Nodaway Valley/O-M put just enough points on the scoreboard and won the turnover margin to defeat Red Oak on the road Friday, Sept. 10, 6-0.
Defense was the name of the game for the Wolverines on this night, head coach Seth Comly said.
“I think that defensively we gave the effort I’d expect from us from the get go,” Comly said. “Offensively, I thought even though we scored six points we made good decisions with the ball. We only had one turnover, which was a fumble that was just a good hit on a guy and it hit the ball just right. I wish we would’ve finished drives a little more, but that will come with time.”
NV/O-M’s only touchdown of the game came late in the first quarter on a 34-yard catch from quarterback Nathan Russell by Tyson Ross.
The Wolverines were helped by three takeaways on defense, by Caelen DeVault, Matthew Weber and Blake Lund.
Defensive end Adam Ayase led the defensive unit with 12.5 tackles and became the program’s all-time sacks leader with 14 for his career. The record he broke was held by Billy Baudler. The other defensive end, in a new-look defense this week, was Avery Phillippi.
As one of the senior leaders on defense at a line position, Carter Holder enjoyed being a part of such a good defensive game. The Wolverines out gained Red Oak 165 to 110 yards.
“We just carried over things from practice. Just running to the ball, doing the things we do in practice, that carries over to the games,” said Holder. “We’ve just gotta be better at it. We’ve gotta keep the throttle down, get to practice, hit the weights, fire up and have fun.”
Russell was 14-of-23 for 123 yards passing and one touchdown in the game. Boston DeVault had nine carries for 25 yards on the ground while his older brother, Caelen, finished with three rushes for 21 yards. Caelen DeVault was the leading receiver with six catches for 49 yards. Ayase led the defense with 12.5 tackles.
“We moved the ball well but could’ve executed down deep in their territory,” Boston DeVault said. “We didn’t have a great night offensive-wise, passing and rushing. We got the rushing game going a little bit but not as well as we’d like.”
The Wolverines travel to Interstate 35 Friday, Sept. 15 to open Class 1A, District 7 play. The Roadrunners (1-2) are coming off a 35-21 loss to Woodward-Granger.
“I told the guys that now the real season starts. You can look at these almost like a preseason game. We want to win every game, but if we drop those games, we can still make the playoffs,” Comly said. “Now the real fun starts. Now the crucial games start. I try to help the guys remember it’s one game at a time and is just a game, but now it’s time we start hitting mid-season form and start executing at a higher level because the games definitely have more weight now.”