STICKNEY -- Stickney/Mount Vernon's Robbie Kazi rushed for 134 yards and scored three touchdowns to lead the Knights to a 47-6 win over Woonsocket/Wessington Springs in first-round action of the Class 9AA playoffs Tuesday night.
Kazi, who packs 150 pounds in a 5-foot-7 frame, praised his offensive line and his team's defense.
"Our line opened up some great holes and I just bounced to the outside and used my speed to get to the end zone," Kazi said. "Our defense played amazing (Tuesday) and hopefully we can keep it up."
After holding the Blackhawks to three plays and out to open the game, the Knights went on a 49-yard, seven-play that ended with a five-yard scoring run by Kazi.
On WWS's next possession, Stickney/Mount Vernon's Jarod Deinert scooped up a Blackhawk fumble and raced 43 yards for a touchdown. The 2-point conversion was good and the Knights had a 14-0 lead with 5:29 left in the opening quarter.
The Blackhawks took the ensuing kickoff and drove to the Knights' 24-yard line, but the SMV defense stiffened and forced the Blackhawks to turn the ball over on downs.
Later in the quarter, WWS was on the move again. But with 7:48 left until halftime, the Knights' Jeff Miiller intercepted a Blackhawk pass and went 70 yards for a score and SMV led 20-0 at halftime.
But the dagger in the heart for the Blackhawks came on the first play of the second half.
SMV started the third quarter at its own 24 yard when Kazi ripped through the middle of the Blackhawk defense and romped 76 yards for a touchdown. Less then a minute into the half the Knights led, 28-0.
"Robbie is not a big kid but he reads the defense well and I tell him to be patient, read the hole and then go," said SMV coach Ryan Kristensen of his junior running back. "He does that well and hats off to Robbie tonight. I go out and tell my quarterbacks to see what's there and call it and (Miiller) did. Speed kills in 9-man (football)."
Miller was 8-of-16 for 110 yards through the air for the Knights.
SMV (8-1) had 222 yards rushing for a total of 332 total yards.
Kyle Gerlach and Austin Winter led the defense with 17 tackles each.
The long SMV touchdown took a lot out of the Blackhawks according to coach Jason Kolousek.
"At the end of the first half we got some things going offensively and we were felling pretty good, and then (SMV) come out and do that," Kolousek said. "Our kids still played hard, but you could see that kind of deflated us."
Eric Warkinthien was 7-of-20 for 98 yards through the air for WWS, which ends the season at 5-4.
The Blackhawk defense was led by Cole Kapfmann with 11 tackles.
The Knights will host Chester Area Monday in the regional finals.