Pella Christian’s inability to finish drives, combined with North Polk’s powerful rushing attack, resulted in a 42-7 North Polk win over Pella Christian in the Class 2A Playoffs last night in a game heard live on kniakrls.com .
The Eagles had several opportunities throughout the first half, but came up empty after three lengthy drives. North Polk, however, took full advantage of their opportunities scoring on a 59-yard run by leading rusher Noah Pickard, and two rushing touchdowns by quarterback Kyle Stillmunkes to build up a 21-0 halftime lead.
The second half wasn’t much different, as the Comets got two more rushing touchdowns from Pickard to take a 35-0 lead just seconds into the fourth quarter, which forced a running clock.
The Eagles finally found some offense less than a minute later when Caleb Morgan broke loose for a 73-yard touchdown run, which ended the running clock and brought some energy back to the sidelines and home fans. That feeling did not last long, though, as Pickard took the ensuing kickoff back 93 yards to put the finishing touches on the Comet victory.
Eagles’ assistant coach Darryl De Ruiter said after the game that his team just got outplayed.
“We had the start that we wanted. In fact, we had three really good drives in the first half, but we just couldn’t finish a drive. Defensively we never stopped them all night,” said De Ruiter.
“We had them scouted well, had three great practices, but we just got out-manned. They beat us in every facet of the game: offense, defense, and special teams.”
The Eagles were held to just 205 yards in total offense, while the Comets racked up 436 yards – 358 of which came on the ground.
Caleb Morgan had a huge game running the football for Pella Christian gaining 158 yards on 20 carries, while Nate Tvedt, the leading rusher for the season, was held to just 13 yards on nine carries.
Adam Howerzyl had a tough night throwing the football, completing just three of fifteen pass attempts for 52 yards with an interception. Nick Arkema led the defense with 10 tackles and Dan Hessing intercepted his fourth pass of the season.
Pella Christian ends their season at 7-3 overall while North Polk improved to 8-2 and will travel to West Marshall for a second round playoff match up Monday night. The Trojans handily won the meeting between the two teams in District play earlier this season.