GLADBROOK - Whatever message North Tama coach Dan Oltman delivered to his team at halftime - they heard it loud and clear.
Leading 21-10 at the break, the eighth-ranked Redhawks (6-1, 4-0) rattled off 21 points in the opening nine minutes of the third to pull away in a 48-10 rout over Gladbrook-Reinbeck (3-3, 2-1) in Class A District 4 play at 'The Pit' Friday.
"We came out after halftime and played with a lot of emotion and excitement. We really wired it tight. I was really proud of how we played with that emotion and used it to our advantage," said Oltman.
T-R PHOTO BY ROSS THEDE
North Tama wide receiver Jacob Watson (18) tries to break away from a pair of Gladbrook-Reinbeck defenders during the first half of Friday night’s Class A District 4 football game in Gladbrook. North Tama won 48-10.
Dalton Hulme accounted for four touchdowns - rushing for three and returning a fumble for a score. The senior tailback had a fifth touchdown called back on a hold but still finished with 89 yards on 11 carries as the Redhawks won their fifth straight.
Hulme tallied his third and fourth touchdowns of the night over a two and half minute span early in the third quarter to extend North Tama's advantage to 35-10. The senior, who has battled back from an injury in the Redhawks' opener, scored on a 9-yard jaunt before adding a 25-yard fumble return.
"Dalton tweaked his ankle in the first game, but since he's been back he has made quite a difference both offensively and defensively," said Oltman.
"He's just one more of our senior leaders that we lean on. When we have all of seniors with us we have more emotion and we're more confident in what we do," said Oltman.
The Redhawks followed Hulme's lead as the energy carried over to the rest of the roster.
"We just had to get more excited and get our guys hyped up to play," said Hulme.
Mitchell Boerm continued the second half surge, hauling in a 27-yard touchdown pass from Jacob Wrage late in the third. Boerm finished with five receptions for 85 yards and two scores while Wrage completed 15 of 20 passes for 251 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. Brent Billerbeck concluded the scoring with a 16-yard reception from Wrage and finished with four catches for 86 yards.
The Redhawks struck first with an eight-yard strike from Wrage to Boerm with just more than 2 minutes left in the opening quarter.
The Rebels responded quickly with a one-yard plunge from Chase Clark to open the second frame tied at 7. Clark sparked the drive with a 46-yard burst to move Gladbrook-Reinbeck inside the red zone.
North Tama looked to answer on the ensuing drive marching down to the Rebel's 6-yard line, before Joe Zimmerman picked off Wrage in the end zone. The Redhawks forced a quick three-and-out, before adding to their lead just five plays later as Hulme rumbled in from 3 yards out with just less than 5 minutes left in the half.
Another three and out gave the Rebels prime real estate to work from again and Hulme cashed in with his second score from three yards out to give North Tama a 21-7 advantage. Wyatt Swanson connected on a 35-yard field goal right before the half to give the Rebels some momentum heading to the locker room, but that was quickly vanquished when the Redhawks retaliated with their scoring surge.
Clark led Gladbrook-Reinbeck on the ground with 144 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries. The Rebels held their own offensively but were undermined by three lost fumbles, two interceptions and 14 penalties totaling 120 yards.
"We worked really hard tonight and it was very difficult for us because (North Tama) is a heck of a football team. Things didn't go our way but we got beat by a better football team," said Rebels coach John Olson.
With a freshman and five sophomores in the starting line-up, Olson still sees plenty of room for growth with his squad.
"Those guys are going to grow up and we're going to get better. We'll see where we're at at the end of the year," said Olson.
The Rebels have a prime opportunity to show their maturation against rival Grundy Center Friday.
"I'm not going to sugarcoat it. We've played Grundy Center 90 years in a row, it's a huge rivalry and we're going to be up for that game. They're going to see the best team that we've had all year," said Olson.
The Redhawks recover with a bye week, before getting a crack at the Spartans October 5.