Rebels stop Spartans in rubber match after 98 years

Gladbrook-Reinbeck takes 45-44-9 series lead on Grundy Center

T-R PHOTO BY ROSS THEDE • Gladbrook-Reinbeck senior wide receiver Matt Johannsen celebrates after hauling in a 15-yard touchdown catch from Hunter Lott in the second quarter of Friday’s showdown with the Spartans of Grundy Center. Johannsen’s catch gave the Rebels a 12-0 lead in a game they would eventually win 28-7 in the 98th consecutive meeting between the two Grundy County schools separated by nine miles.

GRUNDY CENTER — The last chapter in a century-long series between neighbors and rivals tilted toward Gladbrook-Reinbeck one last time, as the Rebels ran past Grundy Center 28-7 in Friday’s season-opening high school football game.

With the Rebels destined for 8-Man football next fall and Grundy Center too big to follow, the longest running series in Iowa ended with a 45-44-9 advantage on the strength of Gladbrook-Reinbeck’s 20th victory in the last 23 meetings. G-R quarterback Hunter Lott had three touchdown passes and the Rebel defense did enough to limit Grundy Center’s anticipated ground game behind its mammoth offensive line.

With all the pomp and circumstance of a Homecoming game, Gladbrook-Reinbeck weathered the early storm of emotions and endured Grundy Center’s lengthy drive that traveled 78 yards but ended with a blocked field-goal attempt.

The Rebels put the ball in the end zone on the ensuing possession, crossing the field for 84 yards on just eight plays, capped by a 46-yard scoring pass from Lott to Gage Murty. Gladbrook-Reinbeck, the two-time defending Class A state champions, rode the momentum to another score the next time it touched the ball. Lott connected with Matt Johannsen on a 15-yard slant pass for a touchdown and Lott’s conversion pass to Murty made it 14-0 Rebels heading into halftime.

Gladbrook-Reinbeck made it a three-score difference when Walker Thede took Lott’s screen pass and scampered 48 yards to the end zone two plays into the fourth quarter.

T-R PHOTO BY ROSS THEDE • Grundy Center running back Caleb Kuiper (34) runs for 18 yards on third-and-14 before being brought down by Walker Thede of Gladbrook-Reinbeck during the first quarter of Friday’s game in Grundy Center. Kuiper rushed for a game-high 121 yards in the Spartans’ 28-7 loss.

Grundy Center finally found its way onto the scoreboard with Caleb Kuiper’s 3-yard touchdown plunge with 5:46 to play, but the Rebels piled on one last score to what was the longest running rivalry game in the state. Thede took a handoff 46 yards across the goal line and Josh Peterson’s two-point conversion run were the final points of a series that had endured 99 years.

Lott finished 10-for-17 passing for 192 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. Thede was the team’s leading rusher with three carries for 55 yards and made four catches for 68 yards. Murty had three grabs for a game-high 92 yards.

Grundy Center’s offense, which possessed the ball for 30 minutes to G-R’s 17:48, got outgained by nine yards, 260-251. Kuiper toted the pigskin 19 times for 121 yards and the Spartans’ lone score, while Zach Grant added 10 carries for 32 yards. Quarterback Jake Bangasser ended 6-for-13 for 58 yards with an interception, picked off by G-R’s Cael Wyatt. Sage Klar had four catches for 49 yards.

Gladbrook-Reinbeck entertains another nearby rival — Dike-New Hartford — next Friday night, while Grundy Center travels west down Highway 175 for a showdown with South Hardin.



GARWIN — Brad Barkema and Greg Schmitt both ran for two touchdowns apiece as the BCLUW football team opened with a 32-0 victory over GMG in Friday’s non-district contest.

Barkema finished with seven carries for 108 yards while also completing 6-of-12 passes for 82 yards. Schmitt, the fullback, found his way to paydirt twice on nine carries.

Blake Mann added the final scoring run, a 4-yard dive, and finished with 15 carries for 38 yards. Connor Thompson had two receptions for 38 yards and also led the Comet defense with two interceptions.

BCLUW pocketed five turnovers against GMG. Barkema had a fumble recovery and an interception, and Calob Keller also pulled down an interception. Mann led the Comets with five solo tackles and two assists.

AGWSR 49, Colo-NESCO 20


COLO — Liam Stubbe ran for three touchdowns and caught another as AGWSR overcame Colo-NESCO’s quick start for a 49-20 romp of the Royals on Friday night.

Stubbe had touchdown runs of 55, 10 and 50 yards for the Cougars, who trailed 6-0 after Philip Bower took the opening kickoff back 65 yards for a touchdown. The host Royals, however, managed just two more touchdowns the rest of the night.

AGWSR scored four touchdowns in the second quarter alone and led 34-12 at the half.

Both Colo-NESCO touchdowns from scrimmage came on Sean Cutler passes to Garrett Packer, covering 11 and 16 yards. Cutler finished 8-for-17 passing for 68 yards with an interception, while Packer had three catches for 36 yards.

Bower led the Royals running backs with 105 yards on 26 carries, and Packer had 13 carries for 46 yards. Packer also led the defense, making 15 total stops with 1.5 tackles for loss. Ethan Wilson, Bryce Niemeyer and Martin Nicholas each recovered fumbles for the Royals, who host Coon Rapids-Bayard next Friday night.


Janesville 63, Meskwaki 22

MESKWAKI SETTLEMENT — Visiting Janesville scored 34 points in the opening quarter and cruised to a 63-22 victory over Meskwaki in Friday’s season-opener for both 8-man teams.

Taurice Grant ran for all three Meskwaki touchdowns, covering 1, 9 and 1 yards, and finished with 96 yards rushing to lead the Warriors in their debut under long-time prep football coach Ken Winkler.

Grant was 4-for-7 passing for 110 yards with two interceptions, with Taté Bear making two grabs for 75 yards.

The Warriors travel to face Springville next Friday night.

Hudson 48, East Marshall 6

HUDSON — Hudson jumped out to a 35-0 halftime lead and handed East Marshall a 48-6 setback in Friday’s non-district pairing.

East Marshall’s lone score was a 56-yard touchdown pass from Tyler DeBondt to Logan Nicholson late in the third quarter.

DeBondt finished 14-for-26 passing for 158 yards and an interception, and Nicholson was his favorite target, tallying seven receptions for 112 yards. Zane Johnson, Dillon Lee and Kam Hoskins each had two catches for 16, 14 and 13 yards, respectively.

Noah Bandstra paced the Mustang defense with eight solo tackles and six assists, and Nicholson had eight solo stops and two assists. Ryley Overton recovered a fumble for East Marshall (1-1), which was trying to build off its season-opening Week Zero victory over Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont.

The Mustangs host Waterloo Columbus next Friday night.


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