GLADBROOK - Gladbrook-Reinbeck senior Chase Clark plays football with an old-school mentality. He isn't flashy. And 150 yards can kind of sneak up on him.
But his masterful effort on the gridiron Wednesday night led the sixth-ranked Rebels to a 35-0 victory over Postville at "The Pit" during a Class A first-round playoff game.
Clark rumbled for 181 yards on 23 carries and scored three touchdowns as the Rebels ran for 262 yards in the victory.
T-R PHOTO BY TROY HYDE
Gladbrook-Reinbeck junior Camden Kickbush runs the ball past Postville’s Alfonso Vasquez during Wednesday’s Class A first-round playoff game in Gladbrook. The sixth-ranked Rebels advanced with a 35-0 win over the Pirates.
"Chase is kind of like our team, he feels like he gets better in the second quarter than he was in the first and then better in the third than he was in the second," said Gladbrook-Reinbeck coach John Olson. "He can go 80 yards, but he usually goes 6, 8, 4, boom, 20, and oh boy there goes 40. He's just going to work at it."
The victory sends the Rebels (8-2) to Monday's second round where they will face Turkey Valley (7-3) at 7 p.m. in Gladbrook. Turkey Valley blew out BCLUW, 46-14, on Wednesday to advance.
Clark scored on runs of 13, 4 and 27 yards Wednesday and Class A's top rusher also rumbled for a pair of 36-yard runs along the way.
Gladbrook-Reinbeck 35, Postville 0
G-R - Chase Clark 13 run (Wyatt Swanson kick), 5:00
G-R - Colton Dinsdale 11 pass from Camden Kickbush (Swanson kick), 11:12
G-R - Clark 4 run (Swanson kick), 10:10
G-R - Clark 27 run (Swanson kick), 3:15
G-R - Eric Stoakes 37 run (Swanson kick), 6:03
RUSHING - POST: Riley Brockway 14-53, Alexander Pfister 9-24, Mitchell Steffans 10-18, Ethan Koozer 1-4; G-R: Clark 23-181, Stoakes 7-60, Dustin Dinsdale 3-11, Kickbush 7-5, Pete Meyers 2-5, Jake Schuman 2-0, Jake Peters 2-0.
PASSING - POST: Steffans 3-14-0-54, Brockway 1-1-0-42; G-R: Kickbush 5-7-0-63.
RECEIVING - POST: Steffans 1-42, Brockway 1-27, Koozer 2-27; G-R: C.Dinsdale 3-47, Swanson 1-13, Jake Peters 1-3.
Eric Stoakes gained 60 yards on seven carries and put the continuous clock into effect in the fourth quarter when he scored from 37 yards out.
"It's great to have a tough running back that is getting an extra yard or two," said G-R junior lineman Zach Pierce, who helped pave the way for the Rebels' 325 total yards. "We have two great backs. Stoakes made a nice improv tonight when he went all the way around the field for the score. He is our blazer. Chase is our thunder. He's always banging. Even when you screw up, he doesn't let us know, he just goes back to the huddle and gets it done the next play."
The Rebels as a team went about their business in a positive manner. Postville, on the other hand, was flagged for an unsportsmanlike penalty in the second quarter that aided in Clark's second score.
The Pirates also committed back-to-back unsportsmanlike fouls late in the contest when the game was out of reach. Olson chalked it up to frustration.
"I am really proud of our kids. We did that last year against Grundy Center and lost the game maybe because of it," Olson said. "We learned over the summer how to handle those situations better.
"Those kids are just fighting until the end. I don't think they were giving us cheap shots. It was just frustration plays. We pulled our guys out late in case something happened, but I am glad the subs handled themselves the right way, too."
The Rebel defense was dominant for much of the contest. The Pirates (4-6) gained just 10 first downs and totaled 195 total yards. The word shutout doesn't come up in many Rebel team meetings, according to Olson, but it was the third one during G-R's current seven-game win streak.
"It's always good to do that, to show your dominance," said Clark, who also recovered a fumble and had four tackles on defense. "We came out with some schemes, and we executed the gameplan well tonight."
Gladbrook-Reinbeck has outscored its opponents 281-30 during the seven-game win streak. The most points the Rebels have allowed in a game since losing 49-27 to Class 1A No. 2 Dike-New Hartford was the nine they surrendered against GMG in the regular season finale.
"We don't talk about a shutout. We just talk about doing the things the right way. If the other team scores a TD then they probably earned it," Olson said. "The defense was solid tonight. If they do score, we'll learn from it. I don't think we are a great defense yet, but we can be."
Clark's 13-yard touchdown run midway through the first quarter put the Rebels on the board and then Camden Kickbush found Colton Dinsdale wide open in the end zone for an 11-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Clark's 4-yard touchdown plunge later in the period gave the home team a 21-0 lead at the break.
"We got a bunch of great guys up front," said Clark, who now has 1,1918 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns on the season. "They work hard and are always getting after it."
Clark added to his night with a 27-yard touchdown run in the third quarter and then Stoakes finalized the scoring in the fourth with an impressive 37-yard score.
Kickbush ran an option to the right to begin the Stoakes run. After Kickbush was met by a host of Pirates near the line of scrimmage, he pitched back to Stoakes, who reversed field to the left and sprinted past the defense down the sidelines.
"Our OL is conditioned really well. They will get after you early, make adjustments and they are way more mature than they were last year," Olson said. "They are stepping up and the holes get a little bigger and they are able to wear out the other team. It's going to get tougher every game, but I am really happy with how our guys worked tonight."
Olson said Turkey Valley is very similar to his Rebels in that they will play a physical brand of football.
"Turkey Valley is a very physical football team," Olson said. "They are going to put a lot of pressure on our quarterback and running backs. We need to be solid up front. It's a benefit to play at home. It's a huge deal for us to play here. It will be a tough game. It's two physical teams going at it."
The Rebels' two other district foes went 1-1 on Wednesday. Second-seeded Grundy Center cruised past Starmont, 53-13, while fourth-seeded Belle Plaine was dominated by No. 2 Wapsie Valley 48-6. ... Kickbush finished 5-of-7 through the air for 63 yards and a touchdown, while Dinsdale caught three passes for 57 yards and a touchdown. ... The Rebel defense was led by Dustin Dinsdale's seven tackles. Bryce Ehlers had six, while Pete Meyers added 5 1/2. ... The playoffs run an odd schedule with the first three rounds coming on Wednesday, Monday and then Friday. That brings about a challenge for the players and coaches who may be used to a particular routine. "You have to get your sleep schedule in order," said Pierce. "It's a little different than playing on a Friday. You can't stay out late on the weekend with a game on Monday. Everyone has to make little sacrifices."