G-R wallops improved GMG to stay unbeaten

Gladbrook-Reinbeck’s Luke Riffey (1) tries to slip past GMG’s Caiden Wobeter (27) during the first half of Friday’s 8-Man District 5 football game in Garwin. Riffey had two receiving touchdowns as the ninth-ranked Rebels rumbled past the Wolverines 58-0. Photo by Darvin Graham

After coming into the season with some uncertainty over how the offense would change with the departure of quarterback Keagan Giesking, 8-Man No. 9 Gladbrook-Reinbeck football has no more uncertainty — instead, it has two quarterbacks capable of pushing the Rebels forward.

G-R took another step towards a perfect regular season Friday night on the road, putting a 58-0 beatdown on surprise package GMG and moving to 5-0 on the season. GMG dropped to 3-2.

G-R head coach John Olson was very impressed with how the team performed.

“I think our guys did everything right,” Olson said. “Just physical mistakes more than anything else, so I’m pretty proud of our guys and our subs when they came in.”

The Rebels took the lead 60 seconds after the opening kick-off, when Isaac Clark threw a two-yard pass to Luke Riffey for the score. After a two-point conversion it was 8-0 in favor of G-R. Three minutes later, senior running back Tom Smith went in from four yards out to push the gap to 16-0. A long GMG drive followed, but the Wolverines turned the ball over on downs at the G-R 20. One play later, senior defensive back Brayden Anderson picked off Clark to put the Wolverines back in business. The drive got as far as the Gladbrook-Reinbeck five-yard line before a holding penalty pushed GMG back.

Photo by Darvin Graham

In the first play of the second quarter, the Wolverines failed to convert a fourth-and-goal from the G-R 17.

Less than two minutes later, Drew Eilers quarterbacked the Rebels to a touchdown thanks to a 50-yard connection with Ethan Gienger, the first of two touchdowns for the senior wideout. Gienger has 13 receptions on the season, and nine of them have gone for touchdowns (he also had 139 yards receiving Friday).

Halfway through the second quarter, Eilers ran five yards for another score. The two-point try failed, so the score was 30-0. Another Eilers touchdown pass — this time to Riffey — pushed the score to 38-0 at the halftime break. Eilers went 6-for-6 for 91 yards and two touchdowns, while Isaac Clark went 6-for-9 for 89 yards and two scores.

Balancing the playing time of Clark and Eilers at quarterback has been a good problem for the Rebels to have this season, Olson said.

“They’re just both really good quarterbacks,” Olson said. “If you have two good defensive ends, you play them both. If you’ve got two good quarterbacks, we’re going to play them both.”

Photo by Darvin Graham

The second half featured a running clock and more of the same. The only score was a 73-yard touchdown pass from Clark to Gienger, and in the fourth quarter runs by Drake Blakesley and Max Anderson completed the 58-0 scoreline. G-R had 346 yards in 38 plays, with 166 rushing yards and 180 through the air. Leading the way on the ground was Blakesley with 50 yards on five carries.

GMG struggled against the vaunted G-R defense, gaining only 126 yards in 48 plays and running for 71 yards on 33 carries. Kooper Gill ran for 56 yards on 16 attempts and completed six of 13 passes for 45 yards and one interception.

Despite the humbling defeat, the Wolverines have still been a success to this point in the season. Head coach Bret Moews has been impressed with how the team has come together after two years of little to no success, as evidenced by the team’s disappointment at a loss to a ranked opponent.

“I’ve been incredibly impressed,” Moews said. “Their work ethic has been very good, their commitment to each other has been very good. Knowing what we went through the previous two years and seeing them come together and get three wins… I am very, very proud of them.”

Gladbrook-Reinbeck plays Meskwaki in Gladbrook next Friday, while GMG visits Don Bosco.

Photo by Darvin Graham

Photo by Darvin Graham

Photo by Darvin Graham