Rebels clinch playoff berth with big second half
COLFAX — Gladbrook-Reinbeck coach John Olson doesn’t believe in screaming and yelling at his players when things don’t go well. But Olson and his coaching staff made sure the Rebel players knew they were disappointed in them after a sluggish first half against Colfax-Mingo on Friday.
The message was received before the hole was too much to overcome as the seventh-ranked Rebels rallied from an early deficit to defeat the Tigerhawks 28-7 during a Class A District 5 matchup.
Gladbrook-Reinbeck (8-1, 6-1) clinched a playoff berth with the win and outscored Colfax-Mingo 20-0 in the second half of the regular-season finale.
“It was just disappointment. We made some physical and mental mistakes that you shouldn’t make in the ninth game of the year,” Olson said. “We weren’t lining up right and kind of doing our own thing. Our offensive line eventually got it going and started to control the line of scrimmage in the second half.”
The Tigerhawks (4-6, 3-4) forced two turnovers and forced G-R into two punts in its first four possessions of the game. Senior Reegan Van Dyke connected with sophomore Trystin Ross for a 6-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter to put the Tigerhawks up 7-0.
“One guy would mess up on defense and then we got out of our basic sets,” Olson said. “We have to do things right all the time. We just didn’t execute.”
The Rebels didn’t crack the scoreboard until Colfax-Mingo failed to execute a punt and gave the Rebels a short field.
Senior Gage Murty wasted no time, hitting pay dirt from 28 yards out on the first play of the team’s final drive of the first half. Gladbrook-Reinbeck led 8-7 with 2:45 to play until halftime, and the Tigerhawks never scored again.
“Our defense got some stops and that helped our offense,” Olson said.
Hunter Lott recovered from a 1-of-10 performance in the first half to complete 8-of-19 in the game for 62 yards. The Rebels rushed for 199 yards, led by Murty’s 79 yards on 11 carries.
The Rebels forced Colfax-Mingo into back-to-back punts on the Tigerhawks’ first two possessions of the second half, and the offense finally got going.
The visitors put together consecutive 80-yard drives to put the game out of reach.
The first drive featured runs of 14 and 31 yards by Keagan Giesking and Murty finished off the march with a 3-yard TD run.
On the next scoring drive, Lott was 4-of-4 through the air, including a 17-yard completion to Giesking and a 24-yard pass to Matt Johannsen. Giesking finished off this drive with a 3-yard TD run.
Neither team scored on their next drives. With G-R leading 21-7, Colfax-Mingo moved the ball all the way to the Rebel 27-yard line before Johannsen took back a Van Dyke interception 75 yards for the score.
The pass from Van Dyke went off the hands of C-M junior Holister Koenig and Johannsen made him pay with the big play.
“It’s tough not to look ahead (to the playoffs), but you have to be disciplined enough to not look ahead,” Olson said.