Nodaway Valley/O-M struggled to find any serious momentum on offense against Red Oak Friday, Sept. 9, and it led to a 36-0 loss to the Tigers in the Wolverines’ home opener.
Red Oak was kept off schedule by the Wolverine defense and a rash of penalties in the first half, however its big play ability shined through much of the game and allowed the Tigers to pull away in the second half.
“I was a little concerned with their speed on offense and their big play ability, so with the team, we talked about minimizing big plays, taking advantage of our opportunities, playing sound football and being disciplined,” NV/O-M interim head coach Thad Tussey said. “At halftime, to only be down 7-0, we’re not for moral victories, but there’s battles within fights. We may not win the fight, but we’re not down and out.”
Red Oak drew first blood on a 29-yard catch by Dawson Bond from Chase Roeder with 3:16 left in the second quarter and led 14-0 at the end of the third quarter on a one yard run from running back Riley Fouts.
A telling statistic was that the Wolverines managed only one first down the whole night. Red Oak put together 330 yards of total offense to the Wolverines’ 14. Red Oak had 5.2 yards per play while NV/O-M only gained a third of a yard per play.
The Tigers were whistled 13 times for 100 penalties, and many of them came in the first half. NV/O-M had only four penalties whistled against them for 35 yards and had no turnovers in the game.
“Our guys fly to the ball, but when they get there, they just need to break down and make fundamentally sound tackles. We’re getting guys to the ball pretty quickly but we don’t always make that first tackle,” Tussey said. “We swarm and gang tackle pretty well, and that minimizes a few big plays. Give that running back a little space and he’s going to wiggle through. In a five-yard box, he’s really quick. In an open field, he’s pretty quick. We knew we needed to contain him. Ever since youth football, it’s been contain, contain, contain, and not letting people get outside, get the edge or corners on us.”
Senior Boston DeVault led the defensive side for the home team with 13.5 tackles, while junior Dax Kintigh finished with 10.
On offense, DeVault was 5-for-21 for 22 yards passing in his second game at quarterback. He had 11 rushes for 26 yards. Kintigh had one carry for three yards as the only other ball-carrier with positive yardage. Bradley Gebbie had one catch for 11 yards, Tyson Ross one for six yards and Blake Lund three for five yards.
Gebbie had an interception on defense at the end of the first half.
Nodaway Valley/O-M (0-3) hosts Interstate 35 (1-2) this Friday in its homecoming game. The Roadrunners are coming off their first win of the season, last week against Woodward-Granger.
“We’re going to have to go back to the basics and focus on the little things like passing, catching, blocking, maintaining blocks, ball-carrier vision, ball security. They’re basic things that are the foundation of football,” Tussey said. “(I-35) is a physical group. What they lack in size they make up for in effort. They’re hard-nosed kids and aren’t going to give up. I think it’s a winnable game for both sides.”