COLFAX — Senior quarterback Reegan Van Dyke and junior wideout Zarek Hill have a relationship on the football field that goes beyond even word of mouth.
Hill can just look at his quarterback a certain way, and Van Dyke knows exactly what he’s thinking.
That was on display Friday night against Grand View Christian.
On a play that was designed to be a wide receiver screen to sophomore Trinity Schroeder, Hill had a favorable matchup on the outside and Van Dyke saw it in Hill’s eyes.
Hill got a great jump off the line, beat his defender to the outside and hauled in a pass from Van Dyke that he took 34 yards to paydirt.
It was just one of several big plays the duo made for the Tigerhawks during a 42-7 victory over the Thunder during Class A District 5 play on homecoming night.
“I just saw how he was playing me. He had the inside on me, but I thought if I broke outside right off the line I could get by him, and I did,” Hill said. ‘I didn’t say anything to (Reegan). We just have a connection. He just knew.”
Hill scored three touchdowns on the night. He hauled in five passes for 154 yards. Van Dyke, the homecoming king, finished 11-of-19 for 275 passing yards and three scores. He also threw two interceptions.
“Zarek looked at me, and we saw who was covering him,” Van Dyke said. “No offense to that kid, but we thought we had a good matchup out there. They shifted the safety over to the other side of the field. I just thought we needed to get an athlete in space. I am glad (Zarek) made the play.”
It was a much needed win for the Tigerhawks, who are now 2-4 overall and 1-2 in district play. Grand View Christian falls to 0-5.
The Tigerhawks led 20-0 after one quarter and held a 27-0 lead at halftime.
“With that win, it’s going to give us some confidence and momentum to win the rest of our games,” senior linemen Colten Lourens said. “I think we have a good chance to come out with several wins in a row.”
Van Dyke and Hill opened the scoring with a 20-yard touchdown hook up. Grand View Christian fumbled away the ensuing kickoff, and the Tigerhawks needed only two plays to score again.
Hill hauled in a 59-yard pass from Van Dyke but was tackled at the 1-yard line. Junior Damir Gumerov finished off the two-play drive with a 1-yard TD plunge.
Hill has battled injuries and sickness in recent weeks. He was happy to finally help his team win Friday night.
“I am just trying to get us in good situations,” Hill said. “That time I got tackled at the 1-yard line, I didn’t care because we scored anyway.”
Grand View Christian turned the ball over six times, losing four fumbles. Hill had two interceptions, a fumble recovery and a forced fumble on defense.
After the Thunder punted, the two teams traded turnovers.
Colfax-Mingo got the ball back after a fumble recovery by senior Chance Rice, and the Tigerhawks drove 73 yards in eight plays.
The biggest plays were a 34-yard pass play to sophomore Trystin Ross, a 16-yard run by Van Dyke and an 18-yard catch by senior Alex Lewis. Van Dyke finished the drive with a 9-yard TD run, and he gained 73 yards on nine carries on the night.
“This was a big one for us to get some momentum and to get us over the hump and show the boys that what we are doing and all hard work is paying off,” Colfax-Mingo coach Jeff Lietz said.
The Thunder again lost the ball on a fumble on the first play of their next drive. The Tigerhawks needed only two plays to go 73 yards.
Van Dyke started the drive with a 39-yard run and then the 34-yard touchdown pass to Hill made it 27-0.
“Zarek is amazing from my point of view. He’s 5-foot-7, 155 pounds,” Van Dyke said. “He just plays his heart out, and I love him to death. When he makes plays, it makes my life easier.”
The score remained 27-0 at halftime. After each team threw an interception to begin the second half, the Tigerhawks extended their lead with a blocked punt.
Ross got to the punter to make the block, and Gumerov scooped it up and rumbled 28 yards for the touchdown.
The Thunder’s only TD of the game came on their next possession. The visitors marched 76 yards in seven plays. Peyton Leever got the Thunder into scoring possession with a 62-yard run. Clay Ramseyer finished it off with a 4-yard TD run.
Grand View Christian rushed for 240 yards in the loss. Leever gained 108 of that on three big runs. The Thunder had only three runs of more than 10 yards though.
“They double teamed the middle a lot. They ran it right behind the center,” Lourens said. “We played better, but there is always room for improvement. We still need to work on it.”
Lietz said his team focused on inside runs. Most of the Thunder’s success came outside on option plays with Ramseyer and Leever.
“We needed to concentrate on stopping the inside run,” Lietz said. “We focused on that, and I was happy with the way our defensive line attacked the line of scrimmage and the linebackers played well.
“They had that one long drive on us, but we forced a ton of punts and a ton of turnovers.”
The final touchdown of the game was hauled in by Hill from 27 yards out. He was well covered, but a well-placed ball was nabbed by the sure-handed Hill.
“He was under the weather this week. He had some nerves today,” Lietz said of Hill. “ He played the way he can play. If we get that out of him, we’ll be a pretty darn good football team.”
Lewis, who came into the game as the Tigerhawks’ leading receiver, finished with 44 yards on two catches.
The defense was led by senior Jake Dunsbergen, who tallied 14 tackles in the win. Lewis, Lourens and freshman Andres Villegas all had 5 1/2 tackles. Hill, Lewis, Rice and Ross all had fumble recoveries.
Grand View Christian 0-0-7-0—7
C-M — Zarek Hill 20 pass from Reegan Van Dyke (kick missed)
C-M — Damir Gumerov 1 run (Brady Berkey kick)
C-M — Van Dyke 9 run (Berkey kick)
C-M — Hill 34 pass from Van Dyke (Berkey kick)
C-M — Gumerov 28 return on blocked punt (Berkey kick)
GVC — Clay Ramseyer 4 run (Nate Stupka kick)
C-M — Hill 20 pass from Van Dyke (Van Dyke run)