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Redhawks roll past Postville 53-0 on senior night

October 18, 2018
CJ Eilers - Editor ( , Traer Star-Clipper

North Tama celebrated fourteen football seniors, senior members of the cross country team, cheer, volleyball and band on Friday, Oct. 12 as the Redhawks routed the Postville Pirates 53-0.

Seniors from each fall activity were recognized by the Redhawks faithful before kickoff for North Tama's final non-district game of the regular season. The fanfare for the seniors was quickly rewarded as Tyler Morrison scored on a 88-yard touchdown on the first play of the first drive in his final home game. The three-year starter continued to rip up the endzone with a three-yard run before the end of the quarter and his third in the second quarter with a ten-yard run. Looking to make a statement on senior night as well, Cael Even scored on a 66-yard pass play from Skyler Staker for one of the most explosive plays of the season. Zach Greiner would break the senior touchdown streak with a 13-yard run to put the Redhawks up 33-0. Despite the huge margin though, Coach Tom McDermott was hardly impressed with another element of the game: focus.

"I would say we were very distracted in this game," coach Tom McDermott said. "We didn't have our focus like we normally do. There were mistakes with guys not being on the field when they should have been. We talked about those mistakes at halftime. Our guys knew Postville wasn't having a successful season, looked at their scores and thought it'd be easy. There were lots of excuses, but our focus has to remain if we want to accomplish what we wanted."

Article Photos

Football seniors and their parents line up during Senior Night.

Morrison continued his big night with one final touchdown at the eight minute mark of the third quarter before seeing his night end and several younger players take over at running back. From the sideline, the senior watched as Noah Weber went on to run for two more scores in the third and fourth quarter respectively in a shutout game 53-0.

"It's tough realizing this is the last game I'll play here in Traer on the Redhawk field and one of my last ever in school," Morrison said. "It means a lot to play with my friends and succeed like we have so far."

Moving past some issues with focus in the game, McDermott praised the senior class as they turned their fortunes around this year after years of blowout losses and close games that got away to push for a playoff spot this season.

"Their attitude has just been phenomenal," McDermott said. "A lot of them played as sophomores and a few as freshman as they took their lumps along the way. North Tama didn't win a game when this class were freshman, and they have come back with an attitude to be confident. They have found a way to accomplish what we've asked each week this season."

Against Postville,, the Redhawk defense stifled the Pirates for 21 total yards in the game. Ryan McLean led the way in tackles with 4.5 tackles, followed by Cory Isenhower and Staker with four tackles each.Weber had one fumble recovery for North Tama.

"Our defense has been great all season and we had Postville overmatched," McDermott said. "Our guys are going to go hard and go at it. We messed up on some assignments, but I don't worry about our enthusiasm, our intensity or our hitting ability."

Morrison led the offense with 180 yards rushing on 14 carries, followed by Gabe Kopria with 42 yards on three carries and Noah Weber with 36 yards on four carries as the underclassman shined late even on senior night.

"Noah runs hard and we want him more accustomed to our offense this season," McDermott said. "He's going to go hard. Gabe [Kopriva] is an outstanding young quarterback. Very quick, very elusive. We basically ran two plays for them: one where we gave the ball to Noah and one where Gabe kept it. Five of our offensive lineman on that last touchdown were freshman and they did a nice job. Nathan Kucera and Logan Rausch have the intensity on defense the older guys have. All of them will be great ballplayers."

Fourteen seniors are part of the North Tama Redhawk football program and will look to break the mold as they make their way towards the Class A playoffs the right way.

"Being a part of this program means a lot to me because we've had our rough patches, and being able to turn around into a successful program feels good," Morrison said. "My goals have always been to make the playoffs and I think we can accomplish that this year."

The Redhawks, ranked ninth in Class A, will end their regular season and District play with a road trip to BCLUW (2-6) on Friday, Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. with one goal McDermott has put into their minds.

"I told our kids 'win and we're in' and that's the way we are approaching this game," McDermott said. "BCLUW has struggled somewhat. They had a good quarterback that got hurt earlier in the season. They are a decent ball team with a good receiver, Garber, and we need to make sure to stop him. They have good size in the line. If we can't go 'one and we're in' with this game, something isn't right. Our guys will be ready to go."

According to the IHSAA, postseason qualifications will be released in two waves after all Week 9 games are complete. First, a complete list of playoff qualifers will be released for each class by midnight. District champions and at-large qualifiers will be noted. Brackets for first round games pairings and eventual quarterfinal matches for each class will be released "as soon as possible" Saturday morning. Semi-finals will see teams reseeded. Updates will be posted on the IHSAA website and on Twitter (@IHSAA) as soon as they are completed. Follow The Traer Star-Clipper on Twitter (@traerstarclip) and Facebook (Traer Star-Clipper) for announcements on the 2018 postseason.



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