Defense delivers for No. 2 Rebels

BELLE PLAINE – The Class A No. 2 Gladbrook-Reinbeck football team secured the District 5 championship with a 20-6 win at Belle Plaine on Friday night.

The Rebels (8-0, 6-0) played the Plainsmen (6-2, 4-2) to a scoreless tie in the first half but a pair of defensive touchdowns helped G-R score the first 20 points of the game.

Erik Knaack had two scoop-and-score touchdowns, returning fumbles 65 and 75 yards for touchdowns, and Josh Peterson added an 83-yard rushing touchdown to the tally.

Belle Plaine got on the board midway through the fourth quarter but could manage no more.

Peterson finished with 15 carries for a team-leading 118 rushing yards for G-R. Knaack gained 25 yards on his only carry. Rebel quarterback Hunter Lott finished 5-for-15 for 51 yards with an interception, but the defense created six turnovers to atone for the offense getting outgained.

Matt Roeding finished with two receptions for 41 yards to lead G-R, which closes out the regular season at home next Friday against Colfax-Mingo.

Colo-NESCO 54, Moravia 42

MORAVIA – Garret Tiarks passed for three touchdowns and ran for four more, leading the Colo-NESCO football team to an 8-Man District 5 victory against Moravia, 54-42.

Wayne Beard hauled in all three TD passes and also picked up a kickoff and returned it 55 yards for a key fourth-quarter touchdown for the Royals (4-4, 4-2). The Royals led 38-22 entering the final frame before Moravia (5-3, 4-2) rallied, tallying three-straight touchdown passes from Hunter Arbogast to Nick Martin to go in front 42-38.

After falling behind for the first time since late in the second quarter, Colo-NESCO responded with Beard’s big kickoff return for the go-ahead score. Bryce Niemeyer recovered the Royals’ ensuing kickoff and Tiarks capped the possession with his fourth TD run for a two-score lead with 2:18 left to play.

Tiarks finished with 45 carries for 227 yards and also went 7-for-15 passing for 109 yards with three TDs and two interceptions. Beard had four catches for 77 yards, while Francis Bower had two catches for 24 yards.

Niemeyer led the defense with three solo and 10 assisted tackles, while Tiarks had three solo and five assists. Dakota Wier added one solo and seven assists, one stop for loss and a quarterback sack.

West Marshall 24, Saydel 20

STATE CENTER – Cameron Bannister’s 6-yard touchdown run in the third quarter proved to be the game-winning points on Homecoming night as West Marshall turned back Saydel, 24-20.

Bannister also connected on an 18-yard touchdown pass with Beau Coberley to help the Trojans (5-3, 3-3) take a 16-0 lead in the first quarter. Coberley’s 27-yard interception return for a touchdown was the game’s first score.

Saydel (5-3, 3-3) rallied to score the next 20 points for a 20-16 lead, but neither team crossed the goal line again after Bannister gave the Trojans the lead during the third period.

West Marshall hosts Class 2A District 3 frontrunner Roland-Story (6-2, 5-1) next Friday night.

Aplington-Parkersburg 28, East Marshall 14

LE GRAND – The East Marshall football team was in striking distance in the second half but couldn’t get the go-ahead score, eventually falling to Aplington-Parkersburg 28-14 in Class 2A District 3 play.

The Mustangs (1-7, 0-6) had the ball beyond midfield trailing 20-14, but turned it over on downs, and the visiting Falcons (3-5, 2-4) found the end zone in the fourth quarter to seal the win.

Sam Thorn had a trio of short touchdown runs for the Falcons, who ended a four-game losing skid.

Tyler DeBondt finished 26-for-41 passing for 210 yards, two interceptions and a pair of touchdowns for East Marshall, which sustained its sixth-straight loss. Zane Johnson hauled in a 16-yard scoring strike in the first quarter and Logan Nicholson made a 13-yard grab in the third.

Nicholson ended the night with 11 receptions for 89 yards, and Cole Nauman had seven catches for 73 yards.

Noah Bandstra led the defense with 11 solo and three assisted tackles, while Johnson had six solo and three assists. Lancin Lacina had seven solo tackles, two assists and a fumble recovery. Caden Steward added four solo and four assists.

The Mustangs close out their season next Friday night at Dike-New Hartford.