Week 6 Rewind: West High Defense Dominant in Impressive Win over Linn-Mar

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Photo by Jeff Yoder

Ryan Murken

Your Prep Sports

As he watched his team play defense on Friday night against Linn-Mar all that seemed to stand out to West High coach Garrett Hartwig were the mistakes.

“We actually kind of ragged on our linebackers a little bit for not doing some things right,” Hartwig admitted. “Not spying the quarterback like they should have.”

It is tough to imagine Hartwig had much criticism for his defense after watching the film.

West High set a school record for yards allowed, holding Linn-Mar to one yard of total offense, in a 41-7 win at Linn-Mar Stadium.

The Trojans allowed 32 passing yards but limited Linn-Mar to -31 yards on the ground to break the previous school record for total yards set in 1998 when West High held City High to 13 total yards.

“It’s hard because in the moment, as a coach, you always look at what you are not doing but you take a step back and say ‘wow’,” Hartwig said. “They should be proud of themselves.”

West High had 10 tackles for loss and three sacks in the game to produce the negative rushing total.

The -31 rushing yards was 11 yards off the school record for fewest yards on the ground, set last season when West High burling to -42 on the ground.

Ten different players had a hand in making a stop in the Lion backfield on Friday with senior nose tackle Landon Green leading the way with 2.5 tackles for loss including a sack.

Senior linebacker Brendan Mott had the other two sacks for West High which is tied for 4th in Class 4A with 15 sacks on the season.

“We have a very good defensive line it starts with Landon Green, Josh Halverson and Jason Strunk and our linebackers complement the defensive line really well,” Hartwig said. “Coach (Tyler) Meade brings a ton of different looks for pressure and we’ve been able to get some penetration and get teams out of their comfort zone.”

The dominant effort on Friday improved on what is already an impressive defensive resume for the Trojans this season.

West High is allowing 113 rushing yards and 220 total yards and holding opponents to 11.5 points per game this season. 

Perhaps the most impressive element of the defensive performance on Friday is what Hartwig enjoys most, it was a total team effort.

No West High player had more the 3.5 tackles and 19 different players were credit with a stop.

“What I like about this group is they aren’t content with what they’ve done,” Hartwig said. “It’s a tough group of kids and they are working hard and they haven’t received any awards yet nor should they but if they keep getting better they will be in the game they want to be in.”

History Maker: When a program has had as much success as West Branch has enjoyed over the years any time a player does something that has never been done it is noteworthy.

That was certainly the case for what West Branch senior receiver Brett Schiele pulled off on Friday.

Schiele became the first Bear to return a punt and a kickoff for a touchdown in the same game scoring on an 82-yard kick off return and taking a punt back 72 yards for a score.

For good measure Schiele capped his impressive night with four receptions for 69 yards and a 21-yard touchdown in a 52-14 win over North Cedar.

Dunn Right: A starter on the Regina state title soccer team Michael Dunn is no stranger to clutch kicks.

The Regina junior came up with a huge one on Friday as Regina rallied from a 16-point second-half deficit to down South Hardin 22-19.

Dunn drilled a 25-yard game-winning field goal as time expired as Regina improved to 3-3 with its second consecutive win.

Dunn had a career-long 29-yard field goal in the opening half and is 3-of-4 on field goals and a perfect 14-of-14 on extra points in his first season as the Regina place kicker.

Unbeatens: The list of undefeated teams in the state continues to dwindle with only 28 teams unbeaten after six weeks.

Among those unbeatens are a pair of area teams that account for nearly half of the five Class 3A teams with unblemished records.

Solon (6-0) and Clear Creek Amana (6-0) are the lone remaining unbeaten teams and join Cedar Rapids Xavier, Council Bluffs Lewis Central and Pella as the only remaining undefeated teams in Class 3A.

Offensive Performer of the week: Andrew Rohret continues to come up with big performances for Clear Creek Amana.

The latest big-time performance for the senior quarterback came on Friday when Rohret completed 13-of-19 passes for 101 yards and rushed for 34 yards and three touchdowns in a 28-0 win over Clinton.

Rohret also had three tackles for loss including a sack and recovered a fumble from his outside linebacker spot.

Best of the rest: West High sophomore quarterback Marcus Morgan completed 15-of-23 passes for 203 yards and two touchdowns and also rushed for 85 yards in a 41-7 win over Linn-Mar.

Regina sophomore wide receiver Alec Wick caught 12 passes for 122 yards in a 22-19 win over South Hardin.

West Branch junior Wyatt Goodale caught three passes for 102 yards and two touchdowns and also had an interception in a 52-14 win over North Cedar.

Defensive performer of the week: After leading West Branch in tackles last season John Hatfield has picked up where he left off this fall.

In Friday’s win over North Cedar the senior linebacker did a little bit of everything.

Hatfield had 5.5 tackles, recovered a fumble and picked off a pass as West Branch improved to 5-1 with a 52-14 win.

Best of the rest: Clear Creek Amana junior linebacker Grant Jensen had seven tackles, including two for loss and a sack in a 28-0 win over Clinton.

Solon senior defensive back Aidan Dall had three tackles and an interception in a 37-14 win over Washington.

West Branch junior Brad Hunger had a team-high eight tackles including two for loss in a 52-14 win over North Cedar.

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