Once Newton’s football team established its offensive identity, seniors Cody Klein and Caleb Mattes were tough to stop.
And after a slow start, the Cardinal defense allowed just 15.2 points per game in district play.
A total of eight Cardinals earned first-team all-district honors for their efforts. The Class 4A District 4 squad was released to the public after Bondurant-Farrar’s state semifinal loss on Friday.
Three teams — Newton, Bondurant-Farrar and Pella — all finished 4-1 in district play.
Newton featured a tough, physical running game on offense and senior tailback Cody Klein and senior quarterback Caleb Mattes led the way behind a strong offensive line that included seniors Blake Schilling and Thomas Stadelmann.
Sophomore Finn Martin also provided a punch in the passing game.
All five Cardinals earned first-team recognition, while seniors Nate Lampe and Nathan Milburn and sophomore Caden Klein were first-team selections on defense.
Newton’s second-team picks included seniors Curtis Payne, Drew Boothe, Wyatt Weter, Ben Breuer, Eli Stewart and Christian Lawson and junior Peyton Rozendaal.
All-district recognition is based on statistics inside district play only.
Schilling, Stadelmann and Boothe were all offensive linemen who helped the Cardinals rush for a district-most 1,395 yards and a district-best 1,778 total yards.
Newton ranked second in offensive touchdowns with 19 and was second in yards per carry at 7.5.
Cody Klein, a first-team tailback, led the district in rushing for the second straight season. His 858 yards on 75 carries led the district by more than 400 yards. He also led the district with nine rushing TDs and averaged a league-best 11.4 yards per carry.
Klein’s 10 catches and 148 receiving yards ranked tied for sixth and fifth, respectively, and his two receiving TDs were tied for third.
The senior tailback led the district with 1,006 total yards and tied for first with 11 TDs.
Mattes, a first-team utility player, ranked third in passing yards with 330 and his six passing touchdowns were third. He gained 423 yards on 81 carries, which ranked fourth in the league. His four rushing TDs ranked third and he was third in total yards (765) and touchdowns (10).
Martin, a first-team tight end, tied for eighth in the district with nine catches. He gained 80 yards on those receptions and his two receiving TDs ranked tied for third.
The Newton defense finished tied for first in the district with 38 tackles for loss and ranked second with nine sacks and eight fumble recoveries.
Milburn was a first-team linebacker after ranking tied for sixth with 27.5 tackles. He also had one sack and four tackles for loss.
Lampe earned first-team all-district at defensive back after tying for second in the league with two picks. He also secured 19 tackles and recovered one fumble.
Caden Klein, a first-team utility player, led the Cardinal defense and ranked third in the district with 32.5 tackles. His 3.5 sacks tied for the district lead and his 7.5 tackles for loss were third.
Lawson was second-team as a kicker and punter. He led the district with 17 touchbacks on kickoffs, made 1-of-2 on field goals and was 18-of-20 in extra points. He ranked fifth in the league with a yards-per-punt average of 34.
Weter, Breuer, Stewart and Rozendaal all made their biggest impacts on defense.
Stewart tied for ninth in the league with 22 tackles and 3.5 tackles for loss and finished with one fumble recovery.
Rozendaal tied for first in the district with two fumble recoveries and he was one of four players in the league to score a defensive TD on a fumble return. He also had 19 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss.
Breuer finished with 11.5 tackles, 1.5 sacks and three tackles for loss, while Weter added 5.5 tackles, one sack and two tackles for loss.
Payne was a wide receiver for Newton and he had three catches for nine yards.
Class 4A District 4
Team District Overall
Bondurant-Farrar 4-1 8-2
Newton 4-1 6-4
Pella 4-1 6-4
Gilbert 2-3 6-3
Carlisle 1-4 2-7
Des Moines Hoover 0-5 0-9
Coach of the Year
Graham Lundt, Gilbert
Will Hawthorne, jr., Gilbert
Titus Cram, sr., Bondurant-Farrar
Special Teams MVP
Gavin Pienkowski, sr., Carlisle
Quarterback: Luke Hardman, sr., Pella.
Running Backs: *Cody Klein, sr., Newton; *Titus Cram, sr., Bondurant-Farrar.
Wide Receivers: *Tyson Barnes, jr., Pella; *Colin Kerndt, jr., Pella; *Reed Pfaltzgraff, sr., Bondurant-Farrar.
Tight Ends/Fullbacks: Finn Martin, so., Newton; Aidan McDonald, sr., Bondurant-Farrar
Offensive Linemen: Blake Schilling, sr., Newton; Thomas Stadelmann, sr., Newton; *Charlie Niegsch, sr., Gilbert; *Gideon Vande Kieft, sr., Pella; *Bryce Baker, Bondurant-Farrar.
Utility: Caleb Mattes, sr., Newton.
Punter: *Gabe Fierce, so., Gilbert.
Defensive Linemen: *Tayshawn Gillen, so., Gilbert; *Noah Parsons, sr., Pella; *Dalton House, sr., Bondurant-Farrar; *Batpiny Riak, sr., Bondurant-Farrar.
Linebackers: Nate Milburn, sr., Newton; *Caleb Moore, sr., Bondurant-Farrar; *Will Hawthorne, jr., Gilbert; Noah Noland, jr., Carlisle.
Defensive Backs: *Nate Lampe, sr., Newton; *Carson Leathers, sr., Pella; Nash Hanson; sr., Gilbert; Cam Stephens, sr., Gilbert.
Utility: Caden Klein, so., Newton; Parker Ernst, jr., Bondurant-Farrar.
Kicker: Gavin Pienkowski, sr., Carlisle.
* denotes unanimous selection
Curtis Payne, sr., Newton; Drew Boothe, sr., Newton; Wyatt Weter, sr., Newton; Ben Breuer, sr., Newton; Eli Stewart, sr., Newton; Christian Lawson, sr., Newton; Peyton Rozendaal, jr., Newton; Sam Harrington, sr., Hoover; Zyon Tracey, sr., Hoover; Tahj Williams, jr., Hoover; Jordy Monzon, sr., Hoover; Kyson Salmon, sr., Hoover; Easton Wilson, so., Hoover; Caleb Nordhagen, jr., Carlisle; Mason Lucas, jr., Carlisle; Ben Glawe, jr., Carlisle; Grant Weston, sr., Carlisle; Mason Griffin, so., Gilbert; Connor Rash, jr., Gilbert; Bowen Kruse, jr. Gilbert; Ean Eldred, jr., Gilbert; Ben Misterek, sr., Pella; Reed Beard, sr., Pella; Donovan Helle, sr., Pella; Jack Briggs, sr., Pella; Nate Warner, so., Pella.