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Dakarri Hollis leads Lutheran North past Hannibal in Missouri Class 4 quarterfinals

Hollis and Hannibal's Aneyas Williams each account for seven TDs

JENNINGS, MISSOURI – Whenever the Lutheran North football team needed a play on Friday night, Dakarri Hollis seemed to make it.

The Crusaders’ standout junior quarterback accounted for 396 total yards and seven touchdowns in a wild 70-61 shootout victory against visiting Hannibal and standout running back Aneyas Williams in the Missouri Class 4 quarterfinals.

“What a game. What a game,” Lutheran North coach Kyle Wagner said. “Hats off to Hannibal, man. Heck of a football team. Aneyas Williams is a heck of a football player, but Dakarri Hollis, man. Dakarri Hollis, Trey Bass, Mike Clark tonight, they were incredible. They made plays exactly when we needed them. They were unstoppable all night. I think (Williams) is the best in 2024 and No. 6 (Hollis) might be the best in 2025.”

Hollis completed six of his 12 passes for 214 yards and two TDs and ran 17 times for 182 yards and five touchdowns. His 40-yard touchdown run with 2:03 left put the Crusaders ahead 70-55 after a 2-point conversion and helped secure the victory.

“We just had to keep going,” Hollis said. “We couldn’t let up. Aneyas Williams is a good running back. He’s the best running back in the state that we’ve played and he is the best running back in the country. We had to prepare for him but they also had to prepare for me.”

Hannibal answered with touchdown pass to senior running back Aneyas Williams – the seventh touchdown of the night for the Notre Dame-bound standout – but the Pirates couldn’t complete their late comeback attempt.

“Our kids fought like we expected them to,” Hannibal coach Jeff Gschwender said. “They’ve shown it for the last four years, those seniors have. The younger guys have really taken ahold and lived up to the expectations that have been set. We just came out here and fought. We gave up some plays. We didn’t hang our heads. We made some plays. We weren’t satisfied enough. That’s just what these guys do. They are fighters. They are going to keep going at whatever is it they want. It’s just unfortunate we ran out of time.”

The No. 8 team in the SBLive Missouri Power 25 rankings, Lutheran North (11-1) advances to face Hillsboro (11-1) in the semifinals next week. Hannibal finished its season at 11-2.

It was Hollis – and his running ability – that made the difference.

“What I told him is if they are going to decide to go man to man against him, his legs will be the difference in the game," Wagner said. "I told him if something wasn’t there, trust your legs, trust what God gave you and he did that and he made plays when we needed them, timely plays. That last touchdown, man, that’s big time.”

Lutheran North trailed Hannibal 21-14 early in the second quarter when Hollis seemed to take over. He connected with Mike Clark for a long touchdown pass, then answered a TD by Hannibal’s Waylon Anders with a fourth-down touchdown run midway through the quarter.

Hollis scored again on a 21-yard touchdown run with 2:50 left in the quarter and then found Trey Bass streaking down the right sideline for a 78-yard touchdown pass with 26.7 seconds left to make it 42-27 (after a 2-point conversion run by Jevon Blackman) going into halftime.

Another touchdown run by Hollis and a Blackman TD run set up by a Jordan Carter interception extended the Crusaders’ lead to 54-27 midway through the third quarter.

Williams and the Pirates kept fighting back. He scored twice more in the quarter – sandwiched around another Hollis TD run – to keep the visitors in the game and then scored three times in the fourth.

“The boy is never satisfied and that’s why he is as good as he is,” Gschwender said. “He’s the best athlete out of the field, but that’s not good enough for him. He wants to be better and he wants his team to be better and he’s proven that the past four years. Notre Dame’s got a heck of a kid on their hands.”

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- Nate Latsch | | @SBLiveMiz