Ground games crucial in IMS split

Iola Middle School's Mustangs rushed for more than 200 yards in a 20-8 victory over Santa Fe Trail Thursday. The Chargers returned the favor in the eighth-grade contest, controlling the game from the ground in a win over IMS.

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Sports

September 24, 2021 - 2:52 PM

Iola Middle School's Trey Wilson veers between Santa Fe High defenders for the Mustang eighth-graders Thursday. Photo by Richard Luken / Iola Register

Never underestimate the importance of ball control.

Iola Middle School’s seventh- and eighth-grade teams hosted Santa Fe Trail in a football doubleheader.

And in both games, the team that controlled the ground game also controlled the scoreboard.

Iola’s seventh-graders racked up 207 rushing yards — 201 by Kale Pratt — and dominated time of possession down the stretch in a 20-8 victory.

Meanwhile, Santa Fe Trail’s eighth-graders racked up yards aplenty with their potent option game, rolling to a 42-12 victory.

“There’s not a lot of mystery to what they do,” Mustang head coach Scott Ellis said. “They just do it very well.”

Iola’s eighth-graders jumped ahead early when Tre Wilson found Noah  Schowengerdt with a perfectly placed pass down the right sideline for a 36-yard touchdown.

But Santa Fe Trail responded promptly, using a big kickoff return to set up at the Mustang 30, then marching the rest of the way to tie the score at 6-6.

An Iola fumble on its next possession was followed by the Chargers’ second touchdown, and a 14-6 lead.

That set the tone for the balance of the game. Iola suffered three more turnovers, while Santa Fe Trail moved the ball consistently, pushing the lead to 28-6 at halftime.

Wilson dented the scoreboard once again in the game’s waning moments, when he scooped up a fumble and raced  60 yards to the end zone for the final tally.

Wilson completed 6 of 12 passes for 124 yards, while rushing for 25 more.

Schowengerdt hauled in five passes for 111 yards, while rushing for seven.

Wilson and Henry White each had 11-yard receptions.

Nick Bauer completed his only pass attempt, but exited in the first half with a leg injury. Teammate Mathew Drago also spent the second half on the sidelines with injury.

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