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Redhawks stun Lisbon 49-0 in home opener

September 6, 2018
CJ Eilers - Editor ( , Traer Star-Clipper

After capturing their 500th program win last week, the North Tama Redhawks returned to Dennis Field on Friday, Aug. 31 as they knocked down the Lisbon Lions 49-0 in front of an excited home crowd.

"It's nice to get a win on our home field, especially our home opener," coach Tom McDermott said. "We knew with Lisbon's defense they really like to blitz with linebackers on the inside, so used motion with an extra blocker to help. The big thing with their offense was their quarterback executed the option really well. We worked a great deal on our assignments and making sure we stopped the quarterback. Our kids did what we asked of them and that's what we want."

The Redhawks opened scoring early and often with a six yard run by Tyler Morrison minutes into the game to go up 7-0 early. As the Lions made their way down the field looking to answer, a prepared Luke Pennell picked off what could have an important reception for Lisbon and put North Tama back on their own 10 yard line. A 28 yard catch by Zach Greiner help get the Redhawks back down the field only to fumble the ball in the red zone. Rather than give up the previous drive, Cory Isenhower came up with a fumble recovery to get the ball right back. Quarterback Hale Hulme punched in another touchdown with less than two minute in the quarter to go up 14-0.

Article Photos

Luke Pennell intercepts a Lisbon pass during North Tama’s home opener on Friday, Aug. 31. Pennell also recorded 3.5 tackles in the 49-0 rout of Lisbon.

"Besides their quarterback, we identified their tight end as as their other big weapon and let them the complete a pass downfield on their first play of game," McDermott said. "We came back and did a nice job of covering. That was a good effort by Pennell on that interception. Our defensive line must have done a good job of pressuring the quarterback to make that happen."

The second quarter saw plenty of action for the Redhawks as they scored four touchdowns in those 12 minutes of play alone. Morrison again had a short run to the goal line at the 10:06 mark, followed by Hulme with a score off a 62 yard punt return. Hulme would continue to make the Redhawk offense sing with a 23 yard touchdown pass to Tate Payne with 41 seconds remaining in the half, but not before a 30 yard run by Morrison early. By the time the halftime buzzer sounded, the Redhawks were up 42-0.

"Hale Hulme had a tremendous all around game in every aspect," McDermott said. "Seven extra points, throws a touchdown pass, returns a punt for a touchdown. It's was one heck of a ballgame."

As the third quarter began and a continuous clock counted down the game swiftly, the Redhawks elected to have fresh faces get reps on the field and rest the starters. One big play still remained for North Tama as quarterback Skyler Staker connected with Morrison for a 35 yard touchdown pass. All PAT attempts by Hulme were successful, only adding on to what would be a 19 total points for him and 24 for Morrison on the night.

"Tyler Morrison ran very well for us," McDermott said. "Tate Payne had a nice reception for a touchdown. Our pass blocking was good, our run blocking at times needed to be fixed. Defensively, Cory Isenhower is always in their giving opponents trouble. Our linebackers-Skyler Staker, Luke Pennell, Zach Greiner, Noah Bond, Jack Dostal-all did a nice job with their assignments. We had good hitting tonight."

In the running game for North Tama, Morrison led with 136 yards on 14 carries, followed by Hulme with 46 yards on eight carries and Gabe Kopriva getting valuable minutes in the second half to record 40 yards on three carries. All three receiving plays for the Redhawks netted 23+ yards, with Morrison's touchdown catch coming at 35 yards, Greiner with 28 yards and Payne with the 23 yard catch.

On defense, Noah Bond led the way with five tackles (four solo); Pennell, Griner, Isenhower, Xander Bradley and Caleb DeBoef with 3.5 tackles each and a host of other Redhawks getting in on the action.

The Redhawks will enter District play on Friday as they travel to Wapsie Valley and host Hudson the following week for Homecoming.

"As I look at it our district, there are three or four teams that ranked in our state that we'll play," McDermott said. "We'll focus on one game at a time like we've done so far. Wapsie Valley has a strong tradition of outstanding teams. We've played them six times in the past and have never beat them. Seeing as we've tuned into milestones this year, it would be a good milestone to beat them. They are well coached, hard on defense and this year throwing the ball more than they have in the past. We need to be ready for them in our district opener."

North Tama is 2-0 at the start of the season for the first time since 2011 and have outscored those opponents 118-6, but McDermott is more than aware that those numbers will be just about impossible to maintain against ranked opponents and on the road.

"I think we've gained what I hoped we would with these two games, and that's a lot of confidence," McDermott said. "We have confidence in what we can do offensively, defensively and in our kicking game. We can use that to build on and move into our district schedule."



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