(Photo by Ryan Christoffel)
The Rebels ended up rushing for 372 yards and averaged 6.2 yards per play running the ball, getting 283 yards after stringing together four straight scoring drives of 49 yards or more to end the first half.
The Rebels strung together four consecutive scoring drives after Okoboji forced a three-and-out defensively to start the game.
On the ensuing drive, a 25-yard quarterback keeper by Parker Habben on third-and-5 kept the drive alive. Five plays later, Devin Tripp scored on a 2-yard touchdown scamper to cap off a 14-play 73-yard possession with 3:32 left in the first quarter. Austin Glawe ran in the two-point conversion.
The Rebels went 91 yards on two plays in their next possession. Habben broke free for a 43-yard gain shortly before Nathan Leer rumbled 48 yards into the end zone on the last play of the first quarter. Tripp converted the two-point run to open up a 16-0 advantage for Sioux Central.
Sioux Central (3-4, 2-3) strung together two more 10-play scoring drives in the second stanza, with Tripp scoring on a 1-yard run with 4:34 on the clock and Leer scoring from three yards out with 5.2 seconds remaining before intermission. The Rebels took a 29-0 halftime edge after Nick Seivers PAT kick sailed wide left.
"The guys up front did a great job of controlling the line of scrimmage, and that's what we have to do to win games," Sioux Central coach Brandon Goodchild said. "They controlled the line on both sides of the ball, especially the defensive line."
Sioux Central didn't allow Okoboji to finish the game with positive yards rushing the ball as the Pioneers lost 13 yards total.
Tripp found paydirt for his fourth touchdown on the Rebels second drive of the third quarter to close out the scoring, breaking free for an 18-yard touchdown run with 4:44 on the game clock. Jones blocked the extra-point attempt at the end of the drive.
"All week we practiced that because we saw they like to do that on tape," Okoboji coach Jon Allen said. "Every time we did a good job of stopping it, their quarterback did a good job of hiding it and taking it outside and going. We were switching our kids in and out in our wedge buster up front, but we just couldn't stop it."
The Pioneers weren't able to drive into Rebel territory until their first possession of the second half, but an interception by Sioux Central's Tanner Lindquist stymied the drive.
Later in the half, Okoboji let another scoring opportunity slip through its grasp. After taking over at the Sioux Central 35, when linebacker Weston Burgeson recovered a fumble, wideout Keaton Jones hauled in a 32-yard reception in double coverage that set up a first-and-goal situation at the Rebel 3-yard-line. After Burgeson was stuffed for no gain on first two, two straight incompletions forced the Pioneers into a fourth-and-goal. Parker Harms caught a bubble screen, but was wrapped up a yard short of the end zone to keep the shutout intact.
Tripp led the Rebels with 174 yards on 36 carries and four touchdowns. Habben rushed eight times for 110 yards, and Leer gained 87 yards on 10 carries with a touchdown. Austin Glawe had two interceptions.
Okoboji quarterback Jordan Hanna was 7-of-20 passing for 85 yards with three interceptions. The Pioneers were limited to -13 yards on the ground on 20 rushes, finishing with just 72 total yards in the contest. Jones hauled in a team-best two catches for 46 yards and Dalton Poppema made two receptions for 21 yards. Jake Dodge also reeled in a first down grab of 10 yards.
Okoboji dropped to 0-7 on the year and will face Western Christian next Friday at home. Sioux Central will travel to Fort Dodge to play St. Edmond.