field triggered Senior’s onslaught.
Senior (2-3, 1-0) racked up 19 first downs and 369 yards of offense by halftime. Tailback Sam Schnee rushed for 170 of his game-high 211 yards before intermission.
“It came down to tackling,” West coach Justin Peters said. “They ran hard, got out of our tackles. I don’t know how many times I saw us stop their guy in the backfield, but he slips out and starts going.”
West scored on its opening drive. Sophomore quarterback Jacob Milem completed three throws for 35 yards and Combs darted 37 yards for the first of his two touchdowns.
Then after a Senior turnover and West punt, it got one-sided. Quickly.
The Rams scored on all five second-quarter possessions. And they needed only eight offensive snaps for their final three touchdowns of the half.
Quarterback Chaz Hancock completed 8 of 10 throws for 169 yards and two scores, including 36- and 69-yard touchdown strikes to Kentarion Johnson and Alex Richard.
“We knew we could draw them in with the run,” Hancock said. “We had a pretty good run game going. Once they started to creep in, we could get them over the top. It just happened it worked out.”
Schnee finished with four touchdowns, giving him 10 for the season. Senior had 493 total yards and 27 first downs.
“The offensive line got a really good push, and we executed our plays well,” Schnee said.
West, meanwhile, never got deeper than Senior’s 49-yard line after the opening possession until Combs ripped off a 51-yard score late in the third quarter.
Besides the two turnovers, the Falcons (0-5, 0-1) had to punt five times.
“That’s been the story of our offense,” Peters said. “We have the ability to move the ball, but the next thing you know, we’re going backwards or having to punt. Defenses are adjusting to what we’re doing and taking away what we’re good at right now.
“We’re not able to overcome our good versus their good.”
Combs finished with 118 yards rushing, more than 67 percent of West’s total offensive output.
The Falcons, who had lost their previous three games by eight points or fewer, are on the road next week to face Pleasant Valley.
“We need to come together again as a family,” Combs said. “Guys are getting mad at each other on the sidelines. We need to focus on next week instead of dwelling on this game or the ones we lost in the past.”