LINCOLN — Heath Renno had 233 yards and three touchdowns rushing by halftime as Lincoln beat Windsor 52-0 in the district semifinal on Friday.
“I’ve got to hand it all to our line,” Renno said. “They were doing an amazing job putting up with Windsor’s front. They’ve got a big defensive line and our offensive line worked their butts off and did a great job.”
The teams battled each other and the conditions with a constant rain and temperatures near 45 degrees.
“We try not to let it be a factor,” said Lincoln coach Danny Morrison. “We stress early on that you’re going to have to hold on to the ball, they’re going to be raking at it, and they did. The first half, any time they stood us up, they were pulling at the ball with is what any good defense would do. We just told our guys to hold on to the ball. We knew it would hurt our passing game so it was nice to see our running game go off like it did.”
Renno paced a Cardinals rushing attack which gained more than 350 yards.
“They’re just super quick,” said Windsor coach Dave Wanninger. “Their linemen do a good job with their trap block and (Renno, Stephens and Lane Johnson) are all good backs. They were quicker than us and they deserve what they got.”
Renno’s touchdowns came from 49, 2 and 12 yards out. The 49-yard carry in the first quarter came on a long run up the left sideline on Lincoln’s second possession of the game. He also set up Lincoln’s first touchdown. With the Cardinals backed up to their own 11-yard line, Renno broke off a long run into Greyhound territory before being stopped at the 14 for a 75 yard gain.
“It was just an iso and I had my lead blocker, Derek Stephens, he does a phenomenal job, he’s one of the best guys I’ve ran behind,” Renno said. “He picked up the middle backer and I saw green to the outside so I cut. I had the corner to beat and I cut back to the outside and Trenton Johnson, playing safety, had a better angle on me.”
The Cardinals scored on all six possessions in the first half to race out to a 46-0 lead. Boone Kroenke capped off the first drive with a dive into the end zone from the one. He scored again to cap off a nine-play drive with a two-yard score in the second quarter. Johnson followed with a two-yard touchdown on the next drive before Renno picked up his third of the game with 38 seconds to play in the half.
Lincoln’s final touchdown came in the fourth quarter as Stephens recovered a fumble in the end zone.
Windsor’s Chase Wetterow gained 98 yards on nine carries.
“He’s done a good job,” Waninger said. “The last couple of games we played Crest Ridge and were a team that was 7-1 when we played and we beat them both games. He played well during those games. A lot of our kids played well in those games.”
Early on, Windsor struggled to get its offense going against the Lincoln defense. The Greyhounds’ first two possessions resulted in a total of one yard gained. Windsor did venture into Lincoln territory several times only to fumble.
“We ran three-man front, four-man front, all of them back and forth,” said Lincoln defensive end Tyler Kroenke. “Didn’t really run a lot of slants. They did a pretty good job of controlling the gap.”
Lincoln will visit Skyline for the district championship next week. Skyline beat Osceola 55-7 on Friday.
Eric Ingles can be reached at 660-826-1000, ext. 1483 or on Twitter @Eric_Ingles