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Cavalier downs Thompson, advances to state quarterfinals

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Cavalier's Austin Urlaub rushes for yardage Saturday as Tristen Sott (21) leads the way. Looking on is Isiah Letexier (51). Cavalier beat Thompson 58-20. Photo by Nicki Smith.2 / 2

CAVALIER, N.D.—Austin Urlaub put up some big numbers here Saturday—185 yards rushing and 3-of-3 passing for another 100 yards.

And that was only in the first quarter.

The senior quarterback had a huge day as top-ranked Cavalier knocked off defending state champion Thompson 58-20 in the second round of the North Dakota 9-man high school football playoffs.

The 9-0 Tornadoes host Napoleon/Gackle-Streeter in a state quarterfinal game next Saturday. Thompson closed its season with a 7-3 record.

Urlaub was a big reason the No. 4-ranked Tommies went down. He finished with 202 yards rushing and 5-of-5 passing for 174 yards, rushing for four touchdowns and passing for two more.

"I probably haven't had a game like that before,'' Urlaub said. "It's our senior year. We're hungry to win. You don't want to be done.

"It wasn't just me. Our line did an unbelievable job. The holes we were running through were enormous. Our receivers made some unbelievable catches. Tristen Sott ran hard.''

All true. But Urlaub was the catalyst.

"Austin was possessed,'' Cavalier coach Sandy Laxdal said. "He's a threat running and passing. I haven't had anybody at quarterback like that in my 10 years here.''

Urlaub got the Tornadoes on the scoreboard early, jumping to a 14-0 lead when he ran 28 yards for a score and had a 60-yard TD pass to Gabe Hartje.

The Hartje score started a spurt in which three touchdowns were scored in a span of 33 seconds. Cole Sorby took a 68-yard pass from Cadyn Schwabe for a score on the Tommies' first play from scrimmage following the kickoff; Urlaub did the same with a 53-yard run.

Urlaub also had a 1-yard run for a touchdown and a 68-yard pass to Andre Carrier, with Sott scoring on a 58-yard run as the Tornadoes built a 44-20 halftime lead.

Much of the second half was played under a running clock after Cavalier built a 30-point lead.

Urlaub finished the first half with 207 yards rushing and all of his 174 passing yards.

"Austin hasn't had a half like that before,'' Laxdal said. "He hit the seams hard and he was gone. He's got that big-play ability. We haven't clicked like that as a team for a whole half before. We've had moments, but not a full half like that.''

Sott added 163 yards rushing. And Cavalier's defense had four takeaways, three possessions which the Tornadoes turned into touchdowns.

Nick Reck rushed for 107 yards for Thompson, while Schwabe rushed for 75 yards and passed for 125.

"They (Tornadoes) executed their blocking scheme and completed passes when they had to,'' Thompson coach Brady Schwab said. "We battled. They just won all phases of the game today.''