116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
TROY MILLS — It started slow for North Linn, but when junior quarterback Tate Haughenbury hooked up with senior wide receiver Austin Hilmer for a 50-yard bomb to put the Lynx up 6-0, it was essentially over for Nashua-Plainfield.
The Huskies never got their offense untracked and North Linn won the Class A first-round playoff game, 46-16, Friday night.
This was the Lynx’s second playoff football victory in school history.
The Lynx got the job done on defense, but it was the offense that was the talk of the night.
Hilmer had two interceptions and a fumble recovery that the Lynx offense capitalized on. The Haughenbury brothers, Hilmer and Cael Bridgewater were a four-man wrecking crew that annihilated the Huskies through about 3 1/2 quarters.
Tate Haughenbury completed 14 of 26 passes for 209 yards, with five touchdowns — four in the air and one on the ground. His brother, senior running back Cade Haughenbury, had a long touchdown run of 80 yards with 55 seconds left in the first half and accounted for 130 yards on 13 carries.
Bridgewater had five receptions for 105 yards and two touchdowns and Hilmer caught six passes for 100 yards and two touchdowns.
“Our run game was not as good as it can be and usually is,” Hilmer said. “Obviously we got some yards and Cade had the huge 80-yard touchdown run, but overall we can do a better job running the ball and I think if we get that going, nobody is going to stop us.”
Cade Haughenbury agreed, noting the running game needs to improve if North Linn wants to keep the undefeated season going.
“About the end of the half we were not really planning on scoring and came out in an I-formation, which was something we had not ran all game,” he said. “The Huskies might not have been quite prepared for that one. I saw an opening on the right-hand side, made one cut when I saw an open gap and a huge hole opened up and then I juked, and just saw open grass and daylight.
“For us, that was big going into halftime and us having all the momentum.”
Coach Jared Collum was proud of how his team performed in his first playoff win as a head coach.
“I think at first we had a little bit of first playoff-game nerves,” he said. “It took us a couple of possessions to settle in as a team, but we got some things figured out in the passing game.
“Our running game did not really click until about the very end of the second quarter going into halftime. We can throw the ball when we need to, and it’s been great that our defense was solid tonight as they have been all year.”