Area high school football teams opened the 2014 season Friday night. Here's a roundup of the five varsity games. Read more on the games in Tuesday's Newton Daily News.
Newton 41, Knoxville 7
There’s no place like home.
Newton High’s Cardinals went to the air for three touchdown strikes in the first half Friday night against visiting Knoxville. The Panthers had no answer for the connection between senior quarterback Tyler Wood and Nick Easley in the Cardinal’s 41-7 season-opening win at H.A. Lynn Stadium.
Easley caught a 47-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter and kicked the extra point for the Cardinals. Wood found Easley again in a short pass that turned into a 34-yard scoring play in the second quarter. The two hooked up against in the second quarter on a 29-yard pass to the end zone.
The third one put the Cardinals up 19-7 over the Panthers Newton’s offense was taking care of business, but so was the defense. Jordan Travis, Michael Barr and Deonne Harris were in the Panther offensive backfield almost as much as the Knoxville running backs.
Newton’s defense put pressure on Knoxville quarterback Jared McClung throughout the contest. Barr gathered up a McClung fumble with 6:22 left in the second quarter. Newton had the football at the Panther 5-yard line but settled for a 22-yard field goal by Easley.
Newton led 22-7 at halftime. Junior running back Joseph Banfield took over in the second half for the Cardinals, catching and running the ball. Banfield finished of a second-half opening drive with a 1-yard touchdown run.
The Cardinal defense contained Knoxville’s running game, in particular senior running back Tanner Dunkin, the entire game. The Panthers were stymied in the second half.
Sophomore Reese Rosenquist added the final two scores for Newton in the final five minutes of the game in a downpour. They were his first varsity touchdowns for NHS.
“We’ve had really good practices and were confident going into this game,” Wood said of the entire Cardinal team. “We have great team chemistry going and it was great to win at home in the first game of the season.”
Newton goes to Marshalltown next.
The Newton freshmen won 8-6.
Van Buren 19, Lynnville-Sully 13
SULLY — All the scoring came in the first half on a sloppy Lynnville-Sully field Friday night. The hosting Hawks had the ball with two minutes left in the contest.
“We got stopped on a fourth down play,” said Mike Parkinson, Lynnville-Sully head coach. “I feel really good about where we are at this point. We’re disappointed in the loss, but I’m encouraged with what I saw from our players tonight.”
Sage Ehresman scored on a long run for the Hawks and Noah Engle came up with a touchdown reception on a long pass from Tyler Van Zante.
Parkinson pointed to an outstanding defensive performance by his team, holding Van Buren to 95 yards rushing. He said the Hawks had a couple of breakdowns on defense leading to Van Buren’s scores.
Ehresman and Noah Zylstra, the Hawks’ linebackers, led the charge defensively.
Lynnville-Sully travels to Pella to play Pella Christian next.
Pella Christian 44, Prairie City-Monroe 30
MONROE — A plethora of first-quarter miscues and a potent Eagle offense proved too much for Prairie City-Monroe to overcome Friday night.
The Mustangs turned the ball over on their first two drives, which helped Pella Christian build a 20-0 first-quarter lead.
Prairie City-Monroe quarterback Logan Gilman threw three touchdown passes in addition to several long completions throughout the game, including an 84-yard touchdown to receiver Ricky Reeve in the fourth quarter that cut PCM's deficit to 14.
The Mustangs recovered the ensuing onside kick following Reeve's score, but an interception thrown by Gilman a few plays later helped Pella Christian seal the win.
Colfax-Mingo 21, Pleasantville 0
PLEASANTVILLE — The Tigerhawks began the year knowing they had to improve defensively after allowing 41 points or more in all but one game last season.
Friday night's road opener was a step in that direction.
Colfax-Mingo limited Pleasantville to only 64 total yards of offense and benefitted from five turnovers — two interceptions and three fumble recoveries.
It was the first time Colfax-Mingo shutout an opponent since the current senior class entered high school.
It was also the first time Pleasantville had been held scoreless since Week 6 of the 2012 season when Lynnville-Sully blanked the Trojans, 70-0.
Collins-Maxwell/Baxter 38, West Marshall 6
MAXWELL — The Raiders opened the season with a dominating victory over the visiting Trojans. Collins-Maxwell/Baxter opened up a two-touchdown lead in the first quarter and then led, 38-0, at halftime.
Senior wideout Bryce Kemp found the end zone twice, once through the air and once on the ground. Kemp caught four passes for 95 yards and rushed for 37 yards.
Sophomore running back Blake Coughenour also scored a pair of touchdowns while carrying the ball 12 times for 50 yards.
CMB received solid quarterback play throughout the night as both sophomore Hunter McWhirter and junior Nate Bishop threw touchdown passes. McWhirter completed eight of his 14 pass attempts for 98 yards while Bishop went 2-for-2 and 93 yards.