NJCAA No. 2 Iowa Western shook off a sluggish first half to pull away from Coffeyville Community College in the opener for both teams Thursday night at Titan Stadium in Council Bluffs. The Reivers took the contest 36-14 on a beautiful evening for football.
“We started slow, but once we settled in I was really pleased,” Iowa Western head coach Scott Strohmeier said after the game. “For the first game, it was pretty clean.”
The Reivers put up 29 points in the second half and turned up the screws on defense during the final 30 minutes, creating pressure in the backfield with six sacks. The Red Ravens turned the ball over five times on the night.
“Those guys dominated,” Strohmeier said of his defense.
Iowa Western recovered five fumbles. Marcus Haskins added a late interception for the Reivers.
And the Reiver offense wasn’t bad, either. Iowa Western took a lead they wouldn’t relinquish on a Brian Snead 60-yard touchdown run early in the third quarter.
Snead was the offensive star for the Reivers, finishing with 101 rushing yards on 13 attempts, good for a 7.8 yards per carry average. He opened the Reivers scoring with a receiving touchdown in the second quarter.
Fellow running back ZaQuandre White scored on a seven-yard run in the third quarter and caught a six-yard touchdown pass with a little more than nine minutes left in the game.
“They’re competitive; they ran really hard,” Strohmeier said.
In his first start, Iowa Western redshirt freshman quarterback Cam Thomas was 18 of 34 for 197 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. Thomas added 30 yards on seven rushes.
“It felt good to get back out there,” Thomas said. “Felt good to get a win with all my buddies.”
Thomas said the team came out focused and locked in for the second half.
“We showed the team we can be,” he said. “And at the same time, there’s lots of room for improvement.”
The Reivers added a pair of field goals by Missouri Valley native Chase Contreraz and picked up a safety on a botched snap to round out their scoring.
Coffeyville was led by quarterback Aubrey Williams, who finished 17-of-24 passing for 260 yards with a touchdown pass in each half.
The teams went to the locker room at halftime knotted up at 7-7.
Coffeyville receiver Isaiah Taylor made a diving 40-yard touchdown catch with 6:27 left in the first quarter to score the first points of the game. Iowa Western answered when Snead caught a pass out of the backfield, broke a tackle and dove at the goal line to tie the game up.
Iowa Western will be on the road on Aug. 31, traveling to take on No. 14 Iowa Central for the Kinney Cup at 2:30 p.m. in Fort Dodge.
Coffeyville (0-1) 7 0 0 7 — 14
Iowa Western (1-0) 0 7 16 13 — 36
C: Isaiah Taylor 41 pass from Aubrey Williams (Seren Hughes-Ford kick)
IW: Brian Snead 14 pass from Cam Thomas (Chase Contreraz kick)
IW: Snead 60 run (Contreraz kick)
IW: ZaQuandre White 7 run (Contreraz kick)
IW: Team safety
IW: Contreraz 26 FG
IW: White 6 pass from Thomas (Contreraz kick)
C: Jared Miles 53 pass from Aubrey Williams (Hughes-Ford kick)
IW: Contreraz 26 FG