Warriors run past Redhawks, 45-0, in rain-soaked road game

Past season image of a Redhawks helmet resting on the field. TAMA-GRUNDY FILE PHOTO

FAIRBANK – A formidable Wapsie Valley defense proved too much for North Tama this past Friday in Fairbank with the Warriors notching their fourth shutout of the season by striking down the Redhawks, 45-0, in District 3 play.

Conditions on Wapsie Valley’s Jerry Southmayd Field were not good Friday evening due to the rain. Not only was the slippery ball mishandled several times by both teams, the rain practically stopped the passing game altogether. Redhawk quarterback Kolt Knaack was 6-for-12 with just 51 yards gained, and the Warriors’ quarterback, Kanen Decker was 1-for-3 for a mere 20 yards gained.

While the rain certainly made conditions tricky to navigate all night, the story of the evening was Wapsie Valley’s rushing game – a whopping 390 yards across 45 carries including seven touchdowns. The Warriors’ tough defense — which has more than earned its stellar reputation this season — kept the Redhawks to just 23 rushing yards total.

The game did begin on a somewhat positive note for the visiting Redhawks. After North Tama punted on fourth down from deep in their own territory, Wapsie Valley mishandled the punt allowing the Redhawks to recover the ball at their own 47 yard line.

Unfortunately, North Tama fumbled on the second play and the Warriors responded in kind, taking back possession.

Later, Redhawk Josh Dostal managed a touchdown-saving tackle on the 13 yard line, but shortly thereafter Wapsie Valley ran in the ball and reached paydirt.

“The first couple of series last Friday we started well,” head coach Andrew Knaack told the Telegraph. “Then we have a [Wapsie Valley] touchdown and things kind of went south for us. It rained from the beginning of the game until the end. That definitely limited some of the things we wanted to do with our game plan.”

The Warriors would go on to score another 19 points in the second quarter, seven in the third, and 13 in the fourth for the resounding win over the Redhawks.

“Wapsie is a good team and they didn’t let the rain bother them,” Coach Knaack continued. “It got to us and we didn’t tackle well. We talked as a team and a staff that we have to throw that game away and get ready for the next one.”

Against the Warriors, Kolt Knaack connected with three of his receivers including Gavin Rausch four times for a gain of 16 yards, Tyrus Luker once for a gain of 33 yards, and Jared Dvorak once for a gain of two yards.

In addition to the offense, Knaack also led the defense for the Redhawks with seven tackles (three solo) out of a team total of 47.

Luker and Brayton Cibula both recovered one Warriors fumble apiece.

This week, the Redhawks – now 2-3 on the season – are again on the road for another District 3 matchup, traveling to North Butler High School to take on the Bearcats (4-1).

“The game this Friday against North Butler will be a big one for us. We need to win to stay [and] have the opportunity to be playing in the playoffs,” Coach Knaack said. “We are a good team and have to get [the Wapsie Valley] game out of [our] heads and move on. To steal a quote from [head coach of the New England Patriots] Bill Belichick – ‘We are on to North Butler’.”

Kickoff is set for this Friday at 7 p.m. in Greene where it is Homecoming Week for North Butler.