Pella Christian made sure not to stumble before next week’s big showdown with Mount Ayr, as the Eagles chalked up a resounding 45-15 win over Interstate-35 last night in Pella. Running back Bret Nieuwsma rushed for over 100 yards and four touchdowns and won the match-up between the top two backs in the district, who came into the game with 847 rushing yards apiece.
“We knew that. I’m sure they knew that. Our defense wanted to shut their guy [Ethan Calvert] down, hold him under a hundred yards; and our offense wanted to get Bret back over the hundred yard mark – and we accomplished that” said Assistant Coach Darryl De Ruiter after the game. “Bret got 108 and Calvert got 98, so now Bret’s up by ten yards on him for the District rushing title, and we’re pleased with that.”
One of the most impressive statistics of the night, though, was that the Eagles played penalty-free football for all four quarters. “That’s a tribute to our kids. That takes concentration, that takes focus and discipline, and to have no penalties for the game was wonderful,” added De Ruiter.
Pella Christian totaled 325 yards of total offense, including 217 on the ground, despite being out gained in time of possession by over nine minutes. On defense, the Eagles recovered three Roadrunner fumbles and snared one interception, while Nieuwsma led the team on that side of the ball as well with eight tackles.
Eagles’ kicker Trey Hugen controlled the field position game by sending several kickoffs into the end zone for touch backs, and also added a 28-yard field goal while just missing a would-be school record 42-yard attempt in the victory.
The 45-15 win over the Roadrunners moves Pella Christian to 6-1 overall and 5-0 in District 6 going into next week’s district title-deciding game at Mount Ayr. The Raiders are 4-1 in the district following their win over Pleasantville.