COUNCIL BLUFFS – Creston/O-M fell to No. 1 ranked Lewis Central Friday night in a 34-7 final. With the win, the Titans improve to 3-0 and with the loss, the Panthers fall to 1-2.
With rain coming and going through the evening, the Panthers took it to the No. 1 ranked Titans early on. Electing to defer on the coin toss, Creston/O-M put the ball in the hands of the high-octane offense of the Titans.
The ballgame started with a long drive by LC. A 66-yard drive of short passing and runs to start ended on the 4-yard line, with a Briley Hayes tipped pass forcing fourth down.
From the 4-yard line, LC kicked a field goal to go ahead 3-0 at 7:47. Creston/O-M got the ball for its first drive and promptly went three and out, giving the ball back to Lewis Central.
From 34-yards out, Jonah Pomrenke found Nebraska commit Thomas Fidone II for a touchdown. The score, with a successful extra-point, made it 10-0 with more than four minutes left in the first quarter.
The first and only score from Creston/O-M came with 1:07 left in the first quarter. Wide receiver Colby Burg found an opening in LC’s secondary and caught a 33-yard touchdown, untouched by defenders.
Aiden Anderson’s kick for the extra-point made it 10-7 – the score through one quarter, with the Panthers chasing the Titans.
At the 10:16 mark in the second quarter, LC found the end zone and started to make some separation. A Logan Katzer score from 8 yards away made it 17-7, and not long later at 7:36, Jonathan Humpal scored on a 30-yard reception to extend the score to 24-7.
A stop on the 14-yard line by Creston/O-M gave the Panthers the ball with 3:41 left in the half, down 24-7.
A combination of rushers left the Panthers short of a scoring drive to end the half. Entering halftime, the score still held at 24-7.
For the second half, Brance Baker was removed and put on the sideline due to an injury. He joined Cael Kralik, another skill player for the Panthers, as the only current players on the IR.
Creston head coach Brian Morrison said Baker’s timetable for return is unknown.
“We don’t know on Brance until Monday. He’s go and get it checked. Kralik, we’ll know more Monday. ... Those are two really good players for us, ... the next kid steps in and it showed.”
A fourth-quarter score by Fidone II, his second of the game, with 8:33 on the game clock put the bow on the game for LC. His 24-yard score and extra-point made it 34-7, the final score.
A solid night on defense, despite the losing score, is one Moirrison feels was a positive from the game.
“The second half, I think we played pretty well defensively. The first half, we bent a little bit,” said Morrison. “The game plan was pretty simple. They have multiple receivers that can run really well. We can’t double cover one kid and expect to win the football game. We kept it simple, and the kids played extremely hard on all sides of the ball. I think they competed against a good football team.”
Morrison noted noticeable improvements from last week’s home loss to Winterset and also cited effort being present in the game, but also made mention the team cannot get used to losing.
“We got them in situations where it was third and medium, third and long, and we held them, and they punted,” said Morrison. “It was a good effort. Don’t want to get used to losing, but I think our effort was there. The kids played hard.”
Lewis Central’s skill players were on display against a Creston/O-M secondary that played without both of its top cornerbacks in Cael Kralik and Baker.
With Colby Burg filling in as the No. 1 corner, the Titans capitalized on a few deep catches, but Morrison said he showed effort from start to finish.
“The last one (touchdown from Kammrad to Fidone), Burg was there. It was a great throw, it was a great catch, and that’s what it is. ... It was a great effort by him,” Morrison said.
The Panthers were led under center by Cole Strider. Strider threw 103 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
Creston/O_M was led on the ground by Briley Hayes’ 22 yards. Receiving, Burg was the leader with 55 yards on one catch.
The Panthers posted 154 yards of offense to LC’s 384. Creston had one penalty, amounting for five yards.
UP NEXT – Creston/O-M’s schedule does not get easier this coming Friday. The Panthers take on Glenwood, at home, at 7 p.m.
Morrison knows the season will not get easier for the Panthers, calling Creston/O-M’s district the best in the state. But, he thinks if improvements continue, the Panthers could surprise some people.
“I think the kids are having fun. ... I think the kids are going to be excited to get back to it Monday and compete at practice. If you watched us at practice this week, they knew they didn’t play well against Winterset and we had two good practices. ... If we keep improving and keep competing I think we’ll surprise some teams.”
Lewis Central 34, Creston/O-M 7
Points by quarter
C/O-M 7 0 0 0 — 7
LC 10 17 0 7 — 34
7:47 – LC: Hensley 21 field goal.
4:47 – LC: Pomrenke 32 pass to Fidone (Hensley kick).
1:07 – C/O-M: Strider 33 pass to Burg (Anderson kick)
10:16 – LC: Katzer 8 run (Hensley kick)
7:36 – LC: Pomrenke 34 pass to Humpal (Hensley kick)
1:09 – LC: Hensley 36 field goal.
8:33 – LC: Kammrad 24 pass to Fidone (Hensley kick).
First downs 7 19
Rushes-yards 33-51 32-180
Passing 7-19 15-25
Passing yards 103 204
Total yards 154 384
Punts-avg. 6-37.8 3-30.0
Return yards 101 98
Fumbles-lost 1-1 1-1
Penalties-yards 1-5 6-50
RUSHING — C/O-M: Gage Skarda 15-20, Briley Hayes 11-22, Cole Strider 3-6, Garon Wurster 4-3.
PASSING — C/O-M: Cole Strider 7-19-1 103 yards.
RECEIVING — C/O-M: Colby Burg 3-55-1, Britain Miller 1-0, Brance Baker 1-20, Brodie Wallace 2-28
PUNTS-AVG. — C/O-M: Derek Paup 6-227-37.8
TACKLE LEADERS (solo-assists) — C/O-M: Garon Wurster 6-7, Derek Paup 3-6, Kaden Bolton 2-3, Gage Skarda 4-2, Evan Bruce 2-2, Andy Weis 1-4.
INTERCEPTIONS — C/O-M: None.
PASS BREAKUPS — C/O-M: Colby Burg 1, Evan Bruce 1, Briley Hayes 1, Brodie Wallace 1, Garon Wurster 1, Gannon Greenwalt 1.
FUMBLE RECOVERIES — C/O-M: Gannon Greenwalt 1.
TACKLES FOR LOSS (YARDS) — C/O-M: Briley Hayes 1-1, Andy Weis 1-2.
SACKS — C/O-M: None.