Prep Football

No. 8 Iowa Valley pounces on Collins-Maxwell in season-opening win

Tigers roll to 46-14 victory in Week 0

MARENGO – Full throttle. No brakes. Iowa Valley ran over Collins-Maxwell with its fast-paced and in-your-face brand of football right from the start.

The eighth-ranked Tigers scored touchdowns on their first three drives of the game and cruised to a 46-14 victory over the Spartans in an 8-player game Friday night at Harold Wilkinson Field.

“We came out fired up,” senior quarterback Ben Smith said. “That is how we do it, pretty much. Keep it rolling through the game. Never back down. It’s always fun.”

The Tigers (1-0) pounced on Collins-Maxwell early, building a 22-0 lead less than eight minutes into the game. The start was exactly what they had scripted.

“We had the expectation to come out, jump on them and get that momentum rolling, which is huge in high school football,” Tigers Coach Cody Snitker said, “As long as you can get that momentum early, we really felt confident that would put us in a good position.”

Smith had his hands in four of Iowa Valley’s six TDs, including three in the first half. He helped the Tigers get on the board with a 5-yard rush, capping a five-play, 45-yard initial drive.

On the next possession, He connected on the first of three scoring strikes, hitting Kayne Marshall for a 20-yard TD for a 14-0 lead.

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Smith capped the first-half barrage with a 33-yard TD pass to Derek Leonard, who made a nice cut to shed a defender to get the final few yards. The Tigers lead 38-0 at the break.

“I have great wide receivers,” Smith said. “We’ve been working all offseason and stuff. It hasn’t stopped since last season and we had success last season.”

Smith threw for 97 yards and rushed for 97. Three of the scores were through the air. He showed his ability as a dual-threat QB, but he doesn’t favor the air or the ground. Just getting the Tigers in the end zone.

“It’s hard to tell,” Smith said with a laugh. “I just like scoring. A win is a win, I guess.”

Iowa Valley substituted after Smith hit Marshall for a 24-yard score on its first possession of the second half. About 16 reserves were able to see action and gain experience to start the season, helping to build some depth.

“It is crucial,” Snitker said. “A lot of times the team that is deepest in 8-man can make a run longer.”

The Tigers weren’t perfect, committing 10 penalties for 80 yards. They were flagged seven times for 40 yards in the first half. The majority of those were the pre-snap variety.

“That’s why it is good to jump on them quick and overcome those penalties,” Snitker said. “It’s good to see on tape, because now they know what they need to work on and this is what we’re going to get better at next game.”

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Iowa Valley received touchdown runs of 21 and 12 from Brody Hoyt and Evan Reuter, respectively. The Tigers were up 46-0 in the third when the Spartans scored twice in the fourth to end the running clock.

Iowa Valley has a bye next week.

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

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