While it wasn’t always pretty early, Class 3-A No. 5 Lewis Central overpowered Thomas Jefferson 60-14 Friday night at Gale Wickersham Stadium to remain undefeated in prep football action.
The Titans built a 16-0 lead after one quarter, and scored 30 points in the second to take a commanding 46-0 lead at the half. But, L.C. coach Justin Kammrad wasn’t necessarily thrilled with a host of early penalties and sluggish play.
“Yeah, you know, wasn’t very happy to start the game,” he said. “You know that’s one of those things that is extremely frustrating, because it’s one of those things we thought we had cleared up. I’m happy that we got things turned around real quick and got going.”
The Titans started quick offensively, scoring on their second play from scrimmage on a 30-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Bret Kobes to 6-foot-3 junior wide receiver Thomas Fidone II. After a missed Titan field goal, an errant T.J. snap went through the endzone for a safety, and a 9-0 LC lead.
Lewis Central started each of its three first-quarter possessions in Thomas Jefferson territory. Their third possession culminated in an 8-yard touchdown strike from Kobes to junior wide receiver Jonah Pomrenke to take a 16-0 lead after the first.
Even though they trailed 16-0 after the first quarter, Jacket coach Brant Anderson didn’t feel as though his team was defeated.
“We were hanging in there tough, we were trading punches with them,” he said. “In the first quarter, our guys were coming off saying, ‘we can play with these guys’, ‘we’re good’, ‘we’re fine’.”
The 30-point second quarter really put things out of reach as the Titans rolled offensively, and caused havoc defensively.
Kobes threw two more touchdown passes in the second quarter, and finished the first half 7 of 12 for 164 yards and four touchdowns. Kobes found Brady Miller on a 20-yard screen pass where he scored untouched, and found Colbey Roth all alone for a 57-yard strike.
“We’re not a throwing team, per se,” Kammrad said, “but we can do it.”
The Titans also scored in the quarter on a 36-yard Bryson Bowman run. The defense did its part as well, taking advantage of another errant T.J. snap for the game’s second safety as well as Miller scooping a fumble for a 15-yard score.
“(It’s a) good thing that our defense holds us in some ball games. They play extremely well,” Kammrad said.
Kammrad also said his team was prepared for some of the things T.J. does offensively with their tight formations and their running game that uses a mix of power and deception.
“That’s the thing, when you play them and the type of offense that they run, it’s extremely difficult to really prepare for that in five days,” he said. “I’m happy that we were really able to slow down the running game tonight and let our offense get going. Our guys responded.”
The Titans held the Jackets to negative rushing yards in the first half, and held Jermaine Green (who had been averaging more than 100 per game on the ground) to just 37 yards on 10 carries for the game.
Coach Anderson identified a number of “bungles” in the second quarter that led to easy Titan scoring opportunities.
“It was just too easy for them in the second quarter,” he said. “We gave them too many easy opportunities and they took advantage. We just let the bottom fall out so fast.”
The Jackets managed to get on the board early in the third quarter on an Austin Schubert 62-yard touchdown pass to Hunter Jones. Late in the fourth, Schubert connected with Green for a 75-yard strike through the air for the final margin. Schubert finished the game 4 of 8 for 152 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.
The Titans finished the game with 257 yards on the ground, led by sophomore Ethen Fishell who had 119 yards on eight carries — including a 43-yard touchdown — as the back up quarterback playing the entire second half. Bowman had 71 yards on four carries, while Miller added 45 yards on six carries.
Fidone led all receivers with four catches and 79 yards.
The Jackets have another tough task next week as they travel to West Des Moines, Valley.
“The message moving forward is now it’s district play,” Anderson said. “Our fundamentals have to get better, and the fundamentals we practice have to get used, and not just revert back to sixth grade football when it comes Friday night.”
Lewis Central (4-0) 16 30 7 7 — 60
Thomas Jefferson (2-2) 0 0 7 7 — 14
LC: Fidone II 30 pass from Bret Kobes (Lane Feierfeil kick good)
LC: Jonah Pomrenke 8 pass from Kobes (Feierfeil kick good)
LC: Bryson Bowman 36 run (Feierfeil kick good)
LC: Miller 20 pass from Kobes (Feierfeil kick good)
LC: Miller 39 fumble recovery
LC: Colbey Roth 57 pass from Kobes (Feierfeil kick good)
TJ: Hunter Jones 62 pass from Austin Schubert (Harold kick good)
LC: Ethen Fishell 42 run (Feierfeil kick good)
LC: Logan Katzer 21 pass from Fishell (Feierfeil kick good)
TJ: Green 75 pass from Schubert (Harold kick good)