By HARV HANSEN
The Easton Valley River Hawks advanced to the second round of the state high school 8-player playoffs after disposing of the No. 10 Gladbrook-Reinbeck Rebels on the Rebels’ home field Friday night.
The River Hawks’ suffocating defense shut down the Rebels’ ground game. Except for one play where G-R’s Eli Thede broke loose over right end for a 71-yard touchdown run with 2:04 left in the third quarter, the River Hawks’ defense was stifling at the line of scrimmage. The Rebels’ quarterback Keagan Giesking entered the night averaging 10.9 yards per carry, but was held to just 63 yards on 25 carries for a 2.5 per carry average Friday.
After forcing a three-and-out on the Rebels’ first possession, senior quarterback Nate Trenkamp found Logan House for a 16-yard touchdown pass on Easton Valley’s first drive. They never looked back.
Trenkamp tossed four touchdown passes in the first half to become just the fourth quarterback in Iowa 8-player history to throw 100 in a career. Senior back Braydin Farrell caught the 100th touchdown pass on a 23-yard screen with 6:40 left in the first half. The play gave the River Hawks a 34-0 lead.
Trenkamp did not know he reached the milestone until head coach Tony Johnson told him in the locker room at halftime. Trenkamp threw for 283 yards on 20-of-33 attempts. Trenkamp only attempted seven passes in the second half; with a continuous clock, the second half went by fast.
Junior Kolton Murphy, who posted three tackles, one tackle for loss and a sack, said Thede’s touchdown was a bit of a bummer.
“The team was disappointed on the long touchdown run,” he said. “We wanted the shut out”.
Murphy said a focus of practice this past week was stopping the run.
Murphy also picked a good time for his first interception of the year — the junior ran the ball back for a pick-six. On offense, Murphy also carried the ball nine times for 42-yards and a touchdown.
The River Hawks will travel to Gilbertville on Friday to take on the third seed and perennial powerhouse Don Bosco (10-0). The winner of that matchup earns the right to play in the UNI-Dome Thursday November 14.
Easton Valley 55,
EV2014714 — 55
GR006 0 — 6
Fumbles / lost0/01/1
Penalties / yards9/703/20
Punts / average1/43.05/37.2
Passing — Nate Trenkamp 20-33-283-4-0; Cade Jargo 1-1-5-0-0 (Comp-Att-Yards-TDs-INTs.)
Rushing — Braydin Farrell 11-75; Kolton Murphy 9-42; Trenkamp 6-41; Cade Jargo 2-16; Porter Fuegen 1-5.
Receiving — Jargo 8-105; Logan House 6-91; Farrell 6-84; Fuegen 1-8
Tackle Leaders — Farrell 10; Keaton Wilson 8; Reid Hinerichsen 7.5; Hudson Felkey 7.
Interception —Murphy 1.
Fumble Recoveries — Jargo 1.
Sacks — Felkey 1; Murphy 1.