MINATARE — The Sioux County Warriors used a strong first half to hold off Minatare, 58-41, on Friday night.
Sioux County and Minatare combined for 856 yards of total offense. Minatare finished with 435 yards, including 299 on the ground. The Indians’ big workhorse was junior Javier Guerrero, who tallied 215 yards on 14 carries. He also had two rushing touchdowns and a 24-yard receiving touchdown.
Sioux County had 421 total yards. Quarterback Nathan Woodrum threw for 345 yards and five touchdowns, and he scored another touchdown on a run.
Sioux County coach Barry Swisher was elated to see his young squad outlast the Indians.
“We really only have two full-time starters back, and we are playing a lot of kids out of position. Both our backs got hurt, so it was good for our other kids to get experience,” he said. “We gave up some points, but they have to learn. I am pretty happy with how we played.”
Swisher said a lot of his players stepped up.
“It is a learning process for us coaches, too, because we don’t know what we have because we haven’t seen them play,” he said. “But they did a good job. We will get things ironed out on defense, but that is a good football team [Minatare]. They will win a lot of games.”
Minatare coach JJ Ozuna was also pleased with what his team displayed, especially in the second half when they outscored Sioux County 34-20.
“The first quarter we came out pretty shaky and the second quarter wasn’t too great,” Ozuna said. “But how they responded at halftime in the locker room, where we made some adjustments, I was real proud of them. There is nothing to look down about; it is all positive talk after the game.
“It only goes up from here. There is so much that we can accomplish if we keep our heads on straight and keep our attitudes great.”
The game was actually won in the first half as Sioux County tallied 287 yards passing and 23 yards on the ground. The Warriors put up five first-half touchdowns through the air.
Woodrum got the scoring started early, hitting Josh King on a 43-yard touchdown on the opening play of the game. Six minutes later, Woodrum connected with Jeremiah Fink on a 31-yard strike.
Woodrum added three more touchdown passes in the second quarter, including two to his wideout Garrett Ellis and another to Trevor Ginkens for a 38-7 halftime lead.
The second half was a horserace as both teams scored at will. Minatare struck first on its opening possession of the third period on a 2-yard run by Marc Cinocco. After Sioux County’s Kyle Westover rambled in from 11 yards out, Minatare came right back as Cinocco raced in from 11 yards out with two seconds left in the quarter to cut the lead to 46-20.
Minatare sliced the lead even further in the fourth when Guerrero scored on a 22-yard run on a drive that started at the 1-yard line. The Indians received a 20-yard run by Guerrero and a 34-yard bolt from Cinocco during the series.
Guerrero scored on a 49-yard run and then caught a 24-yard pass from Minatare quarterback Tyler Koke.
Sioux County answered, scoring two touchdowns to push the lead back to 58-27. The Indians kept fighting, closing out the game with two scores in the final 3 minutes.
Sioux County (1-0) ........ 16 22 8 12 – 58
Minatare (0-1) ................. 0 7 13 21 – 41
SC – Nathan Woodrum 43-yard pass to Josh King (Woodrum kick), 8-0.
SC – Woodrum 31-yard pass to Jeremiah Fink (Woodrum kick), 16-0.
M – Tyler Koke 24-yard pass to Yovan Perez (Javier Guerrero run), 16-7.
SC – Woodrum 24-yard pass to Garrett Ellis (Woodrum kick), 24-7.
SC – Woodrum 25 yard pass to Ellis (Woodrum kick), 32-7.
SC – Woodrum 26-yard pass to Trevor Ginkens (no good), 38-7.
M – Marc Cinocco 2-yard run (run no good), 38-13.
SC – Kyle Westover 11-yard run (Woodrum kick), 46-13.
M – Cinocco 11-yard run (11 run), 46-20.
M – Guerrero 22-yard run (Cinocco run), 46-27.
SC – Woodrum 6-yard run (kick no good), 52-27.
SC – Phillip Parker 1-yard run (run no good) 48-27.
M – Guerrero 49-yard run (Cinocco run), 58-34.
M – Tyler Koke 24-yard pass to Guerrero (Cinocco run), 58-41.