Behind the success of a 28-point second quarter of play for the second straight week, the Pella Christian Eagles built enough of a cushion to hold out for a 48-21 win last night in Pella over Colfax-Mingo. The Tigerhawks lit up the scoreboard first, though, as running back Justin Fisher sprinted for a 69-yard touchdown run just 37 seconds into the game. Pella Christian bounced back on the ensuing drive, which was capped off by a 30-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Nikkel to Will Vande Voort.
There were no more scores until the second quarter, when the Eagles’ offense exploded for four touchdowns, coming on two, one-yard runs by Bret Nieuwsma and TD passes of 20 and 22-yards to Trey Hugen and Sam Tvedt, respectively. Nieuwsma would finish the night with 208 yards rushing on 31 carries, while Hugen and Tvedt combined for 11 receptions for 169 total yards.
Pella Christian opened up the second half with a 35-7 lead, and quickly scored on 15-yard pass from Nikkel to Hugen, but missed the extra point to just miss enacting the 35-point continuous clock rule. Despite trailing 41-7, Colfax-Mingo remained resilient and found a surge in momentum; coming in the form of a 40-yard fumble return for a touchdown after Pella Christian’s Adam Howerzyl (HOW-ur-ZILE) was sacked and lost the football. The Tigerhawks punched in another score from one yard out to open the fourth quarter, and trailed 41-21 as the game began to wind down. The Eagles weren’t quite done, though, as the second team rallied for one final scoring drive, which ended in a 5-yard toucdown run by Caleb Morgan with eight seconds left in the game.
Pella Christian finished the game with 533 yards of total offense, including 303 rushing yards – thanks mostly to Bret Nieuwsma’s big night. Comparatively, Colfax-Mingo tallied 289 yards of total offense, with quarterback Dylan Berkey completing 19 of 28 passes for 186 yards and threw two interceptions. On the other side of the field, Pella Christian’s Kyle Nikkel also threw two interceptions, but finished the night 16 of 24 for 230 yards and four touchdowns. Despite out-gaining Colfax-Mingo by nearly 250 yards and having more than twice as many first downs (33 to 16), the Eagles had possession of the ball for nearly three minutes less than the Tigerhawks.
Defensively, Nieuwsma’s eight tackles was tops for Pella Christian, with fellow linebacker Collin De Bruin right behind with seven stops. Nieuwsma, Kyle De Ronde and Caleb Morgan also recorded one sack apiece.
With the victory, Pella Christian is 6-1 overall and 4-1 in District 7; and remain in second place behind Bondurant-Farrar, who picked up a solid 27-13 win over Interstate-35 last night. Up next for the Eagles is their second long road trip of the year to Southwest Iowa, where they will face a winless Shenandoah team.