Rebels hold off Hawks, 28-21
SIOUX RAPIDS — Sioux Central now needs to just take care of business against three-win Fort Dodge St. Edmond and one-win North Union in the final two weeks of the season to make its first trip to the postseason since 2013 after holding off Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn 28-21.
“They’re a good team. They’re athletic, and they’re pretty scrappy up front. We knew going in it was going to be a tough game for us,” Rebel football coach Brandon Goodchild said. “We were able to control the football again, and we didn’t have any turnovers. That’s huge.”
Sioux Central won the turnover battle 3-0, starting with an interception by Chase Jessen in the first quarter that set up a scoring drive.
Ben Hargens pounded in the final yard of that drive with 10:01 left in the second quarter as the Rebels took a 6-0 lead.
HMS answered back quickly with a 52-yard score, and a PAT made it a 7-6 Hawk lead.
Sioux Central needed just 17 seconds of game clock to respond as Jacob Gasperi raced up the field for a 59-yard score and 12-7 Rebel lead.
Hargens recovered a Hawk fumble on their following possession and punched in a 6-yard run a few plays later. A two-point run by Jake Hanson pushed the Rebel lead to 20-7 which held until halftime.
HMS got it going in the third with a quality drive to make it a 20-14 game, but Sioux Central answered with 7:45 left in the fourth as Hargens surged in from a yard out and tacked on two himself for a 28-14 scoreboard.
HMS drove down to score on a 4-yard run with 5:15 left and got the ball back shortly thereafter as Sioux Central was unable to bleed much time off the clock.
Gasperi came up with a big time interception at the 10-yard line on that ensuing Hawk drive and returned it out to the 22 where the Rebels were able to ice the game.
Hargens again carried the load with 38 rushes for 157 yards and three scores. Gasperi carried the rock eight times for 96 yards and a touchdown while Hanson added 47 rushing yards on 15 totes. Sioux Central didn’t complete a pass and didn’t need to.
Carter Beckman and Prestan Samson led the defense with 15 and 14 tackles respectively.
With the 2017 campaign looking like a playoff year, Goodchild wants to tighten some things up.
“Defensively, we had a couple mistakes in the secondary that we’ve got to clean up. They’re a pretty good passing team, but we’ve got to clean that up if we’re going to get better. And we’ve got to eliminate penalties on offense in crucial situations,” Goodchild said. “We’ve got these two weeks left, and we’ve got to take them one at a time.”