MEDIAPOLIS — The competitor in them has got to wish they could play a full game. Whether they admit it or not.
But the talent in them keeps building leads so big, the clock runs continuously and they get taken out for reserves.
“It’d be nice to go the distance, but when you get taken out early, it’s a good sense of accomplishment,” said Iowa City Regina starting lineman Zach Ries after his Regals smashed Mediapolis, 56-27, in a Class 2A state football playoff quarterfinal last night. “The ability to let your teammates get out there and get some experience is nice.”
This 26th consecutive victory looked so much like most of the previous 25. Regina (12-0) was unstoppable offensively, racking up a 42-13 halftime lead with 368 yards, 270 on the ground.
Running backs Joe McCaffery and Jacob Vollstedt, and quarterback Nate Streb usually weren’t touched until they were at least five yards downfield. McCaffery finished with 138 yards rushing and four touchdowns, Vollsted with 109 yards and one score.
And that’s with playing just shy of three quarters. Regina – which plays Dyersville Beckman (11-1) in a 10:30 Monday morning semifinal at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls – has had a continuous clock (which comes after a 35-point lead) in all of its games this season.
“Our offensive line, they just work so hard at what they do,” said McCaffery. “They create huge holes for all of the running backs to run through.”
“We were prepared for all their stunts and the slices they do, how they mixed up their defenses,” said Ries, joined up front by Zach Brennan, Nick Gerard, Ben Osterhaus and Daniel Gaffey.
Hey, you have to list those names after this kind of performance.
“We had a good week of practice with (line coach) Alex Kanellis picking up those slices and things,” Ries said. “Overall we kept the line moving four or five yards down field. That makes it easy for the backs.”
“We feel like if we can get to the linebackers, we have a really good chance of running downhill,” said Regina Coach Marv Cook. “That’s what our guys were able to do.”
Keep in mind this Mediapolis team came in 11-0. This was no slouch opponent.
The Bulldogs were able to hang around for a while, thank in large part to fine quarterback Jesse Ertz. The 6-foot-4 junior, who is starting to get noticed by college recruiters, threw a 9-yard TD pass to Dalton Scott and sneaked home from a yard out to help Mepo stay within 21-13 midway through the second quarter.
But touchdown runs from McCaffery and Streb restored Regal order, and Streb connected with receiver George Sehl on a 9-yard fade pattern for TD with 3.8 seconds left in the first half.
Regina ended up intercepting Ertz four times.
Here is the game boxscore:
IC Regina 56, Mediapolis 27
|TEAM STATISTICS||IC Regina||Mediapolis|
|Rushes-yards||45 - 332||34 - 210|
|Comp-Att-Int||6 - 9 - 0||10 - 25 - 4|
|Fumbles-lost||2 - 2||1 - 0|
|Punts-average||1 - 30.0||2 - 31.0|
|Penalties-yards||5 - 30||5 - 24|
Rushing: IC Regina – Joe McCaffery 18-138 , Jacob Vollstedt 14-109 , Nate Streb 7-73 , Mark Ward 3-9 , Clyde Snow 2-3 , Riley Dixon 2--1 Mediapolis – Drew Buster 9-61 , Jesse Ertz 9-44 , Wil Janssen 9-42 , Russ Moehle 3-36 , Jacob Wyss 3-28 , Dalton Scott 1--1
Passing: IC Regina – Nate Streb 6-9-0-98 Mediapolis – Jesse Ertz 10-25-4-99
Receiving: IC Regina – George Sehl 3-61 , Alex Balke 1-19 , Joe McCaffery 2-18 Mediapolis – Jacob Darbyshire 3-44 , Dalton Scott 5-33 , Jordan Wagenbach 1-16 , Chase Miller 1-6
SCORE BY QUARTERS
ICR-Jacob Vollstedt 7 run (Mike Donovan kick)
ICR-Joe McCaffery 14 run (Donovan kick)
Med-Dalton Scott 9 pass from Jesse Ertz (Jacob Daryshire kick)
ICR-McCaffery 1 run (Donovan kick)
Med-Ertz 1 run (kick blocked)
ICR-McCaffery 9 run (Donovan kick)
ICR-Nate Streb 12 run (Donovan kick)
ICR-George Sehl 9 pass from Streb (Donovan kick)
ICR-Streb 1 run (Donovan kick)
ICR-McCaffery 4 run (Nick Dolezal kick)
Med-Drew Buster 4 run (run failed)
Med-Wil Janssen 13 run (Janssen run)