"It's a big win, especially since we had six turnovers," Sioux Central coach Brandon Goodchild said. "That has to stop. We can't be a good team turning the ball over that much."
The Rebels looked sharp on their opening drive, marching down the field methodically, led by 11 carries from workhorse sophomore Devin Tripp, who capped off the drive with a six-yard score. The two point attempt failed for a 6-0 lead with over seven minutes milked off the clock.
"Time of possession was the difference for us. Wee ate up pretty much ate up the first and third quarters. It was a big factor in the game," Goodchild said.
After the Sioux Central (2-1, 1-0) defense forced a quick three-and-out, Pocahontas caught a break as the punt return was bobbled away and recovered by the Indians on the 14-yard line. The Indians wasted little time as Dreven Barth punched in a four-yard run two minutes later. The extra point was good for a 7-6 ball game after one.
After the squads traded fumbles early in the second, Indian QB Aaron Youngberg connected with Joey Powers for a 39-yard completion, setting up a four-yard scoring run by Jay Brinkman. The Sioux Central special teams came up clutch on the extra point attempt as they blocked the try to remain within seven.
The Rebels looked to build on the momentum, forcing a three-and-out and marching down the field to start the third. A fourth-and-goal try by Habben would end up one yard shy of the end zone, however, and the game remained 13-6 after three.
"They overloaded our power side and made us do something different," Goodchild said. "We had to get outside. Poky's a physical team and did a good job. They wanted to stop Tripp and make us do something else."
The Sioux Central defensive line held tough, keeping Pocahontas pinned in its own end zone, forcing a punt on fourth and six. Austin Glawe fielded the kick at the 40, shook off a tackle and brought the ball back to the 24-yard line.
A carry by Tripp brought them down to the 19, and Nathan Leer carried them down to the three. Tripp punched it in from there to pull within one. The two- point try stayed in the hands of Habben, who spun off a tackle and stretched his way across for a one-point edge with 10 minutes to play.
Sioux Central stayed stingy defensively, forcing yet another three and out on a night where they would concede just eight first downs. Runs from Tripp and Leer brought the Rebels near midfield with 8:30 to play. Habben would then attempt to throw into coverage and was picked off by Youngberg, giving the Indians new life. A pair of Poky first downs brought them to first and 10 at the 31 yard line.
Barth opened with no gain on first, and Youngberg was incomplete on second down. Habben made a stop in the back field on third, forcing 4th and 12. Poky went for it, but Chris Ripke came up with the drive- ending pass deflection.
Sioux Central would then grind out the rest of the clock on the ground with a pair of first downs.
Tripp, who entered as the state's sixth leading rusher with 531 yards through two games, carried the ball 33 times for 97 yards and two scores. Leer totaled 92 yards on 13 carries and Habben 58 yards on 13 attempts. Habben was 3-of-6 passing, with two going to Dallas Heuton for 47 and one to Glawe for three.
Poky was held to 193 yards of offense Friday as they took advantage of turnovers and short fields for their scores. Barth carried 21 times for 73 yards and a TD. Brinkman rushed 16 times for 77 yards. Youngberg was 4-of-9 passing for 44 yards.
Pocahontas Area falls to 2-1 on the year and 0-1 in district play. They visit Fort Dodge, St. Edmond next week. Sioux Central is at home to meet Ridge View next week.