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Redhawks demolish Warhawks in season opener 61-0

September 5, 2019
CJ Eilers - Editor ( , Traer Star-Clipper

Football is back and the North Tama Redhawks celebrated with a dominant 61-0 performance against the North Mahaska Warhawks to kick off their 2019 season.

"We knew North Mahaska is young, inexperienced and going through a new coaching staff," coach Tom McDermott said. "We had a little bit of an idea of what they would run as they build their program."

The Redhawks broke up the first half starting with a 21-yard touchdown from Skyler Staker to Tate Payne during the seven-minute mark. It would only take a few plays for the Warhawks to fumble the ball away to the Redhawks, who would score on the drive with Gabe Kopriva running in for a one-yard touchdown. Another costly turnover came as Staker intercepted an errant pass. Kopriva again would punch a score in, this time with a 43-yard run.

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Gabe Kopriva emerged as a major weapon for the Redhawks, scoring two rushing touchdowns (44 yards on two carries) and a receiving touchdown (37 yards on six receptions) in North Tama’s dominant 61-0 win on Friday.

"We came out really well early in the game and executed quite well outside of one or two minor mistakes," McDermott said. "Overall, nice execution on both sides of the ball to get us started."

North Tama would continue to find the endzone courtesy of a 61-yard play by Luke Pennell, a three-yard catch by Kopriva from Staker, the senior quarterback taking it in for a nine-yard run himself and dump-off pass from Kopriva to Greiner all, within the first half.

"This team showed what we can potentially do on both sides of the ball tonight," McDermott said. "The way [North Mahaska] was defending us with their coverage, we tried to throw more. Both our quarterbacks threw well tonight and we have good receivers to use more than last year. Staker is our experienced, power guy that runs people over and Gabe has that elusiveness at quarterback or receiver," McDermott said. "We can take advantage of their different strengths all season long."

"We've got a talented group in each of the classes to take advantage of offensively," McDermott said. "It makes it difficult for to defend us when they know we have a variety of weapons."

The Redhawks would continue to put pressure on North Mahaska offensively into the third quarter as Noah Weber scored on a four-yard run and Devin McKinley with an eight yard run, yet the defense also shined in the shutout, allowing only 49 total yards for the Warhawks to the Redhawks' 323 yards. North Tama would also get vital reps for second and third string players in the third and fourth quarters as they continue to build depth this season.

"We need to keep our composure better for next week," McDermott said. "There were some things going on in the game that didn't get called. You can't retaliate. We also need to work on our depth because our starters are playing both ways. They backups to spell them at times and keep us fresh."

The 1-0 Redhawks will next hit the road to face Lisbon at Cornell College on Friday, Sept. 6. A big test at home awaits on September 13 as Wapsie Valley comes to Traer for District play. Check out game photos on Flickr at



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