Talk about a close call. The North Tama Redhawks rode a wave of offense from quarterback Brent Billerbeck in the first half and escaped with a 20-19 win over the visiting Lone Tree Lions in a non-district clash last week.
The win pushes the Redhawks back above .500 and should give them some momentum heading into district play, but it came at a heavy cost.
Brent Billerbeck, filling in at quarterback because of an injury to starter Jacob Wrage, was responsible for all three of the Redhawks' touchdowns in the first half before being knocked out in the second quarter with an ankle injury.
The Redhawks were able to escape with a 20-19 win over Lone Tree last Friday after a first half injury to backup quarterback Brent Billerbeck. At top, Paul Kaufman dives to grab a fumble, one of three fumble recoveries on the day for the Redhawks. Above, Damon Spencer makes a cut to gain some yardage. At left, Mitchell Boerm eludes the defense after a catch.
After entering the game with an anemic running game - the Redhawks had run for just 142 yards as a team in the first two weeks - Billerbeck used his mobility to rush for 135 yards on his own in just a quarter and a half of play. He accounted for three touchdowns on the ground. Brandon Kaufman also rushed 12 times for 26 yards, and Omar Martinez supplemented the ground game with 21 yards of his own.
Billerbeck was also efficient in the passing game, completing eight of 10 passes for 72 yards and one interception. Backup Brody Hulme, who finished out the game at quarterback, was two-of-three for 12 yards and a pick.
In the receiving game, Mitchell Boerm and Damon Spencer fared well despite the revised offensive game plan, each catching four passes for 32 and 34 yards, respectively. Jacob Watson also had 18 yards on two receptions.
The Redhawks relied heavily on the defense, especially after the injury to Billerbeck effectively stopped all mometum on the offensive side in the first half.
Senior linebacker Nolan Hefty was once again a dominant force for the Redhawk D, racking up 20 total tackles, including two for a loss. Mitchell Boerm had 10 tackles and a fumble recovery, one of three on the day for North Tama.
The Redhawks will look to continue their winning ways as they enter district play on the road this Friday. The boys take on GMG with gametime set for 7 p.m.