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Win No. 500 for Redhawk Football

August 31, 2018
CJ Eilers - Editor ( , Traer Star-Clipper

The North Tama Redhawks started the 2018 football season in high spirits as they achieved their 500th program win on Friday, Aug. 24 with a 69-6 decision over the North Mahaska Warhawks.

"Going into this game, we knew that North Mahaska is fairly young and inexperienced this season, so if we played well we'd be in good shape," Coach Tom McDermott said. "A lot of it was learning what we could do offensively and defensively."

In total, the Redhawks amassed 393 yards against the Warhawks, with 296 yards on the ground and 97 yards in the air. While there were only three catches on the night, seniors Cael Even and Tyler Morrison each scored on their plays and gain 48 and 44 yards respectively.

Article Photos

The North Tama Redhawwks celebrated the 500th win in program history after defeating North Mahaska 69-6 on Friday, Aug. 24 in New Sharon. Photo by Levi LaRue.

"We've worked on our screens to Tyler that pass and for Cael we thought we could run," McDermott said. "A little improvement is needed in running some of our routes. Because of the game situation, we didn't show any more in the second half, but we will need to throw the ball against different competition to take pressure off our running game."

As stated during the preseason by McDermott, the majority of the offense came from the run game, led by Hale Hulme with 81 yards on four carries and three touchdowns for the Redhawks. Morrison put up 41 yards on six carries, followed closely Noah Bond with 36 yards on seven carries and one touchdown, Gabe Kopriva for 33 yards on three carries and a touchdown, Luke Pennell for 31 yards on two carries and a touchdown and Zach Greiner for 28 yards on seven carries and a touchdown.

"Our overall execution on offense was very good," McDermott said. "Our quarterbacks took charge of the offense and we did well executing our blocking assignments. Our backs ran hard and did a good job in that respect. We're planning to be a running team like I said earlier and have some areas to improve on first. There were things we didn't show and didn't need to."

On defense, Cory Isenhower led with five total tackles (four solo); Skyler Staker, Luke Pennell and Noah Bond with 3.5 tackles each; 2.5 tackles by Jack Dostal and two tackles by Tate Payne. Even, Greiner and Pennell each recorded an interception, with Even's a pick six for the Redhawks.

"I thought we were very aggressive like I hoped we'd be," McDermott said. "Other than a couple of breakdowns when North Mahaska scored, we had good coverage and were able to hold their running back to -11 yards."

However, the biggest story of the night was North Tama reaching a milestone with its 500th win in program history, 88 of which McDermott was responsible in coaching in. Fans celebrated with a large 500 banner as the game came to a conclusion.

"It's obviously a big milestone and I felt our team did a really nice job of using that as motivation," McDermott said. "We talked about it a lot during our preseason and our fans also really bought into it. Seeing all this enthusiasm was a neat thing. After the game, I told our players 500 is great, but 501 is even better."

Even with the motivation of a 500th program win out the door, McDermott hopes to continue the momentum through a non-district schedule that can help their record before heading into a tough district that features several ranked squads in A football. Fortunately for the Redhawks, the team appears to be "basically injury free" and were able to get a vast majority of their roster varsity snaps against North Mahaska.

"We need to focus on improving on things we're doing ok with, but not quite at the level we'll need, like blocking, pass coverage and route running," McDermott said. "From the beginning of the season, you keep expanding what you do offensively and likewise on defense, so we'll build on what we have and tweak things our opponents expect us to do."

North Tama will play their first home game of the season against Lisbon on Friday, Aug. 31 with varsity kicking off at 7 p.m.



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