Onward and upward

Rebels claw past Collins-Maxwell en route to playoffs

A pass narrowly escapes the outstretched arm of G-R’s Ethan Gienger who is being covered by C-M’s Lane Oswalt. Despite a few missed connections in the passing game, Gienger finished with a strong 92 yards and one receiving touchdown.

After a Week 7 slugfest against parochial powerhouse Don Bosco, the Gladbrook-Reinbeck Rebels got back to their winning ways last Friday.

G-R hosted Collins-Maxwell at home for their regular season finale on Oct. 15.

Despite a few turnovers and opportunities in Rebel territory, the G-R defense held Collins-Maxwell to 257 total yards and one touchdown to take a 36-6 victory.

The Spartans lone score came with 2:55 left in the first quarter when quarterback Blake Huntrods pitched the ball to halfback Brody Sampson who found Caleb Dvorak wide open downfield for a 40-yard touchdown.

With freshman Drew Eilers unavailable, Gladbrook-Reinbeck leaned heavily on the other half of their quarterback duo as Isaac Clark was called on to contribute in the air and on the ground.

Quarterback Isaac Clark slips through a seam in the Collins-Maxwell line after some quality blocking from Cody Gebel (35) and Tristen Sanford-Anders (right). Clark finished with 198 all-purpose yards, including two rushing touchdowns. Photos by Darvin Graham

Clark worked efficiently under center, going 10-for-28 in passing with one touchdown and no interceptions.

As a rusher, Clark knocked in two more touchdowns, both in short yardage situations.

Late in the second quarter Clark took a hard hit on a quarterback keeper along the sideline. Senior Tom Smith spelled the sophomore for a few plays and thankfully, Clark was able to return in the second half.

Clark and Smith each finished with 58 rushing yards with Smith adding a breakaway, 31-yard touchdown run to his night.

G-R was also without starting wideout Caleb Egesdal Friday night, which further limited the Rebels offensive options.

Senior lineman Tristen Sanford-Anders gets a hand on Collins-Maxwell’s Brody Sampson (24) during the Rebels 36-6 rout of the Spartans on Oct. 15. Sanford-Anders was the team’s leading tackler with 11.5 tackles and 1.5 sacks.

Senior Ethan Gienger was the leading receiver for Gladbrook-Reinbeck with 92 yards on 3 receptions and one touchdown.

Luke Riffey also caught three passes for a total of 21 yards.

On the other side of the ball, G-R’s experienced front line caused problems for the Spartans.

Tristen Sanford-Anders was the leading tackler with 11.5 tackles including 1.5 sacks.

Senior Cody Gebel contributed a heads up fumble recovery in the first half that helped G-R gain momentum against the Spartans at a point where the score was still close.

Cody Gebel heads out of bounds after securing a Collins-Maxwell ball that popped loose on a fumble near the sideline.

Linebackers Drake Blakesley and Tom Smith totaled 8.5 and 6.5 tackles respectively.

Gladbrook-Reinbeck moves on into the opening round of the 8-Player Playoffs next Friday.

The Rebels will host Graettinger-Terril/Ruthven-Ayrshire on Oct. 22 in Gladbrook.

The Titans are 7-1 with a loss against unranked Harris-Lake Park and their best win against unranked Northwood-Kensett who finished their season 6-2.

On paper G-T/R-A appears to focus a great deal of their offense on junior quarterback Max Hough who has totaled over 1,000 yards both rushing and passing.

Should the Rebels advance after Friday, the next round will be re-seeded and matchups announced the following weekend.