After squandering a 14-0 lead to rival Grinnell, South Tama's freshman football team completed a two-point conversion in overtime to beat the Tigers.
South Tama rallied from a six-point overtime deficit with a touchdown and conversion as it beat Grinnell 22-20. The victory was the sixth-consecutive win for the Trojans, who finished the season with a 7-2 record.
"This game was a great end cap to a successful season for this team," coach Nathan Van Dyke said. "We played a team that was bigger and faster, and we came out on top due to playing with a lot of heart and guts. We brought a 20-player freshman roster against about 50 Grinnell freshman and sophomores. I knew the guys we had would leave it all on the field, but to win in dramatic fashion like we did was amazing. Our coaches and this team will not forget this victory. The future looks bright for South Tama."
South Tama freshman Justin Suchanek breaks for a big run during the Trojans' season finale. They beat Grinnell 22-20 in overtime.
South Tama started Friday's game with a strong offensive attack. Jerry Lowe broke a 45-yard run on the Trojans' first offensive play of the game. Justin Suchanek converted the two-point play to give STC an 8-0 lead in the first quarter.
Bailey Chyma added a second touchdown for the Trojans in the second quarter. He scored on a one-yard run, giving STC a 14-0 lead. Grinnell struck back on a trick play with a 60-yard touchdown pass and extra point kick. STC led 14-7 at halftime.
Grinnell tied the game in the fourth quarter with a six-yard touchdown run and extra-point kick. The Tigers had a chance to win the game with a short field goal at the end of regulation, but STC's Shaquille Carrillo blocked the kick and forced overtime.
The Tigers took the ball first and scored in two plays. They threw a seven-yard pass for the touchdown. However, their extra-point kick was blocked by Nathan McAdoo.
South Tama responded with a touchdown of its own. Peyton Craun rushed in from four yards out, tying the game. Craun converted the two-point play with a two-yard run to the corner of the end zone, winning the game for the Trojans.
Craun led the Trojans offense with 107 rushing yards. Suchanek and Lowe added 59 yard and 49 yards on the ground. Lowe also had 35 return yards for STC. Chyma and Mitch Thede contributed 19 and six yards rushing, too.
Defensively, Chyma recorded 12 tackles for South Tama, while Craun also had double digits tackles with 10 and a fumble recovery. McAdoo and Lowe added six and four tackles, respectively. Also contributing tackles were Suchanek, Thede, Bryce Ellenbecker, Colson Frakes, Kyaus Davenport, Lane Votrobeck, Carrillo and Jaret Probasco.
On Oct. 12, South Tama traveled to Van Horne to take on Benton Community. The Trojans racked up a 24-0 lead to start the game, before scoring 27 unanswered points after Benton's lone touchdown. The Trojans won the game 51-8 and improved to 6-2 on the season.
Craun and Suchanek ran all over the Bobcats in the first quarter of action. They combined to score three touchdowns and a pair of two-point conversions as the Trojans built a 22-0 lead after one quarter. Craun started the game with a 57-yard touchdown run. Suchanek later scored on one-yard and six-yard runs. He also ran in both conversions after STC's first two touchdowns.
The Trojans added a safety on a Benton punt in the second quarter. Benton scored on its next drive with a passing touchdown and conversion. On its next drive, Benton threw an interception that was picked off by Chyma, who returned it 64 yards for the touchdown. Craun ran in the conversion, giving STC a 30-8 lead at halftime.
In the third quarter, Craun scored on another run to keep the rout rolling. He ran 5 yards into the end zone. Lowe kicked the extra-point following the touchdown. Later in the quarter, Tristan Lasley recovered fumble and ran 32 yards for the touchdown.
South Tama's final touchdown came in the fourth quarter. Lowe scored his first touchdown of the game on a five-yard run.
"Our team continues to play well," coach Nathan Van Dyke said. "This one was a group effort, as defensively we had 14 different players record tackles. We don't have great numbers this year, but everyone who steps on the field for us brings a high level of effort on every play."
Defensively, Craun led the Trojans with 10 tackles in the game. Chyma recorded six tackles, an interception and touchdown. Also contributing tackles were Trevor Yuska (5), Suchanek (4), Frakes (4), Thede (4), Diego Murrillo (4), McAdoo (3) and Lasley (3).
Craun also led the Trojans offensively against Benton. He rushed for 136 yards and two touchdowns. Suchanek added 118 all-purpose yards and a pair of touchdowns. Chyma threw for 63 yards and 37 of those went to Frakes. Lowe also added 62 all-purpose yards for the Trojans.