Redhawks strike down Thunder
TRAER — Lightning forced the postponement of North Tama’s Homecoming football game from Friday night, but the Redhawks never let the Thunder get rolling.
North Tama resisted Grand View Christian’s one-dimensional offense and made enough plays of its own to capture a 33-20 victory in Monday’s Class A District 5 makeup game.
Tyler Morrison ran for three touchdowns, Hale Hulme threw for 197 yards in his first-career start and the Redhawks (2-5, 1-4) overcame three turnovers to claim their first district win of the season. North Tama’s short week will end with a trip to Garwin for a showdown with GMG (0-7, 0-5) just four days after denying the Thunder (0-7, 0-5) their first win of the fall.
“At this point we’re not where we wanted to be as far as wins and losses are concerned, but the kids are still playing hard,” North Tama head coach Austin Pink said after Monday’s victory. “It was kind of different with Monday night football so we tried to pump that up, like ‘let’s go out there and make the most of it,’ and we did that.”
North Tama jumped out to a 14-0 lead before Grand View Christian had even registered a first down on offense. Cory Kennedy’s fumble recovery helped the Redhawk defense stop GVC in the red zone, and the offense capitalized on the free possession. Hulme hit former quarterback Skyler Staker with a pop pass that gained 71 yards before Staker, a sophomore, was caught from behind by Clay Ramseyer at the Thunder 16-yard-line.
“I had to get on him about that,” Pink laughed.
Three plays later, Hulme found Tayten Payne down the seam for a 13-yard touchdown pass for a 7-0 North Tama lead.
The Redhawk defense forced a three-and-out, and Morrison made good on a sweep around the right side for a 24-yard touchdown dash. Ryan McLean’s extra-point kick put North Tama up 14-0 just before the end of the first quarter.
Grand View Christian got its ground game going to the tune of a nine-play, 58-yard drive that ended with a 15-yard touchdown pass from Ramseyer to Brevan Taylor, and the Thunder’s ensuing drive chewed up more than 5 minutes of clock before ending with a Nic Sierra interception with 55 seconds left before the half.
North Tama added to its lead six plays later, helped along by Morrison’s 48-yard catch-and-run that got the Redhawks down to the 3 with 11 seconds left. Morrison finished the half with a 3-yard touchdown lunge for a 21-7 lead.
Another lengthy scoring drive in the third quarter got the Thunder within one score, but the Redhawks responded thanks to a short field set up by Zach Greiner’s 56-yard kickoff return to the GVC 23. Four plays later, Morrison pulled down a bad snap batted into the air by Hulme and ran around right end for a 4-yard touchdown.
“We’re working on ball control tomorrow for sure,” Pink smiled, “but the guys were resilient. We made plays when we needed to.
“That was supposed to be sweep left, just an outside zone call, but Tyler took it and he knows what to do with it and once he’s in space he’s tough to stop.”
Grand View Christian again got to within one score after the third lost fumble for North Tama set up the Thunder with 27 yards to go to the end zone. Leever’s second touchdown run of the game made it 27-20 with 6:39 to play, but the Redhawks responded one last time.
Staker served as the driving force of a nine-play, 64-yard drive that Hulme finished with a 3-yard dive to paydirt. Staker ran five times for 33 yards on the possession before a pair of quarterback keepers up the middle made certain of the outcome.
“We just weren’t doing the things we needed to be doing, I guess,” Pink said of changing quarterbacks during his team’s 39-21 loss to Colfax-Mingo on Sept. 29. “Skyler throws a good ball, he’s a tough runner, but we thought we needed to mix it up and Hale is a little quicker and he does a nice job in the read-option game.
“This is another chance to get guys in different positions to make plays for us. Skyler’s a tough north-south runner, and if we need 2-3 yards he’s probably my go-to guy. He understands his role. Some kids may have been upset that they got moved from quarterback, but he took it and went with it and he’s doing a great job. He’s kind of turning into a leader for me.”
Hulme ended the night with 10 carries for a team-leading 57 yards, while Morrison had 11 carries for 52 yards with three touchdowns. Staker added 33 yards, while his one reception went for 71 yards. Payne pulled down four catches for 24 yards, while Luke Pennell contributed a 30-yard reception on a third-and-17 toss from Hulme to prolong the Redhawks’ final scoring drive.
“He’s a sophomore and he stepped up and made a great catch and extended the drive and we ended up scoring to put it out of reach, so that was great to see from him,” Pink said.
Staker, North Tama’s version of Iowa State do-everything Joel Lanning, led the Redhawk defense with eight solo tackles, four assists and one quarterback sack. Michael Krienert added 7.5 total tackles and Greiner had 6.5 more.
Leever led Grand View Christian with 29 carries for 163 yards of his team’s 219 yards of total offense. The Thunder put up a season-high 20 points in a losing cause.
North Tama 33, Grand View Christian 20
GVC 0 7 7 6 — 20
North Tama 14 7 6 6 — 33
NT — Tayten Payne 13 pass from Hale Hulme (Ryan McLean kick), 4:23.
NT — Tyler Morrison 24 run (McLean kick), :15.
GVC — Brevan Taylor 15 pass from Clay Ramseyer (Severin Young kick), 7:42.
NT — Morrison 3 run (McLean kick), :06.
GVC — Peyton Leever 8 run (Young kick), 3:46.
NT — Morrison 4 run (kick failed), 1:57.
GVC — Leever 27 run (kick failed), 6:39.
NT — Hulme 3 run (pass failed), 2:31.
First downs 13 14
Rushes-yards 50-190 34-144
Passing yards 29 197
Comp-Att-Int 2-6-1 10-17-0
Total offense 219 343
Fumbles-lost 3-1 5-3
Penalties-yards 3-26 3-25
RUSHING — GVC: Leever 29-163, Colin Muir 5-17, Noah Parlee 4-12, Jack Geist 1-3, Ramseyer 11-(minus-5); NT: Hulme 10-57, Morrison 11-52, Skyler Staker 5-33, Noah Bond 4-13, Michael Krienert 1-0, Team 2-(minus-11).
PASSING — GVC: Ramseyer 2-6-29-1; NT: Hulme 10-17-197-0.
RECEIVING — GVC: Taylor 2-29; NT: Staker 1-71, Morrison 1-48, Luke Pennell 1-30, Payne 4-24, Bond 2-23, Nic Sierra 1-1.