PELLAN Even a 16-month layoff could delay Central College’s football foul on Saturday.
Featuring American Rivers’ Recurring Offensive Player of the Year Blaine Hawkins (senior, Ankeny) at the quarterback, the Dutchman shot to a halftime score of 28-0 and flew to a 49-14 romp past Simpson College in the opening game of a short 2021 spring season replacing the traditional fall campaign, a COVID victim.
A tipped pass from Hawkins resulted in an interception in the third play of the game, but then the four-year-old starter exhaled and went to work. He had a 5 yard TD attack on his favorite target as of 2019, wide receiver Erik Knaack (senior, Reinbeck, Gladbrook-Reinbeck HS), followed by scoring throws of 7 and 2 meters to a tight end Billy Friis (junior, West Branch), the first of his Central career. Another collegiate first, a 46 yard TD dash by running back Carson Boyer (sophomore, Milledgeville, Ill.) made it 28-0 with 10:17 remaining in the second quarter.
Hawkins hit again on an 8-yard touchdown pass Jeff Herbers (sophomore, Urbandale, Des Moines Christian HS) in the third quarter, with freshmen declining Noah Treimer (Pella, Pella Christian HS) achieving a score of 1 yard in his debut. Another rookie, linebacker Tate Hagen (Britt, West Hancock HS) sent an interception 30 yards back to the end zone to begin the fourth quarter.
“Some of the strengths of our team competing in this game were definitely on display,” said coach Jeff McMartin said. “We have a lot of experience in some of our skill positions and I thought those guys played really well. Our line of defense has a lot of experience and also played very well and safely. Brayden Hey (junior, Saint Charles, Interstate 35 HS), had a great season last year and I thought he played really well. “
Hawkins embellished the number of passing numbers on his school record, completing 21 of 27 passes for 193 yards, with two interceptions and four scores.
“Blaine played really solid and with the situation of the game we were able to run the ball well and take a lead,” said McMartin. “As for the statistics, we’ll try not to over-evaluate that with him, because there are always other things we could have done that might look different. But I thought he did a great job. “
At the center is minus a few key figures who will be back in the fall and that’s especially true for declining, but sophomores Isaiah Walk (Buffalo Center, Northern Iowa HS), Treimer and Boyer took advantage of some playing time. Walk had a game-high 88 yards on 13 wishbones, while Treimer rushed for 85 on 14 tries and Boyer won 74 yards on only seven wishbones, while the Dutchman drove 307 yards on 50 tries.
“I was very happy to run back,” said McMartin. “I thought we had done some really good things and we showed that we have depth. There are some playmakers and that is exciting to see.”
Meanwhile, a possible new top-fit target was revealed as a freshman Logan Mont (Aurora, Ill., West Aurora HS) dazzled in debut with eight catches for 78 yards, including 58 yards after catch.
Central put down a total offense of 495 yards and limited Simpson to 319, including 288 through the air. A pair of Simpson quarterbacks completed 25 of 50 passes for 288 yards and two scores, but were picked three times and fired three times.
There were many new faces who made the most of their limited opportunities in the spring season for the Dutch. Especially the freshman linebacker Josh Van Gysel (National Anthem, Ariz., Boulder Creek HS) made a noisy entrance with a team high 12 tackles, an interception and a break pass. Sophomore linebacker Greg Ricketts (Rochelle, Ill., Rochelle Township HS) had six stops and converted receiver / quarterback Cameron Bannister (sophomore, State Center, West Marshall HS) looked comfortable in strong safety with five stops. Egli also had five tackles, along with an interception and a pass break-up.
Central will make its only spring road appearance this Saturday, taking on Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln in a 1pm game. The only other date on the spring slate is an exhibition with Buena Vista University on April 17, but McMartin sees a lot of benefits in the short season, especially for the younger players.
“I think it is an opportunity for these freshmen to stop being freshmen,” he said. And for some of the other guys who don’t have a lot of experience to get some playtime. We want to get out of here so the guys we were hoping to play last fall got them some reps and now they’re going to be ready to get out of here. to roll. “
But the work remains for the spring edition of The Dutch.
“There are of course a lot of things we can work on after today, with the sales and the physical stuff in special teams and on both sides of the ball,” said McMartin. “We want to keep building and improving. And then, I think, have fun. I want these guys to really enjoy playing football. I think they had a good time today and we have to keep going.”
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