Malvern ran into a buzz saw when it traveled to Lucas for a Division VII, Region 25 quarterfinal matchup.
The top-seeded Cubs scored on their first six possessions and advanced with a 37-0 win.
Lucas did not attempt a pass as it rushed for 313 yards on 51 carries. Five different running back scored.
Malvern was limited to 96 yards through the air and 30 yards on the ground.
“It was a disappointing night to say the least,” stated Head Coach Matt Chiurco. “We just had no answer to their offense. It didn't matter what front we were in, they just took it right at us.
“Lucas is a good football team and they have their system down perfectly. It's definitely very difficult to emulate throughout the week and we found that out tonight.”
The Cubs took the opening kickoff and marched 64 yards on 10 plays with Andrew Fanello scoring on a six-yard run.
The Hornets failed to get a first down on their first possession, and were forced to punt with Lucas taking over at their own 15.
Fifteen plays later Zane Finley scored on a five-yard to make it 14-0.
Malvern picked up a first down on its second drive, but were forced to punt once again.
Lucas put together another long drive, this was covering 74 yards in 11 plays, with Noah Langston reaching paydirt from four yards out.
Malvern went to the air on its third drive with some success.
Tristan Phillips completed four straight passes, three to Johnny Walker, to move the ball near midfield.
But the drive ended on downs at the Cubs 43 with 23.3 seconds remaining in the half.
Lucas moved the ball quickly to Malvern’s 28, and Aidan Culler’s 45-yard field goal with no time left made the halftime score 24-0.
Lucas would add two more rushing touchdowns in the second half.
Grant Barrett’s 4-yard touchdown jaunt with 7:52 remaining in the third quarter triggered the running-clock rule, and Graysen Jackson’s 1-yard plunge made it 37-0.
“Offensively, we just couldn't get anything going,” commented Coach Chiurco. “Penalties and some mental mistakes didn't help us either.
“Regardless, I'm still really proud of this senior class. They finished their careers as back-to-back IVC Champs, winners of the Hornet Trophy the past two years, and three playoff appearances. They have come a long way and we'll miss every single one of them. They have shown our underclassmen what it takes to be a champion.”
Phillips completed 14-of-23 passes for 96 yards to lead Malvern’s offense.
Xavier Watson had six rushes for 27 yards, Noah Ball had four receptions for 33 yards, Walker had four grabs for 20 yards, and Dylan Phillips finished with two catches for 18 yards.
Defensively, Bryson White and Kyle Bossert both had six tackles, Trevor Slider had five tackles, and Sam Foster and Will Steinberg both had four tackles.
For Lucas, Finley rushed for 92 yards on 17 carries, Fanello had 13 carries for 86 yards, and Barrett finished with 48 yards on nine totes.
Lucas (10-1) will take on #4 Dalton (10-2) in the regional semifinals this Saturday, Nov. 13.
Malvern closes out the season with a 9-3 record.
It’s been quite the three-year run for the Hornets. They have won back-to-back IVC North Division titles, haven’t lost a division game since 2019, have qualified for the playoffs all three years, winning home playoff games the past two seasons. Malvern is 21-10 during the span, 12-3 in league action.
“We will be a young, talented team next year, and our expectations will remain the same and that is to win the IVC North and make another playoff appearance,” stated Coach Chiurco.
This article originally appeared on The Alliance Review: Hornets ousted from playoffs by Lucas