Sumner running back DeJon Lynch was an unstoppable force in the first half against the Renton Indians on Friday night.
Lynch had 12 carries for 90 yards and three rushing touchdowns to lead Sumner in a 45-21 victory in a winner-to-state, loser-out district playoff game at Sunset Chev Stadium in Sumner.
All three of Lynch’s scores and 73 rushing yards came in the first two quarters of play.
“We’re just as good as our offensive line,” Lynch said. “Our offensive line is the best I’ve ever played with. They’re a great group of guys, and they block their butts off. They did a great job tonight.”
Sumner senior Brandon Tuilaepa had a rushing touchdown and scored on a 51-yard screen pass from quarterback Chase Torgison with 56 seconds left in the second quarter to give the Spartans (10-0) a 35-8 halftime lead.
Sumner head coach Keith Ross said his team’s ground-and-pound mantra was on display.
“We knew we had to run the ball,” Ross said. “We wanted to establish the running game and wanted to be physical. We did a really good job of that in the first half. I was really proud of our effort.”
The Spartans’ defense had trouble containing Renton quarterback Dassaun Sauls, who scored all three of Renton’s touchdowns on the ground.
Ross said his team knew how talented Sauls and Renton running backs Ernie Davis and Thomas Dejohnette were going to be.
“All three of their players in the backfield are great athletes,” Ross said. “We worked all week in practice on trying to build a fence around them to try to slow them down. If we missed a tackle, all of a sudden they had gained 30 yards. Renton played really hard tonight. I was impressed with their entire team.”
The Spartans will host W.F. West in the first round of the Class 2A state playoffs this Friday night at Sunset Chev Stadium.
“We’re looking forward to continuing our run with a huge home playoff game in that first round,” Ross said.
Lynch said he’s excited about playing in front of the always-raucous Sumner fans.
“It is always good to play at home, and in the playoffs, it is that much bigger,” he said.
“We have really good fan support. We feel that home-field advantage, and that is a good thing to have.”