Prep Football

Edgewood-Colesburg football off to best start in more than a decade

Week 5 Rewind: Vikings are 4-1; Union drops No. 4 Benton; Six area unbeatens remain

Edgewood-Colesburg Coach James Rochford recognized the potential for a successful season.

The Vikings had some veteran players who have increased their win totals each of the last three years. He may not have expected such a strong start.

Ed-Co posted a 21-7 victory over Maquoketa Valley Friday night at Delhi, improving its record to 4-1 overall and recording the program’s best start since a 4-2 mark through six games in 2007. The Vikings have their most wins in a season since they were 6-3, also in 2007.

“They’re excited,” Rochford said. “They enjoy the wins, but they are very humble kids. They don’t get full of themselves. They play well as a team.”

Ed-Co, 1-0 in Class A District 5, earned its fourth straight win since a season-opening loss to 1A sixth-ranked and unbeaten Bellevue. Preston Rochford powered the Vikings, scoring three touchdowns and rushing for 157 yards. The defense tallied at least eight tackles for loss and forced two turnovers. Consistency and focus needs to improve in upcoming weeks, according to the elder Rochford.

“We got the job done,” he said. “We got a win, but we’re not going to get by with that every week.”

Ed-Co has rushed for 1,254 yards through five games. Preston Rochford leads the way with 795 yards and 13 TDs. Kal Hoeger has added 208 and two. Ethan Streicher has thrown for 401 yards with six TDs, including three to the younger Rochford.

“The biggest key for us is our team speed,” Coach Rochford said. “We’ve got some pretty good team speed. It’s hard to key on one or two guys, so we use that to our advantage.”

“We are not big up front. We have to take what the defense is going to give us.”

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The defense only allowed one score, has forced 11 total turnovers and hasn’t surrendered more than 14 in a victory this season. Ed-Co has also shut out two opponents.

“Defense is our strength,” Rochford said. “We give the other team poor field position and make them earn every yard. I think we hang our hat on the defense.”

Seniors Rochford and Streicher and juniors Spencer Staner and David Horstman are three-year starters. The Vikings have been led by the seasoned upperclassmen.

“We were expecting big things out of them,” Rochford said of the senior class. “The junior class has a lot of talented kids.

“We have a lot of kids with really good experience.”

Ed-Co hosts Lisbon (0-5, 0-1) next Friday.

Union upsets Benton

Union Community rebounded from two straight losses with a decisive 34-6 victory over Class 2A No. 4 Benton Community at La Porte City. The Knights improved to 3-2 and 1-0 in Class 2A District 7.

The Knights rushed for 258 yards, including 132 from Kaleb Roach and 110 from Brayden Grosse. Roach and Grosse scored two TDs apiece. Roach’s 59-yard scoring jaunt igniting 34 straight Union points.

Britton Rolison led the Knights with 198 all-purpose yards. He intercepted two passes, returning one 30 yards for a TD. Rolison added 93 receiving yards and 25 on the ground.

Union’s defense limited Benton to just 204 total yards of offense, including 27 rushing on 26 carries. The Knights didn’t allow a score until 5:31 left in the third.

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Area unbeatens

The list of area unbeaten teams shrunk after the start of district competition. Six teams reached the midway point unscathed.

In Class 3A, top-ranked Cedar Rapids Xavier, No. 4 Solon and Clear Creek Amana improved to 5-0.

BGM (Class A) and Central City (8-Player) won battles of unbeatens, moving to 5-0. The Bears beat Highland, 31-22. The Wildcats downed Turkey Valley, 56-42.

Iowa Valley is also 5-0 in 8-Player action. The Tigers were idle after beating Winfield-Mount Union, 84-22, last Friday night. Ben Smith threw for two TDs and rushed for two more. Noah Mumby rushed for 128 yards and two TDs for Iowa Valley.

l Comments: (319) 368-8679; kj.pilcher@thegazette.com

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