No. 5 Iowa Western remains unbeaten on the road as they improved to 3-0 away from Council Bluffs as they defeated Northeastern Oklahoma A&M 48-0.
The game also marks Iowa Western’s third shut out win in the past four games.
After another slow start for the Iowa Western offense, who ended their first two drives with a three and outs, the Reiver offense began to find some mojo as Nate Glantz found freshman running back Kedrik Osuorah on a four yard touchdown pass late in the first quarter.
The Reivers would then find the end zone twice in the second quarter as Glantz threw his second touchdown pass of the game, this one an eight yard pass to freshman receiver Jermaine Dawson to make it 14-0.
Next drive, redshirt sophomore Milton Sargbah ran in a score from four yards out, Josh Jasek then made his third PAT to make it 21-0. Sargbah ran for 89 yards on six carries and scored twice.
Though the offense again took a bit to get in their groove, Reiver coach Scott Strohmeier was pleased with how his offense eventually settled in to take control.
“Early on we missed out on a few opportunities,” Reiver coach Scott Strohmeier said. “Once we started clicking we knew we were going to make some plays, and people can say what they want about them being 0-6 now, but that’s really good defense. It’s as good of a defense that we’ve seen this year since Snow College. We knew it was going to be tough, but we eventually found a way to make the big plays.”
The defense once again played a big role in this victory. The Reiver defense held the Norseman to just 50 yards in the first half and just 91 yards for the whole game and forced two turnovers.
“We really dominated up front defensively,” Strohmeier said. “Our defense was just phenomenal; they only completed six passes (out of 19 attempts) and made their run game nonexistent. That was about as dominant of a defensive performance that I’ve been a part of. I’ve been a part of some great ones, and not that I can remember them all, but this was pretty good.”
The Norseman did make a defensive stand right before the half to keep the score 21-0, thus perhaps gaining a sliver of momentum heading into the break. Iowa Western quickly slammed the door on any opportunity of building on that momentum with an explosive third quarter.
The Reiver defense forced a three out to open the third quarter. Following that, the Reiver offense went 87 yards in two plays as Glantz connected to Kaden Wetjen for a 60 yard touchdown play, which came immediately after a 27 yard run from Sargbah.
The Reivers’ “Dark Side” defense then sent NEO off the field again after four plays following that touchdown. The Reiver offense then went on a four play drive that ended with Glantz throwing his fourth and final touchdown pass of the afternoon to Michael Love from 12 yards out.
Glantz ended his day 12-21 for 229 yards passing and four TDs.
In summary, Strohmeier had a lot to be happy about with his team in the third quarter.
“We really exploded in the second half,” Strohmeier said. “I think we missed a few opportunities in the first half, but I’m proud of our guys and of how they played, especially in the second half.”
Notably, Jasek kicked a 25 yard field goal through and Sargbah ran in a 46 yard touchdown before the third quarter came to its end.
Jasek kicked a 20 yard field goal in the fourth quarter to cap off the scoring for Iowa Western.
The Reivers will have the weekend off next week as they welcome a much needed bye week to heal up from injuries from previous games.
“It’s huge from a health standpoint for us,” Strohmeier said. “We’ve needed a week off and we’re going to be extremely light this next week. The biggest thing is to try and get as many guys back as we can.
“We’re playing as good of football as anyone in the country right now. So, we just really need to try to get guys healthy and ready for the rest of the season.”
After the bye week, the Reivers will return to the field on May 15 to take on Southern Shreveport at 1 p.m. at Titan Stadium.