TROY MILLS — Iowa City Regina hasn’t managed much traction with the run game through its first six weeks.
On a night rains transformed the football field into a quagmire after more than an hour delay at the half, the Regals needed to rely on the rush attack to help battle the conditions and a strong North Linn defense. It was enough to pull Regina above .500 for the first time this season.
Kieler Brown had his best game of the season, rushing for almost 100 yards and Ashton Cook added 151 yards in the air, leading the Regals to a 35-12 Class 1A District 6 victory over the Lynx night at North Linn High School. Regina improved to 4-3 overall and 3-0 in district play.
Regina amassed just 135 yards on the ground, but it was 30 yards above its average entering the game.
“I think our guys did a really good job, especially on a sloppy field, to make sure we were staying with it,” said Regina Coach Marv Cook, noting the team worked on double-team blocking during the week. “Kieler Brown was doing a great job, staying behind that double team and coming out the other side. I thought it was an improvement and step up for us against a really good team.”
The Regals capitalized on early mistakes that limited the Lynx to just seven offensive plays through the first 18:34 of the game.
North Linn stifled Regina’s opening drive at the Lynx 7, forcing a turnover on downs. Three plays later, Alec Wick provided a spark, undercutting an out route and returning an interception 15 yards for a touchdown.
Wick’s second interception provided the Regals’ first defensive score of the season.
“One thing we’ve preached is we needed defensive and special teams points,” Cook said. “It was a great turn there for us and Alec is a great player. Once he got in the right position, he made a great play.
“We need more of that.”
Brown helped cap Regina’s second possession with three straight runs, including a 24-yard gain that set up a 4-yard TD. Brown led Regina with 98 yards and almost became just the second Regal to surpass 100 rushing yards in a game this year.
Scott Arendt added a 3-yard TD on the next drive that started on the Lynx 35 after recovering a fumbled kickoff. The Regals nearly matched their season average before the break, running for 104 yards through two quarters.
Cook, a sophomore, returned from injury for limited duty. He completed 10 of 20 passes, including a 37-yard TD pass to Bryce Barnett, all but sealing the win with 3:10 remaining.
It was his first game since Week 2. Barnett finished with 69 receiving yards and Wick had 49.
Cook also had a 2-yard scoring run early in the fourth, helping Regina pull away.
“He was a little rusty but made some good throws,” Marv Cook said. “The conditions weren’t the best, but I thought he did a nice job.”
Quarterback Austin Miller helped keep the Lynx in the game. He rushed for two TDs and a team-high 63 yards. Miller pulled North Linn (4-3, 1-2) within 21-12 in the final minute of the third.
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