LEIPSIC — Leipsic’s Cole Williamson was out.
So the Vikings tossed out plenty of brothers Juan and Fabian Pena, with a dose of Lorenzo Walther sprinkled throughout.
Leipsic pounded out a 30-8 victory over Sycamore Mohawk in the opening round of the Division VII, region 26, football playoffs Saturday at Leipsic.
Leipsic (10-1) advances to the regional semifinals against the McComb (8-2)/Edgerton (8-2) winner at 7 p.m. next Saturday at a site to be named.
Mohawk ended its year 6-5.
Last season Leipsic knocked off Mohawk 40-14 in the opening round of the playoffs. The Vikings then lost to McComb in the second round, 24-14.
The Vikings played without their leading rusher/linebacker Williamson (829 yards, 13 TDs), who torn the ACL in his knee last week in a victory over Arlington.
Walther finished with 88 yards on 16 carries. He had TD runs of 6 and 4 yards.
Juan Pena had 10 carries for 89 yards with a 5-yard TD.
“Knowing that Cole was out, we knew we had to step up our game,” Juan Pena said. “And we know what type of runner he (Walther) is. It gave him an opportunity to step up his game.’’
Fabian Pena had eight carries for 38 yards with a 10-yard TD. He also had five catches for 51 yards.
“We did make some adjustments (without Williamson),” Leipsic coach Joe Kirkendall said. “We used Fabian Pena a little bit more. We moved Juan (Pena) to halfback. Those were the two adjustments and we challenged the offensive line to be tougher than everybody else.’’
Leipsic wasted no time in flexing is playoff attack.
On Mohawk’s first offensive play, Mohawk quarterback Landen Snyder was picked off by the Vikings’ Caleb Lammers at the Mohawk 30 and returned to the 5.
“It did (set the tone),” Kirkendall said. “And our pass defense we thought was a liability when we started the season, but it improved and improved and improved. We did a really good job in pass coverage. That was a really good play (the interception) and we went down and scored.’’
Juan Pena swept the right side on the next play for a 5-yard TD.
That gave the Vikings a quick 7-0 lead with 11:42 left in the first quarter.
The next time the Vikings had the ball they drove from their own 20 to the Mohawk 3, but lost a fumble at the 3.
With Mohawk stacked up at its own goal line, Mohawk’s Snyder took the snap from his 1 and fumbled it in his own end zone.
Snyder scrambled to pick it up, but was leveled by Juan Pena for a safety.
That gave Leipsic a 9-0 lead with 1:43 left in the first quarter.
Leipsic then took the kickoff off the safety and went 47 yards in two plays for a score.
Juan Pena first ran for 37 around the right side to the 10.
Then, it was Fabian Pena who took a sweep to the left for a 10-yard TD.
That gave the Vikings a 16-0 lead with 1:22 left in the first quarter.
The next time Leipsic had the ball it went 41 yards in seven plays for a score.
Lorenzo Walther bulldozed his way over from the 6 for the TD to cap the drive.
“That was the plan (to run Walther),” Kirkendall said. “He’s been a rotational guy and went to fullback and he’s a really good running back. He might have our best vision.’’
That pushed the Leipsic lead to 22-0 with 7:06 left before halftime.
For Mohawk, its quarterback Snyder completed 8 of 16 for 62 yards. He was picked off twice.
On the ground, Snyder ran for a team-high 81 yards on eight carries.
Jesse Leeth had 14 carries for 63 yards. Wildcat quarterback Mason Danner was stopped most of the night and had 32 yards on 13 carries.
“We felt we never played our best, defensively, but we were opportunistic and we never gave up big plays,” Kirkendall said.