ALLEMAN – The North Polk football team closed out the regular season with a 38-13 victory over East Marshall on senior night in Alleman Friday.
The Comets broke the game open with three touchdowns in the second quarter. They found the end zone two more times in the third quarter to take a 38-0 lead, then coasted home to finish 5-1 in Class 2A District 7 and improve to 8-1 overall heading into the playoffs.
"It’s always great getting a win on senior night," North Polk Evan Groepper said. "We were able to run the ball effectively and our defense did a great job of getting off the field. We played a physical game."
With the victory, and a West Marshall loss to Gilbert Friday, the Comets were able to earn a share of the 2A District 7 championship. North Polk opened 2A playoff competition Wednesday against Greene County in Jefferson.
"We are excited about winning a district title and getting to play in the playoffs," Groepper said. "Greene County is a young team that has made great strides this year. We will have our hands full against them."
A 2-yard Garrett Moeckly touchdown run in the first quarter got the ball rolling for North Polk against East Marshall. In the decisive second period, Comet quarterback Cole Jackson threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Grant Schiltz and also ran one in from seven yards out; Alec White also had a 24-yard scoring scamper.
Moeckly added a 9-yard touchdown run in the third quarter and Masson Weiss crossed the goal line from five yards out later in the quarter to slam the door on the Mustangs.
North Polk totaled 469 yards on offense. Most of that damage came on the ground as the Comets ran for 342 yards on 56 carries.
White turned in his best game of the season for North Polk as he ran for 141 yards on 20 carries. Moeckly picked up 91 yards on 16 attempts, Jackson ran for 32 yards, Chad Purcell picked up 22 on the ground, Graham Hoshaw and Kris Bower each ran for 19 and Weiss ended up with 18 yards.
Jackson threw for 127 yards after completing 12 of 16 passes with no interceptions. Landon Schuessler was the top Comet receiver with six catches for 55 yards, Blake Brauer made three grabs for 35 yards and Schiltz had three receptions for 27 yards.
On defense North Polk limited East Marshall to 246 yards. All of that production came on the ground, and most of it came in the fourth quarter when the game had been decided.
Jon Lackore stepped up with 11 tackles, Brauer made eight stops and recovered a fumble and Bower recorded seven tackles. T.J. Krehbiel and Braedon Ingersoll each had six stops and they combined for five tackles for loss; Ryan Polich and Zach Houseman each recovered a fumble for the Comets.
East Marshall finished 0-7 in the district and 0-9 overall. Zach Rubenbauer ran for 110 yards and one touchdown, Nick Long picked up 77 yards and one touchdown rushing and Justin Case tacked on 56 rushing yards for the Mustangs.
North Polk 38, East Marshall 13
EM 0 0 0 13 – 13
NP 6 19 13 0 – 38
NP – Garrett Moeckly 2 run (kick failed), 7:15
NP – Alec White 24 run (kick failed), 5:16
NP – Cole Jackson 7 run (Carter Hartwig kick), 2:34
NP – Grant Schiltz 16 pass from Jackson (kick failed), 0:10
NP – Moeckly 9 wrun (kick failed), 4:23
NP – Masson Weiss 5 run (kick failed), 0:35
EM – Zach Rubenbauer 55 run (Noah kick), 10:00
EM – Nick Long 17 run (kick failed), 4:36
Team statistics EM NP
First downs 8 29
Rushes-yards 46-246 56-342
Passing 0-2-0 12-16-0
Passing yards 0 127
Total yards 246 469
Fumbles lost 3 1
Punts-average 4-40.5 2-23.0
Rushing: EM – Zach Rubenbauer 12-110, Nick Long 23-77, Justin Case 5-56, Noah Young 2-5. NP – Alec White 20-141, Garrett Moeckly 16-91, Cole Jackson 7-32, Chad Purcell 3-22, Kris Bower 3-19, Graham Hoshaw 4-19, Masson Weiss 3-18.
Passing: EM – Rubenbauer 0-2-0-0. NP – Jackson 12-16-0-127.
Receiving: NP – Landon Schuessler 6-55, Blake Brauer 3-35, Grant Schiltz 3-27.
Tackles: NP – Jon Lackore 11, Brauer 8, Bower 7, Braedon Ingersoll 6, T.J. Krehbiel 6.
Fumble recoveries: Brauer, Zach Houseman, Ryan Polich.