HERALD STAFF REPORT
CENTRAL CITY — The middle part of the season has been unkind to the Easton Valley River Hawks, who started off 3-0 this fall before running up against the two rated teams in Iowa eight-man football in two of the past three weeks.
But on Friday, Easton Valley cut its three-game skid against Central City, forcing four interceptions in the 61-18 blowout road win.
The River Hawks shut down the Wildcats’ running attack, holding the team to just 35 yards on 17 carries. And although opposing quarterback David Mosher posted fantasy stats — 328 yards through the air — EV coach Kevin Behr said taking care of the run allowed his team to focus on turnovers in the passing game.
“We were able to really shut down their running game and make them one-dimensional,” Behr said. “They were able to move the ball through the air, but I guess tonight it was the old bend-don’t-break defense. Some of that was just good breaks on the ball by our defense.”
Four different players intercepted passes, including Chase Zaruba — who turned his into six points in the third quarter. However, Behr credited his front line for pressuring Mosher throughout the night, singling out nose tackle Pate Betts as a difference maker.
“As coaches we all talked after the game. He was always in the quarterback’s face,” Behr said. “He was able to get a lot of pressure. Even though we had four picks by four different backs, our line was able to make them uncomfortable.”
Meanwhile, Easton Valley’s offense rolled right along. The River Hawks scored on Zaruba’s 3-yard run on their opening drive en route to a 28-point opening quarter. The senior back finished with four total touchdowns — two on the ground, one on defense and one through the air.