STC stymied on Homecoming

South Tama’s Rudy Papakee (55) chases after Benton quarterback Colin Buch during the Trojans’ Homecoming loss to the Bobcats 33-14. Buch was deadly Friday night, passing for two touchdowns and running in another. Papakee has been a key defender for the Trojans this season, pulling down 27.5 tackles (two for a loss) through four weeks on the field. -- Photos by Darvin Graham

Despite an enthusiastic crowd and a week’s worth of homecoming celebration, the STC Trojans were unable to overcome a superior Benton team last Friday, losing to the tune of 33-14.

Quarterback Kyler Smith returned healthy after an early exit the week before against Grinnell.

Smith was limited but otherwise effective, completing 9-of-12 passes for 111 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions.

The touchdown was pulled in by Gavin Bridgewater, who was South Tama’s leading receiver Friday with 98 yards on eight receptions. Jordan Bly was the only other Trojan to catch a pass against the Benton defense.

Benton meanwhile was firing on all cylinders, powering senior back Jacob Brecht to 131 rushing yards and two touchdowns.

The Bobcats also enjoyed some dynamic play from quarterback Colin Buch who completed 12-of-18 passes for 145 yards and two touchdowns to go along with 64 yards and another score on the ground.

Benton’s defense held steady pressure on the Trojans, finishing the game with 10 tackles for a loss and one fumble recovery.

Tackle leaders for the Trojans were Jacob Collison and Rudy Papakee who had nine and eight tackles respectively.

South Tama’s other lone score came late in the game on a goal line rush by Papakee.

With non-district play in the rear view mirror, South Tama must quickly regroup and reload as they host undefeated Independence Friday in their 3A District 3 opener.

Through the first four weeks, District 3 teams have stratified themselves into four tiers. The Mustangs are the only unbeaten with 2020 state-qualifier West Delaware right behind at 3-1.

The Hawks only loss was by two points to perennial powerhouse Xavier in Week 2.

CPU, Charles City and Hampton-Dumont-CAL are each sitting at 2-2 with South Tama at the bottom of the standings at 1-3.

Independence’s four wins have come against Maquoketa, West Liberty, Clear Creek-Amana and Vinton-Shellsburg.