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Wolverines withstand top-ranked Rebels

September 13, 2015
ADAM RING , Reinbeck Courier

GLADBROOK - Friday night featured a pair of opposing running backs that both ran for 2,000 yards a season ago.

One running back couldn't be stopped. The other running back couldn't get it going.

Dike-New Hartford's Trent Johnson broke off a 55-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to give DNH its first lead of the game. Later in the quarter, Johnson rumbled 54 yards to set up a 1-yard game-winning touchdown run by Calvin Wildeboer as the Class 1A No. 4 Wolverines got past the Class A No. 1 Gladbrook-Reinbeck Rebels 28-21.

Article Photos

Gladbrook-Reinbeck quarterback Jake Schuman loses the football after being tackled by a pair of Dike-New Hartford defenders in the second quarter Friday night in Gladbrook. Schuman threw a 97-yard touchdown on the next play, and finished the game 205 passing yards, two touchdowns and an interception, but the Wolverines defeated the Rebels 28-21.
Photo by Adam Ring

"We told our kids just to keep grinding," said DNH coach Don Betts. "We told them coming in we'll win it in the fourth quarter. That's what we told them. We'll win in the fourth quarter.

"It's the No. 1 team in the state for crying out loud. It's not going to be easy. You're going to have to plug for four quarters, maybe four quarters plus. Our kids just kept plugging away."

Johnson finished the game rushing for 257 yards on 31 carries. Johnson's counterpart, G-R running back Eric Stoakes was held to 65 yards on 20 carries. Stoakes started strong in the first quarter with a pair of runs of 22 yards each. Then the senior back was held to three yards or less on 12 straight carries until he busted through for a 15-yard run in the fourth quarter. Stoakes ran for 204 yards against DNH a year ago in a 49-25 win in Dike.

"Our guys at the line of scrimmage are quick off the ball," Betts said. "They fly to the football. We get a lot of people there. I think a lot of that is our guys being relentless getting to the ball carrier. We knew had to contain (Stoakes). You let him get outside, and he had that one big run where he got outside on us, and he can do that every single time he touches the football."

G-R (1-1) took the lead with just under five minutes left in the first quarter on a Colton Dinsdale 3-yard touchdown run. The Rebels extended its lead on DNH (2-0) a minute into the second quarter when on the 3-yard line quarterback Jake Schuman rolled out in the end zone to buy some time, and that time allowed Matt Roeding to break past the Wolverine defense. When Schuman connected with Roeding, the junior wide receiver scampered 97 yards untouched for the touchdown.

The Wolverines would tie the game before halftime when Wildeboer scored his first of two touchdowns from 1-yard out. Wildeboer's touchdown run capped a 98-yard Wolverine drive that saw a heavy dose of Johnson and Wildeboer. On the first G-R play on the ensuing possession, Connor Neuroth intercepted Schuman and returned the ball to the Rebel 15-yard line.

"In general our passing game was pretty (good) tonight," said G-R coach John Olson. "(Schuman) had some throws he wished he had back. When we got tired on the offensive line (DNH) took advantage rushing him so he couldn't go through his reads. Those are things we have to go through as a coaching staff."

The interception set up Neuroth to call his own number from the Wildcat formation from 13 yards out. The Wolverines ran the same play with Neuroth on the two-point conversion to tie the game heading into the break.

The third quarter was dominated by the defenses as G-R stopped DNH on a 4th down to begin the second half. The Wolverines then forced the Rebels to punt before each team had two 3-and-outs to close out the quarter.

Johnson then broke off his 55-yard touchdown run 50 seconds into the final quarter.

"(DNH) did an awesome job," Olson said. "They moved the ball quite a bit from the middle of the second quarter for the rest of the game. We had a couple third downs and couldn't quite make the play on defense, and they'd pop off a 20 or 50-yard run."

G-R responded with a 15-yard touchdown pass from Schuman to Dinsdale to tie the game at 21-all. Schuman finished the game 9-of-18 passing for 205 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.

DNH continue to pound the ground with Johnson, and his 54-yard run from near midfield set up Wildeboer a couple plays later with 5:36. The Wolverines forced the Rebels to punt on the following drive, and the Rebels wouldn't get the ball back as DNH ran out the clock.

"Being a Class A team our depth really showed up tonight," Olson said. "We don't have a lot of subs that come in. Our guys are playing the whole way, both sides of the ball. I think last year we had four or five guys play both ways, this year we have 10. It really catches up to us, especially on a heated night like this."



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