Blue Demons break through in home opener

Members of the Albia Blue Demon football team break a huddle during high school football action at Paul Johnson Field in Centerville on Sept. 3. After suffering back-to-back road losses to open the season at Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont and Centerville, Albia returned home this past Friday to earn a 54-0 win over Central Lee.

ALBIA – There's no place like home for the Albia Blue Demons.

After traveling up and down Highway 5 during the first two weeks of the season, suffering tough road rivalry losses to Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont and Centerville, Albia dominated their home opener on Friday against Central Lee. The Blue Demons scored 34 points in the very first quarter of play at Ironman Field in 2021, routing the visiting Hawks 54-0 to build some much-needed momentum heading into Class 2A, District 7 action this Friday night.

Albia will host Roland-Story this Friday in the 2021 Homecoming game for the Blue Demons. The Norsemen will be looking to bounce back after allowing 50 unanswered points over the final three quarters of a 60-7 loss at Nevada, falling to 1-2 on the season.

Garin Grinstead completed seven of his nine pass attempts in the game for Albia, including four touchdown passes and 226 total passing yards. Four different Blue Demon receivers caught touchdown passes, including Wyatt Beckwith who led Albia with 90 yards gained on two catches including a 77-yard touchdown reception.

Gage Oddo led a productive night on the ground for the Blue Demons, rushing for 151 yards on 10 carries including three touchdown runs. Albia racked up 436 total yards of offense in the game while allowing just 24 total yards to Central Lee.

Van Buren County 57, Louisa-Muscatine 12

KEOSAUQUA – The Warriors took advantage of the mistake-prone Falcons, scoring two early touchdowns following fumbles by Louisa-Muscatine setting the tone for a dominant night clinching Van Buren County's first multi-win football season since 2014.

Jackson Manning threw four touchdown passes for the Warriors, making the most of five completed passes that accounted for 170 yards while scoring a fifth touchdown on a nine-yard run in the second half. Anthony Duncan scored three touchdowns for the Warriors, catching three passes from Manning for 112 yards including a pair of touchdown receptions helping Van Buren County open an 18-0 lead after one quarter and a 34-0 halftime lead.

Wyatt Mertens led the Warriors on the ground, gaining 171 yards on nine carries and a pair of touchdowns. Brant Tedrow set the defensive tone for Van Buren County, recording 14 total tackles including three sacks and a forced fumble on Louisa-Muscatine's first possession, setting up an eight-yard touchdown pass from Manning to Lukas McEntee just 78 seconds into the game.

Van Buren County (2-1) heads to Pella Christian (3-0) on Friday.

Pleasantville 21, EBF 14

EDDYVILLE – Trevor Daggett scored an early defensive touchdown for the Trojans, the first of two early interceptions for Pleasantville setting the tone for a decisive first half that featured four Rocket turnovers leading directly to 14 total points.

Blayton Nilles picked off a pair of passes in the first half for Pleasantville with the first leading to a 29-yard touchdown pass from Parker Sheets to Caleb Cook, giving the Trojans a 12-0 lead. Pleasantville also recorded a safety midway through the second quarter and built a 21-0 lead after Jake De Joode's 17-yard touchdown run that ultimately proved to be the difference in the game.

EBF got back in the game in the third quarter on touchdown runs by Jesse Cornelison and Hunter McFadden. Cornelison rushed for 87 yards on 23 carries to led the Rockets while McFadden added 86 yards on 15 carries, helping EBF drive late in the game for a potential tying or winning touchdown before a fumble recovery by Peyton Major clinched the win for Pleasantville.

EBF (1-2) heads to Wellman this Friday to face off with Mid-Prairie in an important early 2A, District 6 contest.

Fort Madison 55, Fairfield 14

FORT MADISON – Fort Madison scored on its first three possessions of the game, putting away the Trojans in the battle of Southeast Iowa rivals seeking 3-0 starts to their respective football seasons.

Tate Johnson returned the opening kickoff of the second half for a touchdown, building a 27-0 lead for the Bloodhounds early in the third quarter. Tate Allen accounted for both of Fairfield's two touchdowns in the second, scoring on a one-yard run to put the Trojans on the board before finding Evan Haines for a 19-yard touchdown pass.

Allen passed for 165 yards on 9-26 passing while rushing for 31 yards against Fort Madison. Tate Richardson led Fairfield in receiving yards with 57 in the loss.

Fairfield (2-1) hosts Knoxville this Friday. The Trojans knocked off the Panthers, 15-7, at Trojan Stadium in last year's season opener.

North Cedar 26, Pekin 9

NORTH CEDAR – Jaxon Sander passed for three touchdowns, including a 73-yard scoring strike to Davonte Crist, putting away the Panthers in the second half.

Crist caught five passes from Sander for 146 yards. Colton Comstock scored Pekin's lone touchdown in the second quarter on a rushing score, accounting for 77 total yards, while Zachary Hadley picked up a pair of tackles for loss for the Panthers as a safety proved to be the only points Pekin would score after halftime.

Pekin (0-3) hosts Wapello this Friday.

Mormon Trail 40, Moravia 22

GARDEN GROVE – Ty Hysell found Gabe Stripe for a pair of touchdowns passes, passing for 290 total yards against the Mohawks pulling away in the second half.

Stripe hauled in five receptions for 133 yards for Mormon Trail. Moravia hosts Twin Cedars this Friday as part of the Fall Festival weekend as both the Mohawks and Sabers will be battling for a first win this season after 0-3 starts.

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