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Redhawks stop GMG offense cold 49-0

October 11, 2018
CJ Eilers - Editor ( , Traer Star-Clipper

With rain threatening a Friday matchup between the North Tama Redhawks and GMG Wolverines, the football programs agreed to play a rare Thursday game as the Redhawks dominated their longtime rival 49-0.

"It's a rivalry game and these kids know each other to give them extra incentive," coach Tom McDermott said. "Sometimes I think that is a disadvantage because our kids get too hyped up."

The first drives of each respective squad would sum up their night as GMG quickly found themselves in a corner due to costly penalties and forced to punt away, giving the Redhawks first and 10 on the GMG 20 yard line. Tyler Morrison would start off scoring early with a 15-yard touchdown quickly with 9:35 left in the quarter. Morrison wouldn't have to wait long for another crack at the end zone, rushing 26 yards to his second touchdown at the 3:45 mark of the first quarter. North Tama got their passing game going with a nine yard toss from Hale Hulme to Noah Bond to go up 21-0 in only the first quarter.

Article Photos

PHOTO: Tyler Morrison totaled 134 yards rushing and receiving as he led the Redhawk offense with three touchdowns against the GMG Wolverines on Thursday, Oct. 4. Photo taken by Grace Thorsen.

"Tyler had another good ball game and Noah is playing well on both sides of the ball," McDermott said. "Defensively, Noah is just outstanding and knows his responsibility."

The second quarterfeatured more highlights for the Redhawks as Skyler Staker connected with Bond for a 31-yard touchdown only moments later. Morrison punched in one more touchdown of his own on 11 yards at the 8:24 mark. Known mainly for his tackling prowess, Zach Greiner went 30 yards on a pass from Staker on a 4th and 10 situation to close out the half with three seconds remaining on the clock. The Redhawks went into halftime up 42-0 after scoring on six of their seven first possessions.

"We seemed to do a decent job," McDermott said. "We didn't do anything too fancy. Just a couple of passes we felt we could complete and they worked out well. We got sloppy as the game went on, but we started well. That was important for us."

The second half saw the Redhawks put fresh bodies out on the field for valuable experience after several recent close games. Despite the starters sitting out most of the half, North Tama continued to keep GMG out of the endzone. Noah Weber ended the game on a strong note with a eight yard touchdown as Izach Henson punched in a two point conversion with 2:31 to go on a continuous clock.

"That was important our defense did a good job," McDermott said. "GMG was down a couple of players and our defense did what it needed to give us good field position."

Morrison led the way offensively with 99 yards on 15 carries and 35 yards on two receptions. Greiner rushed for 29 yards on six carries and had a 30-yard reception. Weber proved capable as a running threat with 43 yards on seven carries. The quarterback duo of Hulme and Staker combined 113 yards as they completed 75 percent of passes.

"Those are two good athletes that we have to have out there to take advantage of their skills," McDermott said. "Sometimes, one of them has a better night than the other, but it works out in the end."

Staker also led in tackles with nine on the night, followed by Greiner with seven tackles and Zade Podhajsky with six tackles. Despite the strong performance by the lights-out defense, several moments of tension between the two rivals showed an area McDermott hopes to work on.

"We've got to be more disciplined in situations where we think we're getting held or getting punched," McDermott said. "We got to be sure not to be rattled by that. We moved the ball well at times, but we've got some things to fix. We didn't throw much by design, but we need to keep working on pass offense."

The Redhawks will return home on Friday, Oct. 12 to take on a non-district opponent Postville on senior night for North Tama. The District 7 race continues with Hudson on top with a 7-0 overall record and 4-0 district record. A chance remains for North Tama to claim a playoff spot by being in the top 16 of the Class A RPI standings. Six spots are open, but McDermott has his player's mind where he wants them: in the game ahead of them.

"I'm still not looking at it that way, but one game at a time," McDermott said. "If we don't take care of business against Postville, it doesn't matter. There are so many factors involved in the playoff system, like it or not. Our kids have been good about taking care of business this year and done what we've asked. I talked about playoffs for 30 seconds during practice and that was the only time I would mention it. I'll do the same next week and go from there. We can't control what other teams do, so we have to focus on how we play each week."

The 2018 regular season will close with the Redhawks traveling to Conrad to take on BCLUW on Friday, Oct. 19. The Redhawks are currently 6-1 (4-1 District).



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