Timberwolves eke out win over Tigers
“This is a completely different Red Oak team,” Southwest Valley head coach Anthony Donahoo said after taking a 24-21 win over the Red Oak Tigers Friday. “That’s a team that’s trending up big time.”
Although the Red Oak roster reads about the same as a year ago, the atmosphere and mind set of the Tigers is charged.
“With another year of experience and great leadership from our upperclassmen, the team competes on a greater level,” Tigers head coach Ryan Gelber said. “The players have taken to a new system and philosophy, and it shows in the way we prepare and compete.”
The game remained scoreless throughout the first quarter and looked to stay that way until Southwest Valley used a 15-play drive down field to score the first six points on a Dustin Lund quarterback keeper. Dayton Cobb kicked the point after and the Timberwolves took a 7-0 lead.
Red Oak answered on the first down following the kickoff with a Carter Bruce pass to Cam Vanderhoof who ran 83 yards for the TD.
Tiger junior Kyndal Kells kicked the extra point and the game broke for halftime knotted at 7.
The second half began with the first Tiger lead as Vanderhoof returned the kickoff 80 yards into the endzone. The extra point kicked by Kells was good and the Tigers were up 14-7 with 11:44 remaining in the third quarter.
The Red Oak defense stopped the Timberwolves on the four yard line, but a Tigers fumble was recovered by Southwest Valley and the Timberwolves capitalized on the turnover, scoring in four plays on another Lund keeper. Cobb’s kick was good and the game was tied at 14 with under two minutes left in the third quarter.
Red Oak only needed two plays following the kickoff to add to the score as Justin McCunn ran 89 yards for the TD. Another PAT by Kells was good and the Tigers regained the lead.
Brendan Pearson returned the kickoff 29 yards, putting the Timberwolves on the Tigers’ 31 yard line.
Blaine Venteicher rushed into the end zone on the second down, and Cobb again made good on the PAT, tying the score at 21 with 20 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
The Tigers failed to convert on third down, and punted to begin the final quarter, and Southwest Valley used their first possession to add a field goal kicked by Teagan Lundquist to regain the lead.
As the clock ticked down, neither team was able to make it to the endzone, giving the Timberwolves the non-district win.
“Special teams won that game with that field goal and hitting all the extra points,” Donahoo said. “Tightening up on the kickoff at the end; that was huge for us. That defensive stop at the end and offensively just closing out the game the right way. I’m very proud of the young team.”
Tallen Myers interecepted one pass for the Timberwolves, while Hunter Poston and Venteicher each recovered a fumble.
Myers led with 12 total tackles, followed by four each from Scotty Adcock and Gaule; three apiece for Kaden Jacobs and Pearson; Lundquist 2.5; Tucker Tepoel and Jacob Webb two each; Matt Johnston, Hunter Poston 1.5 each; Venteicher, Garrett Marn one each; and Evan Davis .5.
Southwest Valley hosts Central Decatur Friday.
“I am incredibly encouraged by our performance against Southwest Valley,” Gelber said. “They are a good, well-coached team, who has experienced some success. The way that Red Oak competed and played is remarkable and we are proud of the effort. We are going to prepare like we have never prepared before to go places that the Red Oak football program has never gone before.”
The Tigers had three with scores in the home opener: Vanderhoof 12, McCunn six, and Kells three.
Carter Maynes had 37 yards rushing; McCunn 89 rushing and four receiving; Codie Bentley 21 yards receiving; Isaac Birt 10, and Vanderhoof 83.
Defensively, McCunn led with 13.5 tackles, followed by Bentley and Hunter McMann 7.5 each, Colton Kinnison seven, Isaac Birt six, Cole Carlson 5.5, Ethan Stewart 4.5, Maynes four, Jake Echternach two, and Zac Guerra and Mitchell Johnson 1.5 each.
Maynes intercepted one pass.
Bruce had 97 yards on three punts.
The Tigers travel to Clarinda to take on the Cardinals in district action beginning at 7 p.m. Friday.