The Ottumwa Courier

Sports

October 13, 2012

S-K runs away with win

SIGOURNEY — Sigourney-Keota entered Friday night knowing two things for sure. One was a win over Cardinal would all but clinch a postseason berth.

With that win, S-K also knew they would have to send that game film to their potential postseason opponent.

“We wanted to give them something impressive to look at,” Kolton Greiner said.

S-K put their vaunted single-wing offense on display against the Comets, using it to gain 384 yards on the ground while looking virtually unstoppable at times. Greiner and quarterback Luke Lyle each ran for a pair of touchdowns as the Cobras rolled early and often to a 58-7 victory that all but assures S-K will be a part of the postseason in Class 1A.

“We’ve been struggling all season to put a complete game together. I think we’ve done in the past two weeks,” S-K head coach Jared Jensen said. “We told them all week it didn’t matter who we were playing, we had to put another solid effort together. It was big to keep things rolling and gain some confidence heading into next week.”

Next week, S-K (4-4, 3-2) will get a good look at what could be awaiting them in the postseason. The Savage Cobras will head to Iowa City Regina, the undefeated top-ranked team in Class 1A and two-time reigning 2A state champs, to wrap up the regular season.

“We told the guys don’t come in here this week without believing you can win this game,” Jensen said. “We’re going to prepare ourselves for a win this week.”

While S-K will take plenty of confidence into their matchup next Friday with the Regals, Cardinal (3-5, 0-5) is left searching for answers heading to a home game against West Branch. The Comets’ promising 3-1 start to Adam Hadenfeldt’s second season has turned into a struggle to the finish line with four straight losses by an average of almost 44 points a game.

“It just didn’t seem to have any energy. That’s what is really disappointing to me,” Hadenfeldt said. “We got off to another slow start and it’s almost like the guys were saying ‘here we go again,’”

Any early momentum that Cardinal could have gained went away immediately thanks to S-K’s defense. A sack of Comet quarterback Dakota Showman led to a fumble on the third play of the game that Brandon Stuhr grabbed out of the air and ran in for the Cobras’ first score of the night 51 seconds into the action.

“To start a game off like that defensively and get the guys pumped up was huge for us,” Jensen said. “That might have been the first time our defense has scored all season. It was a great play because it came from all our guys working to make that sack and force that turnover.”

“It certainly kind of burst our balloon right away,” Hadenfeldt added.

S-K kept deflating the Comets’ confidence with rushing attack. The single wing did it’s job from the first series of the night, hitting Cardinal with several outside runs before allowing Lyle to break free right down the middle on a quarterback keeper for a 61-yard touchdown run that put the Cobras up 16-0.

Things didn’t change after a 77-yard drive by the Comets, which ended with Nathan Yeager’s one-yard touchdown run on fourth down. Lyle struck again with a 40-yard scoring run through the middle of the Comet defense again, putting S-K up 24-7 through one quarter.

“Our line blocked great for us all night,” Lyle said after rushing for 148 yards in the contest, including 120 in the first half. “They gave me some huge holes to run through. That’s always fun when things open up right down the middle like that.”

“We knew how important it was going to be to establish ourselves up front right away,” S-K junior lineman Tucker Fowler added.

While the Cobras racked up the yards on the ground, Cardinal found little room to run throughout the night. The Comets gained just 85 yards of offense, including just 29 rushing yards with leading rushers Jonathan Pedersen and Showman forced into 21 yards lost on the ground.

“We have to decide what kind of program we want to be,” Hadenfeldt said. “We’re good enough to be the kind that wins two or three games a year. In this last week, we need to see if start becoming the kind that can compete with the likes of S-K and West Branch. This will be an important week for us as a program.”

S-K, meanwhile, will look to build momentum for postseason play after overcoming several key injuries to make it to this point.

“We’ve had 11 guys that were out for this game and we don’t know if we’ll get any of them back for the postseason,” Jensen said. “It’s just a matter of the next man coming in. Everyone’s that been called on has been able to step up for us.”

“We just can’t give up. We may have three or four starters out, but we just do the best we can to be prepared each and every Friday night.”

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