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Trojans dominate in 29-16 win over rival Grinnell

September 1, 2017
By Allison Graham - Sports Editor ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

By Allison Graham

Sports Editor


Article Photos

The South Tama Trojans defeated Grinnell 29-16 in the annual battle over the Steve Kriegel Trophy. It was the fourth year in a row the Trojans captured a win over the Tigers. Colton Vest escapes Grinnell’s defense for the Trojans first touchdown of the evening.
News Herald Photos/Allison Graham


After the dust settled on Friday night the Steve Kriegel Trophy was once again presented to the STC Football team following a dominating 29-16 win over the Grinnell Tigers. While holding the trophy, members of the team held up four fingers for a photo to signify the four straight years they have held on to the trophy.

"1-0 that's our goal," said head coach Nate Doran, "It feels great (to keep the Steve Kriegel Trophy) and the kids earned it. It was something they wanted to do so I am happy as I can be for them. They pushed hard. If you look at our numbers we are struggling to get guys in there because if someone goes down we have to switch roles for kids and they did it without losing a beat."

Much of the game was a defensive battle on the Trojans part, which is just the way South Tama football has historically liked to play. The team chant "Everyday we hit, until the last whistle we hit, until the last down we hit because we're Trojans we hit," could be heard on the sidelines prior to the start of the game. That defensive mindset is what held the Tigers to just one first down for the entire night.

To start the game the Trojans won the toss deferring to the Tigers. The Trojans scored in their second possession of the night. Senior running back, Colton Vest zigged and zagged getting loose for a 65-yard rushing touchdown. Vest proved that while he may be smaller in size he is most certainly not smaller in heart. He did much of the ground work for the Trojans, racking up 128 rushing yards across 14 carries, had 32 receiving yards and was 3-4 in PAT's, accounting for 9 of the Trojans 29 points. On the defensive side of the ball he joined Mario Moncada and Josh Thiessen who shared in leading tackles with 5 apiece. If that wasn't enough Vest also caught a botched Tiger punt while he was on the sidelines nursing a cramp late in the game.

"Last year if you look at Colton he was quiet, he didn't talk as much. This year he is a whole different person. He's all over the place in practice. He's on people if they don't do something right. He makes sure people know where they are supposed to be. He's everywhere. He doesn't stop. He works hard. We had no idea he could kick and one day he comes out and says he's going to kick and doesn't do very well. So, what does he do? He goes out for a couple of days and asks (for a bag of footballs) and starts kicking on his own. The kid just wants to do it. That's what we've got right now. We've got kids that are giving everything they have and continue to fight to get better."

Vest wasn't alone in his efforts though. Near the end of the first half STC quarterback Lane Koch connected with junior co-captain Keith Keahna at Grinnell's 1-yard line for a 30-yard pass completion. Junior fullback Tanner Walz punched into the end zone and a PAT by Vest put the Trojans up 14-0 with just two minutes remaining in the half.

Walz would score again as the seconds ticked down in the third quarter. The Tigers fumbled a punt return. Vest broke through for a tackle with Walz on his heels. Walz recovered the fumble and ran it downfield for his second touchdown of the night. The efforts put the Trojans up 27-0.

With the victory all but salted away, Doran brought in several second string players to get some experience in the fourth quarter. The Tigers were able to capitalize and scored a touchdown and a two-point conversion to put them on the board with just under seven minutes to play.

Midway through the fourth quarter Grinnell's quarterback Drew Coffman was called for intentional grounding in the end zone for a STC safety. The Tigers were searching for an answer under center on Friday. Many expected the Tigers' 2016 starting quarterback Seth Howard to pick up where he left off last season but the senior transferred schools over the summer and is now on the Oskaloosa Indians roster. So with a question mark at quarterback the Tigers gave two juniors, starting quarterback Tanner Strand and Coffman who came in during the second half, an opportunity to rise to the occasion. However, regardless of who the Tigers gave the keys to, the Trojans never allowed the Grinnell offense to gain much traction.

With the Trojans second string defense in place, the Tigers managed to sneak in one more touchdown with just under 30 seconds remaining.

South Tama will be on the road this week to take on another non-district opponent, Class 2A 3rd ranked Williamsburg. The Raiders avenged their 2016 season opening loss to Fairfield, trouncing the Trojans 55-7 on Friday.

"We are going to have to work on Williamsburg's speed. They are going to have speed and they are going to be smart. (Curt) Ritchie's been there forever. He knows how to coach. They are going to be a well-developed team. I think they are down a little bit but that doesn't mean anything when it comes to Williamsburg. They will probably still have 50-60 kids so we will have to deal with their numbers and their speed. A big thing is our O-Line play. We've got younger kids with a sophomore on the end. We've got some guys who are young but this is something that is going to give them a confidence boost and we are happy to make a run with it into the next week," said Doran.

STC Stats

Passing - Lane Koch 5-14 for 69 yards, Drake Crawford 0-1 for 0 yards Rushing - Colton Vest 14-128, Tanner Walz 16-35, Garrett Arp 6-15, Brady Fritz 1-7, Jesus Wanatee-Romero 5-6, Drake Crawford 1-3, Aiden Waseskuk 1-1 Receiving - Keith Keahna 2-34, Colton Vest 2-32, Brady Fritz 1-3 Scoring - Tanner Walz 12, Colton Vest 9, Keith Keahna 6 Tackles - Mario Moncada 5, Josh Thiessen 5, Colton Vest 5, Gabe Backen 4, Colin Price 4, Brady Fritz 3, Nick Ryan 3, Benjamin Drummer 2, Keith Keahna 2, Garrett Arp 1, Tanner Walz 1 Fumble Recoveries - Gabe Backen 1, Josh Thiessen 1, Tanner Walz 1

PAT Kicking

Colton Vest 3-4


Nick Ryan 3-229

Kick Off Returns

Colton Vest 1-13, Garrett Arp 1-7, Aiden Waseskuk 1-0

Punt Returns

Tanner Walz 1-22, Colton Vest 1-11, Brady Fritz 1-5



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