Rebels run wild in homecoming victory over Wolverines

Gladbrook-Reinbeck quarterback Isaac Clark (12) fights for the end zone in the first quarter of the Rebels’ 76-8 homecoming victory over GMG in Gladbrook on Friday night. PHOTO BY ROBERT MAHARRY

A week after a nail-biting 54-48 win over Tripoli, the undefeated Gladbrook-Reinbeck football team came out in force and dominated rival GMG for a lopsided 76-8 homecoming victory at The Pit on Friday night.

The Rebel offense moved the ball down the field at will for most of the night, racking up 284 yards on the ground and hanging 38 points on the Wolverines in the first quarter. It all started when running back Austin Vaverka, a transfer from GMG playing against his former team for the first time, broke a 38-yard run to put G-R (5-0) in prime scoring position at the Wolverines 10-yard line. On the next play, quarterback Isaac Clark ran in for a touchdown to make the score 8-0 after the two-point conversion.

GMG (0-5) struggled to get anything going on the first drive, and after a three and out, the Rebels quickly scored again thanks to a partially blocked punt and a 31-yard touchdown pass from Clark to Luke Riffey. A failed conversion made it 14-0, but the Rebels were far from done in the opening frame.

On its next drive, the GMG offense picked up a first down on a pass from Colin Teske to Caleb Gill, but on the very next play, G-R’s Luke Sienknecht picked up a fumble and swung the momentum back to the Rebels immediately. On cue, Vaverka took the first handoff of the ensuing drive and marched it into the end zone. Just like that, G-R led 22-0.

Clark and Vaverka connected on an eight-yard screen pass that pushed the score to 30-0, and before the first horn, Clark got a chance to show off his arm with a 35-yard bomb to Riffey. By the time the second quarter started, the continuous clock rule was already in effect.

Members of the G-R offensive unit celebrate with quarterback Isaac Clark (12) after he scored the first touchdown of the night on Friday. The Rebels went on to defeat GMG 76-8. PHOTO BY ROBERT MAHARRY

After a Drew Eilers score made it 44-0, GMG got its lone score of the night on a 23-yard pass from Teske to star receiver Jabari Woodbury, who, despite his team’s struggles, finished with 10 catches and 119 yards through the air. Eilers, who took over for Clark at quarterback, connected with Isaac Baer on a 20-yard touchdown pass before the half to make it 52-8.

Even as rain moved in over Gladbrook, the Rebels added four more rushing touchdowns in the second half — one from Isaac Clark, one from Caleb Egesdal, one from Hudson Clark and another from Vaverka.

Vaverka was the star of the night offensively for the victors, finishing with 136 yards rushing and two touchdowns on just seven carries to go with a touchdown reception. Isaac Clark accumulated 102 passing yards and three touchdowns along with 50 rushing yards and two more scores on the ground.

Riffey was the top receiver for the Rebels as both of his catches went for touchdowns, totaling 66 yards, and Eilers also racked up 69 yards on the ground. Hudson Clark anchored the defense with seven total tackles, and G-R recovered two GMG fumbles.

Woodbury, a junior, was a bright spot for the Wolverines on an otherwise challenging night, and Teske did complete 17 of his 27 pass attempts for a total of 159 yards. GMG struggled to get anything going in the running game, however, finishing with negative yards rushing, and they never found an answer for G-R’s high-powered offense, which finished with its highest point total of the season.

The Little Rebel Cheerleaders entertained the crowd at The Pit during the halftime of Friday night’s game between Gladbrook-Reinbeck and GMG. PHOTO BY ROBERT MAHARRY

G-R faces Northwood-Kensett (2-3) tonight, Thursday, Sept. 29, at Wartburg College in Waverly before a crucial matchup with undefeated Don Bosco (5-0) on Oct. 7, while the Wolverines host the Dons this Friday before traveling to Dunkerton (0-5) on Oct. 7.

G-R running back Austin Vaverka finds an opening during the first quarter of Friday night’s 76-8 victory over GMG. He finished with 136 yards rushing and three total touchdowns. PHOTO BY ROBERT MAHARRY

A gaggle of G-R defenders combines to take down GMG ball carrier Matthew DeSchamp (93) during Friday night’s game. PHOTO BY ROBERT MAHARRY

G-R’s Austin Vaverka (5) signals a fumble recovery as the referees sort through the pile during Friday night’s game against GMG. PHOTO BY ROBERT MAHARRY