Fowlkes, Comets drop Blue Devils
After Tuesday night's WIAA Division 3 playoff opener, the Evansville Blue Devils will be haunted by the memory of Fowlkes running the Wildcat offense to perfection.
Fowlkes threw for 232 yards, rushed for 122 and accounted for five touchdowns in leading Delavan-Darien to a 41-14 first-round 1 win.
The Comets (9-1) play at Lodi (7-3) in a second-round game Saturday.
Evansville (5-5) briefly grabbed a 14-13 lead in the second half against the Comets, but then watched Fowlkes pick the defense apart with his uncanny ability to avoid tackles and find open receivers.
"We had him for a loss I don't know how many times, and he kept getting away," Evansville coach Ron Grovesteen said of Fowlkes. "You got to tackle, because when you play a team like Delavan with the athletes they have, they're eventually going to make plays.
"What I'm most happy with is that our kids didn't give up, even when we got down (13-0) early. It has been that way all season."
The Comets built a 13-0 lead in the second quarter, thanks to Fowlkes' 50-yard touchdown run and an unbelievable 90-yard touchdown pass play to Marcus McLin. Fowlkes, despite a blustery wind that peaked at about 30 mph, threw a perfect 40-yard pass that McLin caught at the 50-yard line and ran untouched to the end zone.
Evansville got within five points before half on Dan Walczak's 35-yard touchdown pass from Adam Stamm, and the Blue Devils took the lead early in the third on Casey Moseley's 6-yard touchdown reception.
Delavan-Darien grabbed the lead for good on Austin Fritzinger's 2-yard touchdown midway through the third quarter, and quickly pushed the lead to 14 on McLin's 25-yard touchdown reception from Fowlkes on the first play of the fourth quarter. Fowlkes put the game out of reach with a 15-yard scamper at 7:47 of the fourth.
Despite the soggy field and hurricane-like winds, Delavan-Darien coach Steve Tenhagen said the Comets were not about to make any drastic changes on offense.
"We're pretty fortunate to have an option back there with No. 4 (Fowlkes), and I'm a true believer that you are who you are," Tenhagen said. "I wasn't about to change anything because it was windy.
"I told the guys we're going to throw the ball regardless of which way we're going. The conditions weren't going to get any better, and that's the way we've had success all season long."
The Comets finished with 467 yards of offense, including Fowlkes' stellar 7-for-9 performance throwing the football.
Evansville was hurt by three fumbles and two interceptions.
DEL.-DARIEN 41, EVANSVILLE 14
Evansville 0 8 6 0—14
Delavan-Darien 6 7 8 20—41
Scoring summary: DD—Justin Fowlkes, 50 run (kick failed). DD—Marcus McLin, 90 pass from Fowlkes (Alex Limones kick). E—Dan Walczak, 35 pass from Adam Stamm (Dalton Sendelbach run). E—Casey Moseley, 6 pass from Stamm (pass failed). DD—Austin Fritzinger, 2 run (Fowlkes run). DD—McLin, 25 pass from Fowlkes (Limones kick). DD—Fowlkes, 15 run (Limones kick). DD—Ricky Wojciechowski, 34 pass from Fowlkes (kick failed).
Statistics: First downs—E 15, DD 17. Rushing—E 46-210, DD 36-235. Yards passing—E 117, DD 232. Passes—15-7-2, DD 9-7-0. Fumbles—E 4-3, DD 2-1. Penalties—E 3-21, DD 7-58.