GRIMES — Character is not the problem.
“There’s a lot of good boys in that locker room, and lots of kids with character. There are guys I know who will fight, work hard, and that’s what it comes down to,” said Ed Ergenbright, Newton football head coach as he stood outside the visiting locker room Friday night at Dallas Center-Grimes.
Newton had just been shut out on the football field for the first time since 2009. The Mustangs took control of the Class 3A, District 4 contest in the second quarter, and ran away for a 42-0 win over the Cardinals.
Down 7-0, the Cardinals used the final 1:35 of the first quarter to push down the field. They had runs by Tyler Wood, J.T. Thongvanh, and Deonne Harris. Facing a third-down play to open the second quarter, Wood threw a pass intended for Nick Easley. It was incomplete, but a pass interference penalty was called on the Mustang defender.
The Cardinals were in business, looking to tie the game. Then, as has been the problem in the last couple of games, the Cardinals became their own worst enemy.
Three consecutive penalties on Newton defused the charge by the Cardinals. They punted, and never made another threat to score.
Dallas Center-Grimes moved 80 yards on three runs by Chaz Chambers, and two pass plays from Andrew Kramer to Douglas Heritage. The final pass was a 28-yard touchdown strike.
The Mustangs scored three more times over the final seven minutes of the first half to pull away from the Cardinals. They led 35-0 at halftime. The second half was played with a running clock, triggered by the 35-point lead rule. DCG scored a final touchdown on a 30-yard run by Chambers in the third quarter.
Newton did reach the Dallas Center-Grimes’ 35-yard line late in the third quarter. Wood threw an interception to end the drive.Wood was 6-of-17 for 41 yards. Tristan Peters caught three passes for 27 yards, while Harris had two catches for 13 yards, and Easley made one catch for one yard.
The Cardinals had 123 yards of total offense. Harris led the running game with 52 yards on five carries. Wood had 29 yards on 16 rushes. Newton’s offense turned the ball over four times, while the defense did not have a takeaway.
Will Brock recorded four solo tackles and had two assisted tackles for the Cardinal defense. Bryce Tish made five solo stops. Nick Glotfelty had four unassisted tackles and one assisted tackle.Colton Hansen had four solo tackles.
Ryan Thompson punted five times for 157 yards, which is a 31.4-yard average.
“It’s very perplexing. I’m not getting something across, whether it’s the intensity in practices or we’ve got to do some things differently offensively, execution wise. We need to practice differently,” Ergenbright said.
“We didn’t recover very well from the second half of the Grinnell game. We looked like we were in that same fog. That’s something that has to change, if we’re going to have a shot at any of these last three games.”
Ergenbright said he and his coaching staff were going to evaluate why the Cardinals were so flat in Friday’s game.
“And why we didn’t have an edge? The players have to take a look at themselves and their teammates, and say ‘hey, what can we do to get better?’ We have to bring more an edge to the situation than we did tonight,” he said.
The Cardinals fall to 2-4 on the season. They are 1-3 in 3A district play.
Newton hosts Adel DeSoto Minburn next Friday in a non-district game.
Dallas Center-Grimes — Winter 3 yd pass from Kramer (Lortz kick)
Dallas Center-Grimes — Heritage 28 yd pass from Kramer (Lortz kick)
Dallas Center-Grimes — Kramer 30 yd run (Lortz kick)
Dallas Center-Grimes — Kramer 20 yd run (Lortz kick)
Dallas Center-Grimes — Means 9 yd pass from Kramer (Lortz kick)
Dallas Center-Grimes — Chambers 30 yd run (Lortz kick)
11 First Downs 14
6-46 Penalties 4-40
Rushing: Newton-Harris 5-52, Banfield 2-(-5), Peters 3-2, Thongvanh 5-4, Wood 16-29. DCG-Chambers 13-120, Kramer 6-92, Weeks 4-17, Osborn 1-2.
Passing: Newton-Wood 6-17-41-2. DCG-Kramer 7-12-99-0.
Receiving: Newton-Easley 1-1, Harris 2-13, Peters 3-27. DCG-Heritage 2-42, Means 2-29, Winter 1-3, Clausen 2-25.
Punting: Newton-Thompson 5-157 (31.4 avg.). DCG-Lortz 3-85 (28 avg.)
Tackles (S/A): Brock 4/2, Glotfelty 4/1, Hansen 4/0, Tish 5/0, Allen 1/0, Bennett 1/0, Constant 1/0, Exley 1/0, Harris 1/0, Michener 2/2, Thompson 1/1, Thongvanh 1/0, Travis 1/3, Weatherly 1/0.
Quarterback sacks: none.
Fumble Recoveries: none.