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As teams around Iowa battled the weather, the Mid-Prairie Golden Hawks took on the Northeast Rebels and won 28-6 in a game that stayed relatively dry.
Mid-Prairie’s offense came in with the goal of establishing the run and that’s something they did quite successfully against a porous Northeast defense. Keaton Duwa was resting due to an injury so wide receiver Justin Schwartz has stepped nicely into the starting running back position, especially since he hasn’t really played the position since middle school.
“I hadn’t really played (running back) in a while, really since middle school but coach told me to be prepared to be moved around whether it’s at wide receiver or running back,” Schwartz said. “He said be ready for anything and I ended up playing more running back so I was fine with that.”
Mid-Prairie kicked off the ball to start the game and forced a Northeast three and out after two penalties created a tough situation for the Rebels. The Northeast punt was fielded by Schwartz at the 50 yard line and he returned it to the Northeast 27-yard line.
From there Mid-Prairie kept it on the ground on the next five plays and eventually scored on a 10-yard Schwartz rush and Terrhyn Jacoby added an extra point to give Mid-Prairie the lead with 7:28 remaining in the first quarter.
Mid-Prairie’s offense has essentially changed shape over the course of the year and now commonly can be seen in their power formation with an extra offensive lineman and other blockers inside. With Schwartz then running the ball on their “power right” play it was an easy touchdown.
“I’m getting more comfortable and vision for the game is something that needs developed,” Schwartz said. “The line blocked that play pretty well all night and that is really just our go to, they blocked it well (on the touchdown) and I kept my head up and made a good cut.”
Schwartz finished the night with 196 yards rushing on 29 attempts but the Mid-Prairie rushing attack added touchdowns from two other players. Jacoby added four attempts for 31 yards and a touchdown and Rex Peck had two rushes for seven yards and a touchdown.
After the first touchdown the Mid-Prairie defense again held strong and forced a punt on a three-and-out.
The Mid-Prairie offense took the field again and this time opened up their offense and looked for the pass facing a 3rd down and 30 after a sack and penalty. Karson Gingerich found Terrhyn Jacoby on the rollout pass and Jacoby made multiple defenders miss for a 38-yard reception.
The drive continued on and Schwartz dove into the endzone for a eight-yard touchdown and extended the lead to 14-0. They took that lead into halftime and doubled their points in the second half.
Looking at the stat sheet you may think that the Mid-Prairie secondary struggled, but the eye test showed a much improved squad that didn’t give up the deep ball and tackled well on dump offs.
There was one interception on the night for the unit by Grant Boyse and Jacoby had one pass break up.
“I think the defensive backs did a good job of shutting them down, we had one pick tonight,” Schwartz said. “We knew they had a lot of talent out there and we did our job.”
Northeast quarterback Nathaniel Lange was 21-33 for 198 yards and one touchdown but didn’t have any comfort in the pocket as the Mid-Prairie defensive line dominated the pass rush. They were led by Jason Tew who had five sacks for 33 yards.
“Break the arms and rip through is what I do, I don’t really try and think too much about it and just try to get through and do my best for the team,” Tew said.
Brad Tornow and Scott Winborn both had one sack, while Jack Baker and Josiah Meader had half of a sack.
The only points of the game given up by Mid-Prairie were off of a touchdown pass from Lange to Braeden Hoyer as time expired.
Mid-Prairie (3-4) will travel to Anamosa (3-4) for a district battle that could put them to .500 on the season. Mid-Prairie coach Pete Cavanagh has been keeping his team focused on the last few games of the season by focusing on attaining a winning record.
Mid-Prairie: Justin Schwartz 10-yard rush (kick good) 7-0, 7:28
Mid-Prairie: Schwartz 8-yard rush (kick good) 14-0, 1:48
Mid-Prairie: Rex Peck 3-yard rush (kick good) 21-0 9:35
Mid-Prairie: Terrhyn Jacoby 5-yard rush (kick good) 28-0 4:31
Northeast: Braeden Hoyer 5-yard pass from Nathaniel Lange 28-6 0:00
Karson Gingerich 6-15 107 yards
Justin Schwartz 29-198 yards, 2 TD
Terrhyn Jacoby 4-31 yards, 1 TD
Rex Peck 2-7 yards 1 TD
Jacoby 4-54 yards
Tom Butters 1-44 yards
Jason Tew 6.5 tackles, 5 sacks
Karson Gingerich 7 tackes, 1 TFL
Grant Boyse 5 tackles