Albia 57, Clarke 7
Class 2A fourth-rated Albia proved to be a difficult matchup for the Clarke Indians here on Friday, as Albia rolled to a 57-7 win over the Indians.
Quarterback Brett Leshen completed 4-of-8 passes for 101 yards, while Griffin Osing and Matt Baker each eclipsed the 100-yard mark running the ball.
Leshen passed for two touchdowns — one each to Luke Sarver and Zach Hugen, while Baker and Ryan Sarver each ran for a pair of scores. Christian Powless also punched the ball into the end zone on a run.
Blake Bayer added a 55-yard punt return touchdown for the Blue Demons.
For Clarke, now 1-3 overall and 0-1 in Class 2A District 6, Kadn McNichols led the team in rushing with 28 yards on 10 attempts. Dustan Van Loon finished with 19 yards on five carries.
Dalton Sweeney finished 4-of-14 passing for 32 yards, with completions to Gable Reece, Gunner Sergeant-Elben and Drake Wedel.
Sergeant-Elben scored the lone touchdown of the game for the Indians when he returned a fumble 66 yards for a touchdown.
Defensively, Gordon Witt led Clarke with 11 solo tackles, while Reed Kale finished with seven total tackles. Sweeney recorded six total tackles. Lane Carson was next best with four.
“Players that stood out to me were Gordon Witt, who always gives us 100 percent effort and makes a lot of tackles,” head coach Michael Kline said. “Another defensive player that had a decent night was Lane Carson. Lane has not gotten a lot of time on defense and didn’t make as many plays as he could have, but as a coaching staff, we liked what we saw from him.”
Clarke hits the road this week, traveling to Leon to take on 2-1 Central Decatur.
Pella Christian 31, Central Decatur 14
PELLA — Central Decatur struggled to get its running game established in a 31-14 loss to Pella Christian in the district opener here on Friday.
The Cardinals fall to 2-1 for the season an 0-1 in Class 1A District 7.
Wyman Reed, who had run wild in the Cardinals’ first two games of the season, was held in check to the tune of 45 yards on 16 carries. Trenton Wells, who had also run the ball effectively in the opening two weeks of the season, was held to 34 yards on four carries.
Sophomore quarterback Peyton Pedersen completed 8-of-22 passes for 119 yards and one touchdown compared to two interceptions.
Wells caught seven passes for 74 yards including the touchdown grab, while Noah Bishop caught one ball for 45 yards.
Junior Peyton Gilbert scored the only other Cardinal touchdwon when he returned a punt 66 yards for a touchdown.
Wells and Daniel Weir each recorded 13 total tackles to lead Central Decatur, while Gilbert racked up 11 tackles.
Mason Howerzyl ran for 133 yards and one touchdown on 29 carries for Pella Christian, while Colten Collins added one touchdown run.
The Pella Christian defense accounted for two touchdowns with an interception return for a score by Collins and a fumble recovery for a touchdown by Howerzyl.
Central Decatur hosts Clarke on Friday.
Davis County 35, Interstate 35 28
TRURO — Briar Vogel threw for three touchdowns in a losing effort Friday at home against Davis County, as the Mustangs topped the Roadrunners 35-28.
Vogel completed 12-of-21 passes for 133 yards and three touchdowns compared to just one interception.
Zach Goering caught four passes for 39 yards and two scores, while freshman Brock Bush caught three passes for 36 yards and one touchdown.
Senior Alex Middleton ran the ball 21 times for 115 yards and one touchdown.
Jaylan White intercepted a pass for the Roadrunners.
Spencer Bassett and Justin Utt did the majority of the damage for the Mustangs, as Bassett ran for 161 yards on 34 attempts with two touchdowns, while Utt picked up 87 rushing yards on 11 carries with three touchdowns.
Interstate 35 now sits at 0-3 for the season and 0-1 in Class 2A District 6. The Roadrunners travel to Bondurant-Farrar on Friday.
Murray 52, Grand View Park Baptist 14
DES MOINES — Murray took control early again, holding a 30-7 halftime lead on the way to defeating Grand View Park Baptist, 52-14.
Murray, 3-1 overall and 3-0 in district play, took a two-score lead on Andrew Rider’s interception midway through the first quarter. It was his fourth straight game with an interception returned for a touchdown.
It was also Rider’s sixth career interception for a touchdown, which sets an all-time record in Iowa in that category. Eight-player does not have anyone with five career swipes, and the 11-player record is five.
Rider ranks second all-time nationally, one behind the career record of seven set by Dick Maurer of Oregon in 1969. It also puts him second all-time nationally for interceptions returned for touchdowns in a season (four). The national record is five.
Offensively, Rider ran for 104 yards on 10 carries and a touchdown, and added a 55-yard touchdown on a pass reception. Seth Nerness rushed for 85 yards and a TD.
Freshman Thane Simmons got his first start at quarterback and completed 10 of 16 passes for 138 yards and three TDs, with no interceptions. He also ran for a touchdown.
Sam Rockhold had three catches for 40 yards and two TDs. Moving from quarterback, Matt Barnes contributed five catches for 43 yards.
Rockhold had 17 total tackles including four for losses. George Barber had three tackles for losses among 10 stops. Barnes and Rider each had an interception.
“Our defense played well again,” Mustang coach Keith Shields said. “Our rush defense allowed only 69 yards on 40 attempts, and that includes a 65-yard run. We got good pressure in their backfield with seven sacks and nine other tackles for loss.”
Shields said Simmons had a strong debut in the team’s search for an improved passing attack.
“Grand View Park Baptist did a great job of throwing a completely different attacking defense than we expected,” Shields said, “but our kids made some good adjustments and withstood GVPB’s most inspired effort of the season.”
Murray hosts Wayne in a non-district homecoming game this week.