Iowa Western Reivers

NEWS

Reiver 'Darkside' D comes up big in season's 1st win!

By Kevin White | Omaha World-Herald & Daily Nonpareil

FORT SCOTT, Kan. — For long stretches, the Iowa Western defense’s pursuit of quarterback Nathan Rourke resembled Rocky Balboa chasing that chicken in Rocky II.

“He was slippery,’’ defensive tackle Joe Ricker said.

Iowa Western’s persistence paid off. The Reivers piled up 19 tackles for loss, limiting Fort Scott to 290 total yards on a whopping 104 offensive plays in a 26-7 victory at Frary Field.

As it’s been throughout the season, nothing came easy for Iowa Western. But at the end of the day, the unrated Reivers earned their first win in three tries.

“We still didn’t play great the whole time, but we did enough,’’ coach Scott Strohmeier said. “They’ve got to have a little bit of confidence now. Defensively, we played unbelievable. Just a great, great job there. They don’t care what the score is, they just go play.’’

Iowa Western’s slumbering offense finally produced some results in the second half. Sophomore quarterback Andre Nunez completed 11 of 16 for 143 yards after the intermission, including 30-yard touchdown strikes to Nick Easley and Anthony Turner.

The first one came with 5:49 left in the third, after Easley took a short swing pass and received two nice blocks on the edge. The extra point put the Reivers ahead 12-0.

The second one came on a free play with 14:14 left in the game, after the Greyhounds (1-2) jumped offsides. He heaved one to the 6-foot-5 Turner, who hauled it in to give Iowa Western a 19-7 lead.

“When it’s a free play and they jump offsides, (I) just give my guys a chance, and that’s what I did,’’ Nunez said. “We know we have the talent, and we know we can put up some points. It’s just us killing ourselves with turnovers and all this other stuff.’’

Ish Seisay, just added to the roster this week, returned an interception 35 yards for a score with 30.7 seconds left to seal the win.

Ricker, an instate product from Mount Ayr, finished with two tackles for losses and a sack and a half in another balanced defensive effort. He said the defense doesn’t have a problem taking more of the load right now.

“We knew our offense has been struggling here in these first couple games,’’ he said. “As a defense, we knew we had to step up and be strong the whole game. If we have to win 7-0, that’s what we’ll do, or 2-0.’’

The Reivers led 2-0 at the half, as Markeis Hallback blocked a punt through the end zone.

Iowa Western got things together in the second half to pull away. They picked off the scrambling Rourke four times, sacked him seven times and limited him to 237 passing yards in 47 attempts.

“It seemed like a lot of the time we couldn’t quite get him down, but toward the end he started getting tired,’’ Ricker said .”That was when we were feeding off it, and we started getting him down.’’

Strohmeier said the Reivers’ ride home would be “a lot better than it was the last two weeks. I feel good that our guys just battled through and got back and got the win.’’

Iowa Western (1-2)........2 0 10 14—26

At Fort Scott (1-2)...............0 0 7 0— 7

IW: Safety, Markeis Hallback blocked punt through end zone

IW: FG Bobby Patterson 35

IW: Nick Easley 30 pass from Andre Nunez (Patterson kick)

FS: Chris Claybrooks 11 pass from Nathan Rourke (Brody Southwell kick)

IW: Anthony Turner 30 pass from Nunez (Patterson kick)

IW: Ish Seisay 35 interception return (Patterson kick)

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

Rushing: IW, AJ Bush 12-54, Lor’Renzo Pratt 14-31, Andre Nunez 16-24, Markeis Hallback 1-3. FS, Johnnie Hankins 23-67, Harry Trotter 7-9, Nathan Rourke 18-(-16), Chris Claybrooks 1-2, Brody Southwell 1-(-1), Chris Rivers Jr. 7-(-8).

Passing: IW, AJ Bush 6-13-0, 49 yards, Andre Nunez 13-21-0, 158 yards, 2 TDs. FS, Nathan Rourke 30-47-4, 237 yards.

Receiving: IW, D’anfernee McGriff 6-45, Nick Easley 8-68, Markeis Hallback 1-4, Anthony Turner 2-71, Kadeem Goulbourne 1-5, Austin Ahrendt 1-14. FS, Chris Claybrooks 12-122, Ke’Von Love 12-84, Sirr Green 2-12, Edward Aldred 1-9, Fred Daughtry 1-6, Johnnie Hankins 1-3, Harry Trotter 1-1.

Tackle leaders (solos-assists): Shaq Jones 6-6, Nick Anderson 5-6, Colton Dinsdale 5-4, Mykelti Williams 5-3, Ish Seisay 5-1, Jerrion Nelson 4-5. FS, Elmore Hempstead 8-0, Reggie Howard 7-7, Dominic Cizauskas 6-5.