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Reivers Shutout Ellsworth 61-0
By Tony Boone, firstname.lastname@example.org
IOWA FALLS – Iowa Western didn’t get the quick start it was looking for Saturday, but a special teams play early in the second quarter gave the Reivers the spark they needed.
Jimmy Hawk partially blocked a punt on the first snap of the period. Marcus Montgomery caught the ball on the fly at midfield and raced 50 yards to double IWCC’s lead to 14-0.
The No. 3 Reivers rolled from there, blanking Ellsworth 61-0 at Cadet Field. School officials and home fans at the stadium couldn’t recall the Panthers ever being shut out in a game.
“I felt we were going to be able to wear them down,” IWCC coach Scott Strohmeier said. “I knew it was going to be tough going early just because of what they were going to do to us. I was disappointed that we didn’t come out with the enthusiasm that we need.”
The Reivers (3-0, 2-0) struggled offensively through the opening quarter of their first Midwest Football Conference road game of the season. They eventually moved in front when Connor Bravard hit Geronimo Allison for a 13-yard touchdown with 1:38 left in the period.
A short time later, Hawk came through the line to get a piece of the ball and Ellsworth punter Dayton Balvanz after he had bobbled a low snap. The ball went straight up, traveled less than 15 yards and went right to Montgomery, who raced down the sideline for the score.
“I saw the punter fumbling the snap so I just thought I’d get there as fast as I could to try to block it,” Hawk said. “I didn’t know whether I was going to tackle him because I was there so early or lay out for it so I kind of did all of them. Somehow, it hit off of me and we scored.”
Hawk nearly blocked another punt later in the half. Ellsworth kicked it away 10 times in the game, including the block, and had another attempt go through the end zone for a safety.
The Panthers also turned the ball over three times in the game. Montgomery, after his TD, came up with two of them, one on an interception and one on a fumble recovery.
“That’s how we practice, flying around to the football and everybody making plays,” he said. “It all started up front with that D-line creating havoc and stopping the run early. It allowed me to make plays, flying around and getting some turnovers.”
The Reiver defense limited Ellsworth to just 98 total yards in the game on 63 total plays. The closest the Panthers came to scoring was when Javin Kilgo threw a fourth-down incompletion at the IWCC 17 with 3:55 remaining.
Bravard threw for 207 yards and three touchdowns – to Allison, Brock Hinkel and Alex Reed – to pace the Iowa Western offense. Akise Teague ran for 111 yards and a touchdown while Tay Bender threw for a score and ran for another.
The Reivers finished with 605 total yards in their second straight blowout win in MFC play this season. The teams meet again in Council Bluffs on Oct. 19 for IWCC’s Homecoming.
“We’re playing these guys again,” Strohmeier said. “If you give them any life, they have even more confidence coming the next time. If you put them away, they’re dreading three hours (of drive time).”
Iowa Western (3-0, 2-0) 7 21 21 12 – 61
Ellsworth (0-2, 0-2) 0 0 0 0 – 0
IWCC: Geronimo Allison 13 pass from Connor Bravard (Danny Hamilton kick)
IWCC: Marcus Montgomery 50 blocked punt return (Hamilton kick)
IWCC: Akise Teague 32 run (Hamilton kick)
IWCC: Malcom Moore 42 pass from Tay Bender (Hamilton kick)
IWCC: Brock Hinkel 2 pass from Bravard (Hamilton kick)
IWCC: Ian Begg 5 run (Hamilton kick)
IWCC: Alex Reed 32 pass from Bravard (Hamilton kick)
IWCC: Bender 14 run (Hamilton kick)
IWCC: FG Hamilton 20
IWCC: Safety, punt snap through end zone.
IWCC, Teague 12-111, Begg 11-59, Bender 10-52, White 8-27, Hillyer 4-29, Bravard 1-6.
ECC, Brown 13-21, Calhoun 12-34, Kilgo 9-(-40), Gilbert 8-61, Merchant 5-5, Team 1-(-19).
IWCC, Bravard 14-31-1 207, Bender 5-5-0 100, Culjat 1-1-0 15.
ECC, Kilgo 2-10-0 20, Brown 2-5-1 21.
IWCC, Allison 5-64, Hinkel 3-62, Moore 3-51, Schleuger 3-20, Smith 2-42, Reed 1-32, Johnson 1-22, Sehl 1-17, Hillyer 1-12.
ECC, Wiles 2-21, DiTomaso 1-17, Ross 1-3.