ALBIA – It was announced as the longest halftime in the history of the Albia football program.

It made no difference to the Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont Rockets, who made the most of their second trip in four days to Ironman Field. Thane Alexander threw a pair of touchdown passes in the fourth quarter, including a 70-yard strike to Ian Roberts, as EBF earned an emotional 35-14 road win to officially open Class 2A, District 6 play on Monday.

The Rockets sat on a 14-0 lead throughout the weekend after officials decided to postpone the second half of the game on Friday night. Thunderstorms around the area forced the first half of the game to be delayed moments after EBF’s opening drive culminated with a 22-yard touchdown pass from Alexander to Roberts that put EBF up 7-0 in the first quarter.

Alexander had a three-yard touchdown run with just over a minute left in the first half shortly before the second delay that forced the postponement of the second half. EBF players and coaches used the weekend to emotionally adjust to the loss of teammate Mason Roberts, who was in Iowa City on Monday recovering after suffering a concussion Friday against the Blue Demons.

Albia (0-5, 0-1) opened the second half on Monday driving down the field and scoring a touchdown when Blake Chance connected with Nate Wynn from 10 yards out on fourth down to pull the Blue Demons within 14-7 midway through the third quarter. EBF (2-3, 1-0) quickly responded when Ethan Olivas returned the ensuing kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown, giving the Rockets a 21-7 lead.

Olivas was also part of another key special teams play early in the fourth quarter after Albia initially stopped the Rockets on their own 15-yard-line. After roughing Olivas on a punt that would have given the Blue Demons the ball near midfield, EBF turned the automatic first down into a back-breaking touchdown when Roberts, Mason’s brother, collected a pass over the middle and ran past Albia defenders for his second touchdown, giving the junior 100 receiving yards in the contest.

Alexander would finish the night throwing completing seven of 12 pass attempts for 163 yards and two touchdowns to go along with 15 carries for 70 yards and a score for the Rockets. Chance threw the ball 45 times in the loss for the Blue Demons, completing 21 passes including a 56-yard touchdown pass to Blake Stewart who had nine receptions for 222 yards. Chance had 308 yards passing, two touchdowns and two interceptions.

Mason Roberts, who rushed 13 yards on four carries before suffering his concussion on Friday, is expected to be back home on Tuesday according to his younger brother. EBF will host Davis County at Ike Ryan Field this Friday night while Albia will host Central Lee in 2A, District 6 action.

Van Buren secures first win

COLUMBUS – J.T. Metcalf caught a four-yard touchdown pass and ran in for a second score from a yard out as the Van Buren football team secured its first win of the 2019 campaign. Conner Helling’s three-yard touchdown run with five seconds left in the first half proved to be the difference in an 18-12 road win at Columbus on Monday in Class 1A, District 5 action.

The Warriors (1-4, 1-0) will host No. 10 (1A) Sigourney-Keota (5-0, 1-0) this Friday night in Keosauqua.

— Scott Jackson can be reached at sjackson@ottumwacourier.com. Follow him on Twitter@CourierScott.

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