North Tama had the distinct honor of playing the first game on Wartburg College's new field turf Saturday night. Nashua-Plainfield had the honor of handing the Redhawks their worst loss in eight years.
North Tama was dominated on both sides of the ball during a 48-0 thrashing at the hands of the Huskies, who the Redhawks beat handily just one year ago on the same field.
What a difference a year makes. North Tama graduated 16 players who saw regular playing time last season, and it showed on the field. The Redhawks' inexperience, coupled with a potent Huskies rushing attack, led to a beatdown of historic proportions.
Sophomore wide receiver Riley Rohach uses a nice block from senior Omar Martinez to gain positive yardage on a 13-yard reception during the first quarter of Saturday night’s game against Nashua-Plainfield.
The last time North Tama was on the wrong end of a shutout came in 2007, when the team fell 47-0 to Wapsie Valley in a playoff contest. The Redhawks narrowly missed a historic mark for futility, which came in their 1994 49-0 regular-season loss to Hudson.
Despite the tough outing, there were positives for North Tama. Brody Hulme, the junior quarterback who saw limited action last year, got valuable playing experience and will continue to assert himself as a team leader with each and every snap. Hulme was 5-of-12 with 52 yards through the air.
Omar Martinez displayed good speed and the ability to break tackles both in the receiving and returning game. Martinez finished with three receptions for 32 yards.
Brandon Kaufman found little in the way of running room, but will be able to break some big runs this season if blocking improves.
For coach Dan Oltman, the success of this year's team depends largely on getting back to basics.
"We need to make sure this week when we prepare for Week 1 that we focus on the fundamentals," Oltman told the Times-Republican after the game. "We got tired and when we got tired we lost our focus, and when we lose out focus the fundamentals kind of go by the wayside. We need to focus on the fundamentals this week in practice."
The Redhawks may need a little luck to go along with their hard work-North Tama visits Class 1A powerhouse Aplington-Parkersburg in what could be an even more lopsided contest if play doesn't improve dramatically.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. in Parkersburg.