By Dan Angell
For the Herald
CAMANCHE — As soon as Northeast quarterback Will Hasken’s knee hit the turf on the final snap of the Rebels’ 27-12 win over Camanche, the Northeast student section raced over to the exit to Camanche’s field to greet their team with a tunnel to celebrate.
After waiting more than a full calendar year to see a victory, nobody in light blue wanted to wait one second longer.
Hasken got his team started with a 57-yard touchdown to Nick Wall, and the Rebels controlled the rest of the contest. Tevin Stoecker added two second-half rushing touchdowns to put the game well out of the Indians’ reach, allowing Northeast to ruin Camanche’s homecoming, snap a 13-game losing streak and give coach Jerad Block his first victory with the Rebels on Friday night at Camanche High School.
“It’s kind of a relief,” said a drenched Block after the Rebels gave him the traditional
StrokeStyle/$ID/SolidSEE REBELS PAGE 3B cooler bath in celebration. “It kind of reassures the fact that all the hard work the kids put in during the summer, August and early practices, this is what it’s all for, this feeling right now.”
The victory was the first for Northeast (1-5, 1-2 in Class 2A District 4) since a 27-26 triumph over North Cedar on August 24, 2012, a span of 406 days that saw the Rebels held to single digits in eight of their 13 defeats. It was a pair of sophomores who hadn’t been around for most of the streak who helped provide the beginning of its end.
On the Rebels’ second possession of the contest, Hasken got enough time to throw and launched a deep pass in the direction of Nick Wall, who found himself in single coverage in the center of the field. Hasken’s pass hit Wall in the hands, leaving the receiver to simply move to his left and win the foot race, giving the Rebels an early 7-0 lead.
From that moment, Northeast’s confidence began to grow.
“Nick ran a great route,” Hasken said. “He’s an athlete, and he just went up and made a great play. We really had a game plan going in, and we knew what we needed to do. We just went in there and we executed. We stepped up and did a great job.”
While the Rebels ran their game plan exactly as Block had drawn it up, the Indians (1-5, 0-4) provided a textbook example of how to shoot themselves in the foot. Camanche drove into Northeast territory on three of its five first-half drives, but each time, the Indians suffered a huge loss on one play that turned a promising drive into a punting situation.
The most obvious example came on the first drive of the game, when the Indians drove to the Rebels’ 31 in six plays and appeared to have their offense clicking. On the next play, however, the snap went over quarterback Brady Beal’s head, resulting in a 28-yard loss that ended any thoughts of a Camanche score.
By the time the Indians did score, Northeast had already built a commanding lead on Stoecker’s first touchdown — and it was the Camanche defense that did the work, nailing Hasken on back-to-back safeties to close the gap to 20-4. However, that actually backfired on the Indians because it allowed the Rebels to get the ball out of their territory and force Camanche to start over with minimal damage.
The Indians didn’t break through on offense until Mitch McElroy hit Beal for a 15-yard score with under three minutes left, making the homecoming fireworks that followed seem a bit hollow.
“We really thought that we could get this one coming in, and it’s a great feeling to upset someone else’s homecoming,” Hasken said. “I haven’t been in this program that long, so I don’t remember much, but we really needed to overcome this (skid), and it’s a great feeling that we could finally do it.”
Stoecker, who was a starter on last year’s 1-8 team, was thrilled to go through the tunnel and finally celebrate a win after such a lengthy wait.
“This feels terrific, honestly,” said Stoecker, who finished with 130 yards. “We finally put everything together. We did (the tunnel run) after the first game last year, and I’ve missed it. Finally, we got it back, and let’s hope we can get three more W’s.”
NORTHEAST 27, CAMANCHE 12
Northeast 7 6 7 7 — 27
Camanche 0 0 4 8 — 12
N — Nick Wall 57 pass from Will Hasken (Tevin Stoecker kick), 0:47
N — Nick Bailey 2 run (kick failed), 4:25
N — Stoecker 64 run (Stoecker kick), 11:14
C — Safety, Hasken sacked in end zone, 2:53
C — Safety, Hasken sacked in end zone, 1:45
N — Stoecker 42 run (Stoecker kick), 4:19
C — Brady Beal 15 pass from Mitch McElroy (Ryan Langston run), 2:51
RUSHING — Northeast, Tevin Stoecker 14-130, Will Hasken 18-(-15), Nick Bailey 4-10. Camanche, Mitch McElroy 3-(-16), Easton McDaniel 18-93, Ryan Langston 10-40, Zach Feller 1-(-3), Brady Beal 9-(-11)
PASSING — Northeast, Will Hasken 8-12-158-1-0. Camanche, Brady Beal 2-6-15-0-0. Mitch McElroy 7-18-109-1-2. Easton McDaniel 1-1-8-0-0.
RECEIVING — Northeast, Ryan Murphy 2-30, Mitchel Moehr 3-54, Nick Wall 2-62, Tevin Stoecker 1-13. Camanche, Easton McDaniel 3-24, Zach Feller 3-27, Will Seeser 1-20, Quan Matthew 1-8, Brady Beal 2-53.