TREYNOR, Iowa – Tough defense and a bruising rushing attack. Suddenly IKM-Manning football is looking like its old self.
The Wolves waded through a non-district season in which they struggled to score and get key stops. But the traditional powerhouse went back to its roots Friday night in its Iowa Class 1-A, District 1 opener, relying on a pair of goal-line stands and a clutch drive late in the fourth quarter to dispatch Treynor 21-7.
“Everyone just made plays; that’s the big thing,” IKM-Manning quarterback Kyle Wagner said. “We’ll do whatever we have to do to have success.”
Treynor (2-1, 0-1) trailed 13-7 and had a first-and-goal situation at IKM-Manning’s 8 yard line to start the fourth quarter. The Wolves (2-1, 1-0) responded by stuffing the next four run plays for a turnover on downs.
Disaster struck the visitors two plays later when they fumbled a handoff and Sam Gregory recovered to set up Treynor five yards from pay dirt. But a holding penalty moved the Cards back and they eventually missed a 31-yard field goal wide right.
IKM-Manning made the defensive stops despite missing three starters among its front seven.
“At times we ran the ball well when we could handle the handoff,” Wolves coach Tom Casey said. “The offense did just enough to win and we had two good defensive stands late.”
From there, the Wolves covered 80 yards on 10 consecutive running plays to burn up more than five minutes of game clock. Wagner capped the pivotal trek with a 2-yard touchdown sneak and Jared Vollstedt ran in the conversion to all but seal the game with 3:55 left.
Wagner said the finish came in the kind of old-school fashion that past teams at his school would be proud of.
“I told our offensive coordinator I thought we had to pound them,” Wagner said. “Our defensive line was pumped from stopping them and most of those guys play offensive line too, so they wanted to run the ball.”
Along with his rushing score, Wagner kicked field goals of 29 and 19 yards and added an extra point. He finished 9-of-18 passing for 146 yards, including seven completions to Vollstedt for 125.
Treynor coach Jeff Casey lamented the missed chances in the red zone. In all, his team earned 10 first downs on 11 possessions before the final play of the game. Outside of an 8-yard touchdown on a screen pass from quarterback Nate Hill to Kyle Young in the third quarter, the Cardinal drives produced four punts, five turnovers on downs and a missed field goal.
“We kind of shot ourselves in the foot,” Casey said. “We’d get in a good position and have a false start or holding (penalty). We’ve got to bounce back, but it’s early. Those are easy mistakes to fix, so we have to buckle down.”
IKM-Manning – which beat Treynor 38-14 last year – outgained its district rival 342-253. The Cards recovered three fumbles, however, to keep it tight until midway through the fourth frame. Michael Deitchler picked up two loose balls in the second half.
Hill finished 16-of-33 passing for 193 yards and a score for Treynor while Young led the rushing attack with 44 yards on 14 carries.
For IKM-Manning, fill-in freshman Stephen Grimm ran for 103 yards on 19 totes. Many came on the signature counters and sweeps the program has run for years.
“It’s hard to simulate that in practice,” Jeff Casey said. “We don’t have guys that are 6-foot-2, 260 (pounds) ourselves, so it’s hard to replicate that and get a good look. And it’s hard when you finally have to see it in person like tonight.”
IKM-Manning (2-1, 1-0) ...................... 0 13 0 8—21
At Treynor (2-1, 0-1) .......................... 0 0 7 0— 7
IKMM: Ridge Muhlbauer 6 run (Kyle Wagner kick)
IKMM: Wagner 29 FG
IKMM: Wagner 19 FG
T: Kyle Young 8 pass from Nate Hill (Jayedon Thiel kick)
IKMM: Wagner 2 run (Jared Vollstedt run)