By ROGER THOMAS
---- — SIGOURNEY – The Sigourney-Keota Cobras rushed the ball 50 times for 332 yards as they downed the Pella Christian Eagles in non-district football action Friday night in Sigourney. It wasn't just the 50 attempts or the 332 yards that stood out. The Cobras were as efficient on offense as a team could be in the 40-21 win.
S-K had three big returns by Kolton Greiner that gave them good field position. They ended three drives with touchdown passes. They took advantage of both short-field situations they had and scored on four drives that were 65 yards or longer.
When you factor in no turnovers, you have an offense that was running on all cylinders.
S-K opened the scoring on their first drive. Greiner and Nate Sieren combined for 55 yards rushing in the drive but it was a 10-yard scoring pass from Blaine Gretter to Greiner that gave the Cobras the early 7-0 lead. S-K would hold that lead at the end of quarter number one.
The visitors tied it at seven as the Eagles completed an 11-play drive early in the second. S-K helped the visitors by committing two of their nine penalties in the drive.
S-K coach Jared Jensen commented on one of the few things that didn't go right for the Cobras on the night.
“We had way too many penalties and we put the ball on the ground more than we would like but our offensive execution was good enough to cover up for those mistakes,” Jensen said.
S-K answered with a nine-play scoring drive to take a 13-7 lead just past the midpoint of the second quarter. The drive started at the Eagles 31-yard line after a 67-yard kickoff return by Greiner. At this point in the game, Greiner had already hurt the Eagles in every way possible as an offensive player.
“I think I’m better running the ball out in space because I can use my vision and speed and a lot of it just comes naturally to me,” said Greiner.
Cole Streigle and Peyton Crawford joined Greiner running the ball and the trio combined for 37 yards rushing but again the Cobras scored via the pass. Gretter hit Streigle with the 12-yard scoring pass.
S-K again started a drive in plus territory after a Crawford interception. The Cobras started at the Pella Christian 33. The six-play drive ended with a three-yard run by Crawford.
The Eagles were forced to punt but a 69-yard boot by Nate Haveman went for a touchback and forced the Cobras to start from their own 20. No problem as Greiner and Streigle each had a 10-yard runs for first downs.
Gretter ended the drive with his third scoring pass. This time it covered 44 yards to Greiner. Sieren ran in the extra point conversion and S-K led 27-7 with just 13 seconds left in the opening half.
“We have expanded our passing game a little because our offensive line has really improved their pass blocking,” said Jensen.
Coaches always talk to their teams about the first few minutes of the final half as being the most important minutes of the game. The Cobras listened and for all practical purposes, put the game out of reach with an eight-play 80 yard drive to open the final half. Streigle and Sieren combined for 80 yards rushing as S-K went up 33-7
Streigle ended the drive with an 18-yard touchdown run. Many of Streigle's runs saw him punish a would-be tackler or carry a couple of guys for a couple more yards before going down.
“That’s how I like to run,” said Streigle. “The line did a great job, so there weren’t many adjustments needed in the hole.”
S-K’s defense stopped the Eagles on downs on the 13th play of the visitors’ next drive to give the ball back to the Cobra offense. One of the leaders on the defense was linebacker Jeremiah Green.
“I think my small size and speed are an advantage for me. I just read the play and get to the ball,” Green said.
The Eagles returned the favor, stopping the Cobras’ next drive and scored to cut the Cobra lead to 33-14. S-K answered with another time-consuming drives, going nine plays covering 72 yards for a 40-14 lead.
The offensive line, as they had all game, led the Cobras down the field. Seven of the nine plays were running plays. Crawford, Sieren, and Greiner followed the big guys up front for 57 yards in the drive.
“Our assignments are pretty basic in our offense,” said Tucker Fowler. “We were just quick off the ball and had really good timing with our backs.”
“Our offensive line has done a great job and they are a really coachable group,” added Jensen.
Greiner scored his third touchdown on a three-yard run. Pella Christian (3-2) added a touchdown to bring the final to 40-21. All that did was make the game look closer than it really was.
S-K moved to 4-1 over-all and remains 1-1 in the Class 1A, District 6. The Savage Cobras will be on the road next Friday at West Branch for a tough, crucial district matchup.
Sigourney-Keota 40, Pella Christian 21
P.C. 00 7 00 14 – 21
S-K 7 20 6 7 – 40
Scoring By Quarters
SK – Gretter 10 yard pass to Greiner (Colby Kerkove kick)
PC – Dillon Branderhorst 2 yard run (Jacob Brouwer kick)
SK – Gretter 12 yard pass to Streigle (kick blocked)
SK – Crawford 3 yard run (XP pass incomplete) SK – Gretter 44 yard pass to Greiner. (Sieren run)
SK – Streigle 18 yard run (kick blocked)
PC – Branderhorst 14 yard run (Brouuwer kick)
SK – Greiner 3 yard run (Greiner kick)
PC – Mason Howerzyl 5 yard run (Brouwer kick)
First downs 16 25
Rushes-yards 44-212 50-332
Passing yards 51 86
Total Yards 263 418
Comp-Att-Int 5-12-1 5-9-0
Return Yards 7-77 x4126
Fumbles-Lost 2-0 4-0
Penalties-Yds 5-40 9-65
RUSHING – Mason Howerzyl 24-99 yards, Carson Dugger 2-22 yards, Miles Wichhart 11-64 yards, Coltin Collins 2-(-6) yards, Dillon Branderhorst 5-33 yards.
PASSING – Collins 5-12, 51 yards.
RECEIVING – Branderhorst 1-0 yards, Jake De Ruiter 1-15 yards, Dugger 2-16 yards, Howerzyl 1-20 yards.
TACKLE LEADERS – Zach Van Zee 14.
RUSHING – Kolton Greiner 7-50 yards, Nate Sieren 20-106 yards, Cole Streigle 10-126 yards, Blaine Gretter 3-(-6) yards, Derek Berg 2-0 yards, Peyton Crawford 8-56 yards.
PASSING – Gretter 5-9, 86 yards.
RECEIVING – Greiner 3-59 yards, Kevin Weber 1-15 yards, Streigle 1-12 yards.
INTERCEPTIONS – Crawford.
TACKLE LEADERS – Crawford 11, Jeremiah Green 10.