The North Tama Redhawks entered the week with a 3-1 overall record and jockeying for position in the Class A District 4 standings. After a 56-0 humiliation of Iowa Valley last Friday night, the boys now sit in the driver's seat for a district title.
The game marked the end of homecoming week for the Redhawks, and looked to be a competitive one on paper. Iowa Valley entered the contest with an identical 3-1 record and a good rushing attack. But that's why games aren't played on paper.
North Tama found a potent rushing attack of their own, largely on the strength of several big runs from senior Dalton Hulme. Jacob Wrage also continued his dominant rushing performance from the quarterback position.
Senior Dalton Hulme ran for over 130 yards on the day and punched in three touchdowns on the ground the help give the Redhawks some of the offensive balance they’ve been searching for all season. Hulme, seen at left breaking some tackles en route to a big run in the first quarter, was an integral part of the big homecoming win for North Tama, which also saw the return of several key players from injury.
It took the Redhawks little time to get the offense going. Wrage took it in from three yards out after an easy drive less than two minutes into the first quarter. Three minutes later, he connected with Jacob Watson on a 14-yard pass. An extra point by the ever-reliable Tanner Swanger made it 14-0 less than halfway through the first quarter.
Dalton Hulme had the first of his three rushing touchdowns on the day with a 21-yard run later in the quarter, which was followed up by Wrage's 38-yard scamper in the quarter's waning minutes. The Redhawks led 28-0 after just one quarter of play.
In the second, Wrage connected with Damon Spencer on a nice touchdown throw to put North Tama up 35-0, and Hulme punched in another score from four yards out.
Paul Kaufmann energized the crowed with a 41-yard interception return, getting stopped just short of the goal line with a few minutes remaining in the half. The Redhawks led 42-0 at the break.
Following the homecoming fesitivities at halftime in which Shannon Stuart was named 2012 Homecoming Queen, the Redhawks took the field looking to tame a Tiger squad that was sure to make halftime adjustments. Unfortunately for Iowa Valley, it looked as if most of the team had already left the field, in spirit at least.
Hulme scored another touchdown on the ground to break any hopes of an Iowa Valley comeback, and the Redhawks were content to run the ball and eat up clock, coasting to the 56-0 win.
Jacob Wrage finished with 143 yards and two touchdowns through the air on 8-of-9 passing. Wrage also supplemented the rushing offense provided by Hulme, finishing with 118 yards and two rushing touchdowns of his own. Sophomore Kelon Hansen also made the most of his opportunity, running for 52 yards and a touchdown in the second half.
Jacob Watson led the team in receiving yards with 60, including a long grab for a touchdown. Brent Billerbeck returned from an ankle injury and had a nice 47-yard reception in the contest. Mitchell Boerm, perhaps the focus of a little extra defensive attention this time around, finished with one catch for 15 yards.
On the defensive end, senior linebacker Nolan Hefty once again led the team in tackles with nine. Skyler Kvidera and freshman Caden Stuart also had seven tackles apiece.
The Redhawks now sit atop the District 4 rankings with a 4-1 overall record and a 2-0 mark within the district. The boys take their act on the road for the next two weeks, beginning with a contest against BCLUW (1-3, 0-1) this Friday, September 21, at 7 p.m.