GILBERTVILLE – The River Hawks knew they would have a tough task taking on the No. 1 team in the state.
The Don Bosco run game was too much for the Easton Valley defense, answering every move that the River Hawks were able to make. The Dons finished with 370 rushing yards, knocking the River Hawks out of the postseason in the Iowa 8-players quarterfinals.
Easton Valley fell 67-28 on Friday in Gilbertville.
The Dons proved right away why their defense is ranked as the best in the state. Senior quarterback Nate Trenkamp threw three quick snaps to three different receivers and each time the reception was covered immediately by the blue and gold of Don Bosco.
It was a quick three and out for the River Hawks, which is rare for the most prolific offense in the state.
The Dons came down and started with a march down the field, led by dual threat quarterback Cael Frost. A 15-yard penalty committed by Easton Valley set up a 15-yard touchdown pass for Don Bosco. Frost capped things off with a 2-point conversion run, giving the Dons an early 8-0 lead.
Once again, the River Hawks struggled to get anything going on offense. Porter Fuegen moved the ball inches from a first down, but two plays in a row and the Easton Valley couldn’t push the ball a yard, turning it over to the hands of Frost once again.
The Dons added to their lead, missing this 2-point conversion but extending the lead to 14-0. The River Hawks had the ball at their own 5-yard line, looking at a long field with no offensive momentum.
That didn’t stop them. Trenkamp found his first long pass of the night, getting the ball into the wide open hands of Logan House right around midfield.
A couple of long launches went uncaught until Cade Jargo pulled one down. That put things in place for Fuegen to make an 8-yard run and push points across the board for the River Hawks.
The River Hawks had a decent position to start the second quarter, but Nate Trenkamp threw his first interception of the game.
A huge defensive effort came out of the River Hawks after the interception, including huge stops. It ended with a high snap in the endzone, giving the River Hawks the safety and the possession, now trailing just 14-8.
A second interception, this one on a pass to House near the end zone, and the Dons had the ball back. On the first play of the series, Frost broke free of tackle after tackle and carried the ball an impressive 70 yards to stop the Easton Valley momentum and extend the Don Bosco lead to 22-8.
The River Hawks trailed by 30-8 by the time they went into the locker rooms for the half.
To start the second half, the Dons broke for a big run, getting them within striking distance on the River Hawks’ 20-yard line, but Parker Olsen jumped on a Don Bosco fumble, putting the River Hawks close to midfield for their first possession of the half, but another River Hawk turnover passed the ball back to the Dons.
That led to the first points of the second half, giving the Dons a 38-8 lead.
Trenkamp connected for a touchdown on the next drive, a 30-yard snap to Cade Jargo. But the Dons extended the lead back to 32 on the very next possession.
With 1:40 left in the third quarter, the River Hawks picked up another score with a touchdown pass to Kolton Murphy, but they still had a 46-20 deficit to erase in just one period.
Yet another answer from the Dons put the game even more out of reach.
The River Hawks end their season in the quarterfinals with an overall record of 9-2. Their only two losses come to Don Bosco and Turkey Valley, both of whom are still playing in the 8-man playoffs and heading to the semifinals at the UNI-Dome.