TRAER - With a condensed schedule and quick turnarounds, rest is a rare treat in the playoffs.
Racing to a 43-0 lead at the half, the North Tama starters were allowed to indulge a little.
Scoring on all six of its first half possessions and forcing four turnovers, the Class A No. 5 ranked Redhawks (9-1) cruised to their eighth straight win as North Tama's reserves took over in the second half in a 43-14 first round rout over Turkey Valley at Dennis Athletic Field Wednesday.
T-R PHOTO BY TYLER STRAND
Redhawks’ senior quarterback Jacob Wrage turns the corner for a big gain during North Tama’s 43-14, Class A first-round rout over Turkey Valley on Monday night in Traer. Wrage tossed a pair of touchdowns as the Redhawks scored on all six of their first half possessions to earn a 43-0 lead at the break.
The Redhawks advance to the second round where they'll host Starmont (8-2) Monday at 7 p.m.
"We came out hard, our pad level was low and we were aggressive. It was a total team effort from the opening kickoff," said North Tama coach Dan Oltman.
Dalton Hulme rushed for three first-quarter touchdowns including a pair of 2-yard plunges and a 56-yard scamper as North Tama grabbed a 22-0 lead entering the second.
"We just came out rolling right away and kept pushing all the way through the first half," said Hulme, who finished with 89 yards on just 11 carries.
Kyle Watson pounced on a fumbled pitch to set up Hulme's second score and later forced another takeaway to keep the Trojans off the board in the first half. With its ground game rolling, Turkey Valley's Jordan Schmitt appeared on his way for six before Watson jarred the ball loose on the 2-yard line and it dribbled through the end zone for a touchback with 7:20 to go in the half.
"Watson didn't quit on the play. That was a huge stop," said Redhawk quarterback Jacob Wrage, who completed 9 of 11 passes for 152 yards and two touchdowns in just 24 minutes of work.
"Our line blocked really well and Dalton ran well so it made it easy for me," said Wrage.
The Redhawks needed just five plays to cash in as Brent Billerbeck punched in a 1-yard score. Wrage picked off Dalton Hackman on the ensuing drive before delivering a 19-yard scoring strike to Mitchell Boerm. Watson capped North Tama's scoring, hauling in a 4-yard dart from Wrage right before intermission as the Redhawk reserves took the wheel in the second half.
Riley Meirick got the Trojans on the board with a 48-yard punt return early in the third before Hackman raced 65 yards on a quarterback keeper in the fourth.
Billerbeck snared a pick in the third frame and rushed for 74 yards on six carries, while also grabbing two catches for 40 yards. Mitchell Boerm had four receptions for 66 yards and Watson hauled in two catches for 42 yards.
The large lead was a win-win for both the Redhawk starters and reserves.
"At halftime we told the varsity players they would sit a while. For the young guys, it's something special to play under the lights in a playoff game so we wanted to get as many players in there as we possibly could," said Oltman.
Hackman led the Trojans' ground attack with 153 yards on 12 carries with 98 yards coming in the second half. Schmitt finished with 87 yards on 17 rushes.