By Cory Dann For the Herald
The Clinton Herald
---- — PRESTON — The Easton Valley River Hawks scored quickly and often Friday night as they built a 36-0 lead after the first quarter en route to a huge victory on Senior Night, and it was that senior leadership that carried them past the Cedar Valley Christian Huskies 62-8.
“It was great to go out with a win,” senior Chase Zaruba stated about the last home game for the River Hawks seniors.
Seniors Craiton Andresen, Andrew Driscoll and Zaruba played a big part in what coach Kevin Behr saw in the first half.
“They have a lot of talent, and they were able to show that in the first half," he said. "Talent-wise, we are as physical as anyone in the state.”
Quarterback Andresen started the scoring for Easton Valley with a 9-yard keeper to give the River Hawks their first of many scores on the night with 7:34 remaining in the first quarter.
After forcing a punt, the River Hawks needed just two plays to increase their lead as Andrew Driscoll ran it in from 32 yards out to make it a 14-0 score. Driscoll recorded 63 yards rushing to go along with the touchdown on the night.
The third senior of that trio, Zaruba, returned the next punt 46 yards for a touchdown, just over a minute after the previous score. With Andresen’s two-point conversion run, Easton Valley had a 22-0 lead.
After a Blaine Volquardsen interception on the Huskies' next play from scrimmage, the River Hawks started their next possession at the Cedar Valley Christian 8-yard line. Zaruba punched it in from the 6-yard line.
Zaruba’s first quarter was not yet over as he picked up a fumble with 1:26 left and took it back to the house from 7 yards out. Zaruba finished the night with 34 yards rushing and three touchdowns.
“That was all pretty much about the team, without the defense playing hard and forcing the fumble and the blocking on the punt return, just a team effort,” Zaruba said after the big night. That defense allowed just 57 yards of total offense for the visiting Huskies for the entire game.
After the first quarter was over the River Hawks' lead was 36-0 and that invoked the continuous clock rule to start the second quarter.
“We can’t focus on the opponent, we just have to focus on ourselves and just that each individual athlete needs to get better in their game,” Behr said about the early rout.
Andresen was involved in the next two scores as he added a 2-yard run and a 15-yard pass for a score to Blake Bormann as Easton Valley pushed its advantage to a 50-0 score at the half. Andresen had 47 yards passing to go along with 11 yards rushing as well as three TDs.
The second half saw the starters out, and the reserves got their taste of the action.
Freshman Jack Mix got his first varsity touchdown as he took the handoff for a 13-yard score on Easton Valley’s first possession of the second half. Mix collected 48 yards rushing in the second half.
“It was good to get everybody in and get them some playing time, and it’s great for the team,” Zaruba said.
Forcing a fumble on the Huskies' next play allowed yet another freshman to collect his first score. Reserve quarterback Kyle Petersen bulled his way in form the 2-yard line to cap the scoring on the night for the River Hawks. Petersen ran for 22 yards, and senior Clayton Budde also added 39 yards on the ground in the second half.
“We were able to accomplish some things in the first half," Behr said. "In the second half, the second- and third-stringers did a really good job, so it was nice to get everyone in and get reps”
Cedar Valley Christian was able to get a fourth-quarter score as Kenan Ulmer hit Apollo Betsworth on a 6-yard pass play and two-point conversion that allowed the Huskies to avoid the shutout with 7:31 left in the game.
EASTON VALLEY 62, CEDAR VALLEY CHRISTIAN 8
CVC 0 0 0 8 — 8
Easton Valley 36 14 12 0 — 62
EV — Craiton Andresen 9 run (kick failed), 7:34
EV — Andrew Driscoll 32 run (Chase Zaruba run), 5:11
EV — Zaruba 46 punt return (Andresen run), 4:07
EV — Zaruba 6 run (Blake Bormann pass from Andresen), 3:07
EV — Zaruba 7 fumble ret. (pass failed), :30
EV — Andresen 2 run (Bormann kick), 7:43
EV — Bormann 15 pass from Andresen (Bormann kick), 3:17
EV — Jack Mix 13 run (run failed), 5:51
EV — Kyle Petersen 2 run (run failed), 2:14
CVC — Apollo Betsworth 6 pass from Kenan Ulmer (pass good), 7:31
RUSHING — Cedar Valley Christian, Kenan Ulmer 21-minus-22, Apollo Betsworth 4-minus-1, Caleb Severson 1-21; Easton Valley, Andrew Driscoll 7-63, Chase Zaruba 4-34, Grant Hinerichsen 1-5, Craiton Andresen 2-11, Clayton Budde 8-39, Kyle Petersen 4-22-, Jack Mix 7-48.
PASSING — Cedar Valley Christian, Ulmer 7-21-1-59, Mike Scroggs 0-1-0-0; Easton Valley, Andresen 3-4-0-47.
RECEIVING — Cedar Valley Christian – Severson 4-47 yards, Eric Gustafson 1-6 yards, Betsworth 1-6; Easton Valley, Blake Bormann 2-30, Chayce Meyer 1-17.