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Redhawks earn ugly win over Central Decatur 16-6

November 1, 2019
CJ Eilers - Editor (cjeilers@traerstarclipper.com) , Traer Star-Clipper

North Tama's playoff dreams continue to burn bright as the Redhawks overcame a sloppy, muddy, penalty-laden matchup against the Cardinals of Central Decatur 16-6 on Friday, Nov. 1 in Traer.

"There were too many mistakes tonight," coach Tom McDermott said. "We left probably four touchdowns on the field we should have scored through fumbles, penalties or foolish things. We have to sharpen up as we move into the next round."

The opening drive for the Redhawks proved promising as Skyler Staker powered his way through for several runs, capped off with a one yard touchdown and Noah Weber tacking on a two-point conversion. On the second drive, Staker sustained a knee injury that appeared aggravated when the senior came out for a few more plays.

Article Photos

Noah Weber celebrates a hard-fought win over Central Decatur to advance the Redhawks to the quarterfinals of the State Playoffs.

"It really took away a huge weapon for us and everyone could see how dominant he was," McDermott said. "Zach Greiner stepped up as a runner and we didn't change much."

Without Staker, the Redhawks would struggle to sustain drives. When North Tama came up with the big plays, penalties or turnovers erased the gains on all but one sharp drive in the third quarter with Kopriva stepping up for the touchdown run and two-point. The defense also held its own as it stopped several Cardinal drives cold.

"You have to give our guys credit, they were able to somehow maintain this lead and come up with big plays when they needed to," McDermott said. "Stopping [Central Decatur's] two point conversion after their touchdown was huge as far as momentum."

Among the heroes of the night was Tate Payne with a fourth quarter interception and tight coverage of several throws attempted by Central Decatur.

"I wasn't going to bite on just anything and let a deep ball go over my head," Payne said. "We knew the field was wet and could slip. We didn't want the big plays. We are used to it and it was to our advantage."

The Redhawks are 10-0 on the season and won a playoff game for the first time since 2012. Players like Payne and Greiner were in fifth grade back then and now are living one of the most successful seasons for North Tama in recent years.

"This means everything to us after what we went through last season," Greiner said. "Winning a playoff game has been a goal of ours since then and taking the next step this year."

The Redhawks will host Woodbury Central (9-1) for the second round of playoffs on Friday, Nov. 8, with the winner advancing to the state semifinals in the UNI Dome. Full coverage of the win over Central Decatur will be published in the November 8 issue of the Traer Star-Clipper.

 
 
 

 

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