FULTON—The Fulton Steamers’ football team held on in the final minutes Friday night for their first win of the season, downing the St. Bede Bruins 28-20.
After leading 28-13, the Bruins came storming back at the Steamers. With just two minutes left to play, St. Bede had it on the Fulton 23-yard-line with two downs left.
With a fourth and five situation, the Steamers got the turnovers on downs, a crucial play.
On their final drive, Ethan Rash got the big run, taking it 35 yards for a first down with the clock ticking under a minute. The offense was able to run out the clock from there.
“It was just two contrasting play styles and both of them were working,” head coach Patrick Lower. “It was one of those games where it came down to whoever made more plays.”
It was a big moment for the Fulton defense, that got a shakeup after losing it’s core last season. Lower pointed to the efforts of Jakob North.
“”He got some pressure out there and he just didn’t give in,” Lower said.
Before that, the Steamers’ rushing made it look like they might roll to a win. The Steamers came out in the first drive of the game and marched down the field to jump out to the lead. In fact, they did the same on the next two drives, jumping to a 20-0 lead.
A big run from junior Ethan Rash started the second drive. Even quarterback Connor Barnett got in on the rushing game, taking the ball 24 yards himself. That set it up for Rash to put the finishing touches on the second drive.
They wanted Barnett, a speedy junior, to run a little more.
“He was a little more involved and did a great job early on,” Lower said about his QB. “We always say if there is green grass ahead of you then take it.”
Jacob Jones had the crucial run on the third drive, and then he topped it off on first and goal from the one-yard line.
This time, the Steamers turned it. Barnett scrambled to the home sideline, and threw an off balance throw into the endzone, good for the two-point conversion and the 20-0 lead over the Bruins.
St. Bede didn’t put up a score until the last ten seconds of the half when they punched it in. The extra kick was no good, leaving the Steamers ahead 20-6 before the break.
The Steamers ended with 270 rushing yards, compared to the Bruins 114.
The Steamers (1-1) will stay at home next week, taking on Bureau Valley.
River Hawks down Lone Tree 44-12
PRESTON – With one win, Tony Johnson crossed two items off his list.
The Easton Valley football team’s 44-12 win over Lone Tree Friday night marked the first home win for the River Hawks since 2017, as the team uniquely went 5-0 on the road and 0-4 at home last season.
Lone Tree is also the main rival of Highland (Riverside), where Johnson served as the head coach before taking the same position at Easton Valley prior to last season.
Johnson said the non-district contest carried meaningful sentiments.
“Lone Tree was my old rival so I really wanted to win this game,” Johnson said. “This was a monkey off the back game for me. It was fun for me, the boys knew all about that. My last couple years at Highland, we couldn’t beat Lone Tree so this is a good one.”
Easton Valley ambushed the Lions out of the gate, as Nate Trenkamp and the offense marched down the field for a touchdown within the first two minutes of the game, as Trenkamp found Porter Fuegan for a 20-yard touchdown pass.
After Lone Tree turned the ball over on downs, the River Hawks again drove the field, and Trenkamp connected with Braydin Farrell for an 11-yard score to take a 12-0 lead just four minutes into the opening period.
On the first play from scrimmage after Farrell’s score, Lion Tree snapped the ball over quarterback Harmon Miller’s head, and a herd of River Hawks pounced on the ball in the end zone to give the home team an advantageous 18-0 lead.
“I was really proud of how we came out,” Johnson said. “Our goal for the whole game was to come out strong and send a message.
“We came out and executed well.”
While Easton Valley’s electric offense often steals the conversation, the defensive unit was stellar Friday night. The River Hawks have an athletic front-three lineman core that collected several sacks and stymied ball carriers to minimal gains throughout the night. Plus, its linebackers are mobile and the secondary is stingy in the pass game.
“Defensively, we had a great game plan and we stuck with it,” Johnson said. “We just held a really good football team to 12 points.
“We got beat on defense last year, so we really tried to shore that up during the offseason and I think we have shown that in the first two weeks of the season.”
After another touchdown from Farrell raised the River Hawks’ lead to 24-0 after the first, Trenkamp delivered a 30-yard strike to Cade Jargo to mark 30 unanswered points to open the game.
Lone Tree lit the scoreboard with four minutes left before halftime to trim the deficit to 30-0, but, naturally, the River Hawks quickly responded, as Jargo caught his second touchdown of the game, a 2-yard screen pass with 30 seconds remaining until the intermission.
The second half was sluggish offensively for both sides, at least in terms of 8-man contests or in comparison to a combined 44-point first half.
Lone Tree scored the only points of the third, as Miller threw his second and final touchdown pass on the opening drive of the period.
After the following six drives went without a score, the River Hawks punctuated the victory in the closing moments, as Farrell punched it in from the 1-yard line for his third touchdown of the game.
Johnson said Farrell was thrust into a different role due to illness Friday night.
“I moved him [Farrell] to 3-back because we had a kid that was sick and he really just stepped up,” Johnson said. “He hasn’t played that position since freshman year and he came out and did that.”
The win marks a 2-0 start to the season for the River Hawks, who are not bashful about the expectations they tout this season with an experienced (and talented) group of student-athletes.
“We have some major goals,” Johnson said. “We want to win the district and go far into the playoffs and it all starts each week.”
Easton Valley (2-0) will host Central Elkader Friday night.
Morrison dominates in victory
MORRISON – Well, that’s one way to erase an early deficit.
After falling behind 6-0, the Morrison football team reeled off 54 consecutive points to beat Sherrard 54-6 Friday night.
The win pushes the Mustangs to a 2-0 start this season
During a stretch at the end of the first quarter and into the second, Morrison flashed its offensive weapons in a major way, collecting 24 total points in a five-play span.
Keegan Anderson caught an 80-yard pass from Nate Helms, Riley Wilkins had a 2-yard score and Anderson scored again, this time from 53 yards out. The Mustangs converted each two-point conversion.
Morrison (2-0) will travel to take on Riverdale Friday night.
Central DeWitt sinks in showdown
MAQUOKETA – The Sabers knew they would have their hands full in a non-district battle with the Cardinals.
They were right.
Playing without starting quarterback Henry Bloom, Central DeWitt yielded 24 consecutive points before scoring the first touchdown of the game to fall 29-7 in Maquoketa Friday night.
The loss drops the Sabers to 1-1.
After a scoreless first quarter, Sabers quarterback John McConohy scored a 5-yard touchdown to take a 7-0 lead. But a safety and two touchdowns in the span of 67 seconds sent Maquoketa into the intermission with a 16-7 lead that the Sabers never legitimately threatened.
Central DeWitt (1-1) will host Wahlert Friday.
Wilton 46, Northeast 7
Assumption 42, Wahlert 7
CPU 28, Mount Vernon 16
Solon 48, West Liberty 7
Vinton Shellsburg 36, Tipton 22