Heartland Lutheran coach Tim Leech had some concerns going into the game with Hampton Friday.
After all, the No. 10 Red Hornets play No. 1 Harvard next week so he thought they might have been looking ahead.
It looked like it in the first quarter before Heartland Lutheran rolled past the Hawks 67-20.
Hampton was down 21-13 at the end of the first quarter before the Red Hornets scored 39 points in the middle two quarters.
“I think there was a case of us looking ahead to next week,” Leech said. “I think there was a little too much focus on that early on. We talked about not looking ahead. But I have to give Hampton credit too. They came out and played hard in that first quarter.”
Hampton stayed within striking distance as quarterback Drake Schafer threw two touchdown passes. One to Ty Capek on a 14-yard strike and a 44-yard pass to Andrew Adams.
“Early on it was looking very good and we did a lot of good things in that first quarter,” Hawk coach Carson Klute said.
But there was too much Heartland Lutheran, who had 476 yards of total offense. The Red Hornets scored on four one-play drives after the first quarter and also on a Tyler Green 65-yard kickoff return to open the second half.
Doing most of the damage was quarterback Justus Bader, who was 8 of 17 for 199 yards with four touchdown strikes, and also had nine carries for 153 yards and scored three times.
Leech said Bader sprained his ankle during the Red Hornets’ 72-18 win over Santee last week and didn’t practice this week.
“We sat him out for much of this week and weren’t quite sure what to do with him,” Leech said. “It didn’t look like he was any bit slower today. It was just another huge stat game for him. He’s just a smart player. He knows when to make the throw and when to run.”
Quinston Larsen had four carries for 85 yards with two scores and also caught a 30-yard strike. Dominick Ewoldt had a 53-yard touchdown reception, while Trevin Carpenter caught a 33-yard strike.
The defense also picked off Schafer two times. Klute was impressed with the Red Hornets.
“Heartland Lutheran is a very good team,” Klute said. “If they can get the right draw in the playoffs, they can go a long ways.”
Schafer was 18 of 36 for 140 yards with three touchdown passes, while Justin Gyhra had 13 carries for 66 yards.
Leech said a few areas need to clear up for the Red Hornets to have success against Harvard next week.
Heartland Lutheran had three fumbles and lost two and also was penalized four times for 45 yards, which included two personal foul penalties and an ejection.
“Our offense can score points and I feel like they are ready. But we know Harvard is very good and I have a lot of respect for them,” Leech said. “But we need to solidify our defense and it needs to be sharp.”