Mussig’s motor kept G-R rolling
Gladbrook-Reinbeck senior linebacker named captain of Class A all-state team
DES MOINES — For the second consecutive year, the Iowa Newspaper Association’s Class A all-state team captain honor has gone to a Rebel.
Gladbrook-Reinbeck senior middle linebacker Thomas Mussig spearheaded Class A’s stingiest defense, helping the Rebels achieve their second-straight state championship. Mussig finished fourth in Class A with 86.5 total tackles, including 47 solo stops and 79 assists, 15.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 quarterback sacks and two fumble recoveries.
The 6-foot-3, 205-pound linebacker posted a season-best 12.5 tackles (6 solo, 13 assists) in the Rebels’ 20-19 championship victory over Bishop Garrigan, helping Gladbrook-Reinbeck (13-0) earn its first undefeated season in school history. The Rebels led Class A in allowing just 7 points per game, including four shutouts.
Graduate Colton Dinsdale led the Rebels to a state championship in 2015, and was named the Class A captain.
The first team offensive line was also led by a Rebel lineman in Jacob Walters. He helped protect first-team quarterback Hunter Lott and lead the second-most yardage team (1,842 yards) in the state to 19 touchdowns.
Lott himself passed for 1,771 yards, 18 touchdowns and four interceptions. His quarterback rating of 206.5 was the best among all Class A quarterbacks. This year was Lott’s first all-state selection.
With Mussig’s help, the first-team defense was helped along by a trio of Rebels.
Mason Skovgard was a first-team defensive lineman and Erik Knaack was the sole defensive utility player.
Skovgard had 39 total tackles, with 22 of them being on his own. He also had nine solo tackles for a loss and nine solo sacks. Knaack had four interceptions for a Class A-high 107 return yards, which helped him post a class-best 26.8 yards per return. He scored once on a 34-yard pick-6.
Walker Thede added to G-R’s honors as the third-team kicker. He was the second-team kicker in Class A in 2015, but was just 2-for-4 with a season-long of a 35-yard field goal.
The G-R junior was, however, 51-for-55 in point-after attempts, the most made in Class A. His 92.7 percentage was second-best to St. Albert’s Rodrigo Barajas’ 95.1 percent clip.
Parker Bown bruised his way on to the third-team defense as a linebacker. The senior had 16 solo tackles, helping total 37.5 total tackles in 2016. He, too, had six solo tackles for loss.
Grundy Center’s Bryce Flater rushed his way into the state record books, posting a 2,049-yard clip, leading all Class A rushers. The senior found the end zone 33 times on the ground and was the leading scorer among all positions in Class A with 228 total points.
Flater’s teammate, Jordan Hook, was also named to the first-team, Class A offensive line. He helped Flater’s record-leading numbers throughout his junior-year campaign.
In Class 2A action, West Marshall senior Ross Randall found himself on the first-team defense as a linebacker. Randall had five interceptions this year for 102 return yards, averaging 20.4 yards per return.
The senior had 55 solo tackles on his way to 77.5 total tackles, four of which were for a loss.
West Marshall Beau Coberley was also named to an all-state defense, a third-team honor this time around.
The West Marshall junior also had five picks for 98 return yards, averaging 19.6 yards per return. He took one pick back for a score, 33 yards.
South Hardin was represented by third-team linebacker Dane Butler. The senior was seventh in the state with 99 total tackles by the end of the year, and had 83 solo tackles himself.
Clay Silver helped represent BCLUW in Class 1A, garnering second-team honors at the linebacker position.
The Comet senior led Class 1A with total tackles at 121, 81 of which were on his own. Three of which were for loss. Silver also had one interception, not returned.
In 8-Man action, Colo-NESCO’s Garrett Tiarks was named as a third-team honor, one of three running backs in the class.
Tiarks rushed for 1,412 yards, good enough for eighth in 8-man football. He scored 29 times and took a season-long 51-yard run in for a score. Tiarks led the Royals with 6.5 yards per carry.