Star: Notre Dame running back Auston Banks rushed 12 times for 151 yards and two touchdowns.
Up next: The Irish will play at Polk County
Almost everything seemed to be working for Notre Dame in its first-round football playoff game at Sam Eberle Field.
Passing game? Check. Rushing game? Check. Defense? Check. Medical staff? Check.
Notre Dame bullied its way to a 38-14 win over Cascade in the Class 3A first round Friday night.
"The best team won tonight," Cascade coach Kenny Parker said. "No doubt, from the opening whistle they were the better team."
Notre Dame junior Auston Banks rushed 12 times for 151 yards and scored two touchdowns. Sophomore quarterback Alex Darras completed nine of 15 passes for 167 yards and three touchdowns. Junior receiver Kareem Orr grabbed six passes for 148 yards and two long touchdowns.
"We really executed in the first half, and that probably was our best execution all season of both rushing and passing," Irish coach Charles Fant said. "Kareem got a lot of single coverage tonight, and we took advantage of it."
The Irish defense bottled up 6-foot-2, 225-pound running back Creed Rose by limiting him to 81 yards on 29 carries.
"We learned a lot from playing Polk County and we learned about playing a big back," Fant said. "We were really able to focus on him tonight."
Cascade sophomore quarterback Austin Hass suffered a neck injury and was taken to a local hospital with 5:35 to go in the second quarter. The medical experts spent about 20 minutes taking every precaution necessary with a neck injury. Parker said after the game that he heard Hass "was OK. The first X-ray was negative and they did a CAT scan."
Rose polished off that drive with a 4-yard touchdown run. But Darras hit Orr for a 53-yard score -- they had already connected on a 55-yard touchdown pass to open the quarter -- just 17 seconds before halftime. The Irish led 24-7 at the break.
Banks burst for a 37-yard touchdown -- he opened the scoring with a 25-yard run -- to start the second half. Darras passed to Chris Hornsby late in the third quarter for a 38-7 lead. Dakota Vaught tacked on a cosmetic touchdown for the Champions, who ended their season at 7-4. The Irish will play at Polk County, which edged Notre Dame 12-10 on Oct. 11 in Benton.
"It's going to get real difficult next week," Banks said. "I couldn't play against them last time. One play and I knew I couldn't go."
Contact David Uchiyama at email@example.com or 423-757-6484. Follow him at twitter.com/UchiyamaCTFP