Kriegel trophy stays in Grinnell

South Tama’s Andres Lugo sprints upfield on a kickoff return during South Tama’s Week 3 game at Grinnell. The Trojans took the loss 48-20 giving the Tigers possession of the Steve Kriegel Memorial Trophy for the fourth straight year. -- Photo by Darvin Graham

For the fourth year in a row, the South Tama Trojans have not found an answer for the rival Grinnell Tigers.

Grinnell took a convincing 48-20 victory over STC last Friday by scoring two unanswered touchdowns in the third quarter and knocking starting quarterback Kyler Smith out of the game.

In the first half STC was able to hold their head above water, scoring a touchdown and an extra point while ending multiple Tigers drives to take a manageable 20-7 score into halftime.

The touchdown came on a 33-yard rush from sophomore back Gavin Bridgewater.

Coming out of halftime the Tigers quickly forced a couple errors by the Trojans that sent the team into a tailspin.

Senior Boden Koehler led South Tama’s offense Friday with 148 yards and a touchdown. Koehler and sophomore Gavin Bridgewater have shared backfield duties this season, providing a punishing 1-2 punch when opportunities present themselves. -- Photo by Darvin Graham

Midway through the quarter, quarterback Kyler Smith landed wrong after getting tackled in the backfield and injured his leg. He was sidelined for the rest of the game with Bridgewater taking over under center and the offense shifting to running plays the rest of the way.

Smith finished the game completing three of seven passes for 71 yards.

The Trojans were able to find two more touchdowns late in the fourth quarter after Grinnell had the game salted away.

Senior back Boden Koehler led his team with 148 yards on 18 carries and one touchdown. Bridgewater also ran 18 times, totalling 60 yards and a touchdown.

The longest reception of the night was from Smith to Jordan Bly for a 62-yard reception that flipped the field in favor of STC.

Sophomore Gavin Bridgewater got his first varsity experience under center Friday after starting quarterback Kyler Smith exited the game in the third quarter with a leg injury. Smith was not able to return and the Trojans stuck to a run-first approach against the Tigers who had done much already to run away with the game. Bridgewater has been a key piece this season for the Trojans as a running back, receiver and backup quarterback. -- Photo by Darvin Graham

The Trojans’ third score came as a late, short yardage rush by Rudy Papakee.

Grinnell enjoyed a balanced offensive attack led by a 145-yard, two-touchdown performance by quarterback Colin Gibson and three rushing touchdowns scored by Cole Johnson.

On the defensive end, South Tama was led by Jacob Collison who totalled 9.5 tackles. South Tama managed two sacks against Grinnell, one by Koehler and the other by Jackson Drummer.

Grinnell won back the Steve Kriegel Memorial Trophy Friday on the same night Kriegel’s son Bruce was inducted into the Grinnell High School Hall of Fame.

Steve was a South Tama graduate, All-American football player and Hall of Fame high school coach at Grinnell High School.

Kriegel passed away in 1997 due to pancreatic cancer and the rivalry game between STC and Grinnell has been played in his honor ever since.

For several years Bruce Kriegel has been a manager for the Grinnell football and basketball teams and Friday he was honored with his family during halftime of the varsity game.

Next up for the Trojans is a Homecoming matchup against the Benton Bobcats on Friday.

Benton is 2-1 so far this season with their only loss coming against Grinnell 37-34. The team’s wins have come against Marion and Center Point-Urbana.

Benton holds the series record over STC 14-9 dating back to 1991. South Tama’s most recent victory over the Bobcats came in 2013.