Photo by Jeff Yoder
Your Prep Sports
It took Brett Schiele and his West Branch teammates a little time to get warmed up on Friday’s chilly matchup with North Cedar.
Once Schiele provided a spark the West Branch offense was red hot.
Schiele rebounded after losing a fumble on the first offensive play of the game to spark West Branch with a kick off return for a touchdown as the Class 1A sixth-ranked Bears roared to a 52-14 win over North Cedar (1-5, 0-2) in a District 4 matchup at newly dedicated Butch Pedersen Field.
Schiele became the first player in West Branch history to return a punt and kickoff for a touchdown in the same game as West Branch rebounded from a 28-20 loss to Bellevue last week in its district opener.
West Branch averaged 13.6 yards per offensive snap while putting up season-highs in rushing yards (279) and total offense (463).
Senior quarterback Beau Cornwell completed 10-of-11 passes for 196 yards and four touchdowns, including a 21-yard TD strike to Schiele as West Branch improved to 5-1 on the season and 1-1 in district play.
Coming off its first regular season loss since the 2016 finale things started a little shaky as Schiele lost a fumble on the first offensive play of the game.
West Branch forced North Cedar to go three-and-out following the fumble and went 67 yard in three plays taking a 7-0 lead on a 19-yard touchdown pass from Cornwell to Wyatt Goodale.
The Bears made it 14-0 when Schiele scored on a 21-yard strike from Cornwell with 3:42 left in the opening quarter.
North Cedar cut the lead to 14-6 with an 11-play, 69-yard touchdown drive but Schiele gave all the momentum back to West Branch when he returned the ensuing kickoff 82 yards for a score.
The kick return for a touchdown started a string of 38 consecutive points for the Bears.
Tanner Lukavsky scored on a 54-yard run and a 20-yard pass in the final 6:10 of the first half to give West Branch a 35-6 halftime lead.
On the first play of the second half Cornwell hit Goodale for a 70-yard touchdown and Schiele capped the West Branch scoring string with a 74-yard punt return for a score.
The punt return touchdown was the second of the season for Schiele who also leads the team with five touchdown receptions.
Lukavsky rushed for 149 yards on just six carries, all in the first half and Goodale finished with three receptions for 102 yards and two scores.
Schiele caught four passes for 69 yards and a touchdown and Lukavsky had two grabs for 22 yards and a touchdown.
West Branch forced four North Cedar turnovers as Goodale, John Hatfield and Dakota Kaalberg all had interceptions and Hatfield recovered a fumble.
Brad Hunger and Kaalberg each had eight tackles to lead West Branch
First downs 16 18
Rushes-yards 23-279 42-145
Comp-Att-Int 10-11-1 10-25-3
Passing yards 196 85
Total yards 463 230
Punts-Avg. 0-0 4-22.5
Fumbles-lost 3-2 2-1
Penalties-yards 5-57 1-2
WB – Wyatt Goodale 19 pass from Beau Cornwell (Cornwell kick)
WB – Brett Schiele 21 pass from Beau Cornwell (Cornwell kick)
NC – 16 Pass (Kick blocked)
WB – Schiele 82 kick off return (Cornwell kick)
WB – Tanner Lukavsky 54 run (Cornwell kick)
WB – Lukavsky 20 pass from Cornwell (Cornwell kick)
WB – Goodale 70 pass from Cornwell (Cornwell kick)
WB – Cornwell 23 field goal
WB – Schiele 74 punt return (Cornwell kick)
NC – 1 run (Run)
RUSHING – WB: Tanner Lukavsky 6-149, John Yates 2-55, Brett Schiele 2-28, Trey Eagle 1-19, Wyatt Hamby 6-17, Wyatt Goodale 1-9, Beau Cornwell 3-2.
PASSING – WB: Beau Cornwell 10-11-1 196
RECEIVING – WB: Wyatt Goodale 3-102, Brett Schiele 4-69, Tanner Lukavsky 2-22, Trey Eagle 1-3