Sophomore wide receiver Avery Holtz snags a pass.

After defeating North Tama in their first-round playoff football game, Oct. 16, Maquoketa Valley was set to square off against the Lisbon Lions in Lisbon Oct. 23. The Lions brought a high scoring offense into the game while the Wildcats were looking to carry momentum from their first-round win. However, Lisbon’s offense was up to the challenge as they won 48-6.

Maquoketa Valley started with the first possession. A short drive followed and Lisbon took over. On their first play from scrimmage, Lions’ running back Cole Clark snapped off a 55-yard rushing touchdown. A two-point conversion followed and they led 8-0.

With 5:17 remaining in the first quarter, the Wildcats had built a solid drive that got them into the red zone. The drive stalled there when Lisbon’s defense held. On the very next possession for the Lions, they handed it right back to Maquoketa Valley with a fumble on their opponents’ 10-yard line. Moving into the second quarter, the lead was 8-0 for Lisbon.

Then, the electric Lions’ offense woke up. They rattled off 32 unanswered points thanks to rushing scores by Kaden Caspers and Clark, a receiving touchdown by Devyn Decious and a muffed snap on a punt and return by Brant Baltes. Maquoketa Valley trailed 40-0 going into the second half.

The continuous running clock picked up when play resumed, but the Wildcats’ offense was able to get something going. Senior quarterback Parker Sternhagen connected with junior running back A.J. Ambundo for a touchdown. The Lions added a score in the third quarter as well and breezed through the fourth to clinch their spot in the next round.

Sternhagen had 212 total yards and one touchdown for Maquoketa Valley. Ambundo had 13 total touches, 138 yards and one score. Avery Holtz caught four-for-12, Owen Mensen two-for-14; Andrew Holtz and Andrew Kloser one.

Lisbon outgained the Wildcats on the ground 356 yards to 94. Jamien Moore and Cole Clark each had over 140 yards rushing for the Lions.

Maquoketa Valley ended their season with a 2-7 record.