Denison-Schleswig must enjoy playing at Gale Wickersham Stadium. The Monarchs, who scored 58 points (35 in the second half) last week against Abraham Lincoln, put up 35 points in a dominant first half against Thomas Jefferson Friday night, en route to a 49-20 victory over the previously undefeated Jackets.
“The thing was, our execution was good. We knew we had to be disciplined. We’ve played these guys two years in a row now. It’s good to be able to come out and capitalize, and really finish,” Monarch head coach Chad Van Klay said.
Monarch senior quarterback Charlie Wiebers understands how big these two wins in Council Bluffs are for his team.
“After a first week loss to Harlan, we needed two games to get under our belt, and just come out and play team football,” he said, “and that’s what we did.”
The Monarchs scored four touchdowns in the first quarter on just eight plays from scrimmage; and they were doing damage on the ground and through the air.
Wiebers took the second snap of the Monarchs’ first possession down the left sideline for a 58-yard touchdown.
“I was just reading the d-end,” Wiebers said, “and he crashed, so I just pulled it and took off. And that’s why you run track.”
On the next possession, 5-foot-8, 205-pound senior running back Terrance Weah took the first play 34 yards for another score.
“That’s a tribute to our offensive line, and we do have playmakers,” Van Klay said.
Thomas Jefferson coach Brant Anderson identified two reasons for the poor start defensively.
“We didn’t execute scheme on the one, and didn’t execute fundamentals on the next one,” he said. “The first one was just a missed assignment. The next on we had two guys hit him (Weah) right in the hole, and just didn’t tackle him.”
Thomas Jefferson found a spark of offense on its third possession when senior running back Jermaine Green scampered 66 yards for a touchdown to cut the Monarch lead to 14-7. However, that spark didn’t last long.
On their third possession, the Monarchs doubled their total plays from scrimmage, but the outcome was the same. A three-play, 65-yard drive culminated with a Wiebers 14-yard touchdown run, moving the score to 21-7.
The first-quarter Monarch scoring barrage was capped by a 37-yard touchdown pass from Wiebers to Nyamlell Wakoson. That drive consisted of two plays covering 47 yards.
Denison-Schleswig added one more score before the half — a 2-yard plunge by Weah — to take a 35-7 lead at the intermission.
If the Jackets had any hopes of big second half comeback, the Monarchs snuffed that out with an eight-play, 68-yard drive to open the half.
“That was really our challenge in the locker room. Our challenge was, handle the kickoff, and then go down and score. Our kids took care of business and handled it well,” Van Klay said
After two lackluster plays to open the drive, the Monarchs converted on a third-and-10 when Weibers found Jack Mendlik for 29 yards. Mendlik also had two interceptions on defense.
“We need that part of our offense to expand,” Van Klay said of the passing attack. “That’s just two kids making big plays.”
Weah finished off the drive, scoring his third touchdown of the evening on a 12-yard run.
Wiebers said, “We just made the right plays, and everybody was just doing their thing.”
Weah led the rushing attack for the Monarchs, amassing 97 rushing yards on the night on just 12 carries. Wiebers totaled 278 yards of total offense (81 rushing and 197 passing) and accounted for three touchdowns (two rushing, one passing).
Denison plays host to Carroll Kuemper next week, while Thomas Jefferson is back in action when they host cross-town foe Lewis Central.
The Yellow Jackets were looking to remain undefeated, but coach Anderson says he still has a lot of faith in his team.
“I told the kids, I don’t feel any different about this team than I did last week. We’re a team that plays hard, that plays tough, and we have a long ways to go,” Anderson said. “The same way I felt last week.”
D-S (2-1) 28 7 7 7 — 49
T.J. (2-1) 7 0 0 13 — 20
D-S: Weibers 58 run (Kick good)
D-S: Weah 34 run (Kick good)
TJ: Jermaine Green 66 run (Kick good)
D-S: Wiebers 14 run (Kick good)
D-S: Nyamlell Wakonos 37 pass from Wiebers (Kick good)
D-S: Weah 2 run (Kick good)
D-S: Weah 12 run (Kick good)
TJ: Hunter Jones 12 pass from Austin Schubert (Kick good)
TJ: Mack Dofner 20 pass from Schubert (Kick no good
D-S: Colin Reis 28 run (Kick good)