WEBSTER CITY - Marty Hart's debut at the helm of the Midwest Rampage featured a ball control offense and a stingy defense, as the black and orange opened its season with a victory on Saturday at Stampede Stadium.
Despite facing a team with three games already under its belt, the Rampage (1-0) controlled the Midwest Football Alliance contest from the opening kick en route to a 14-7 win over the Minnesota Spartans (0-4).
First-year quarterback Eric Ingelin threw for a pair of touchdowns and finished 13 of 21 for 201 yards. The Rampage out-gained the Spartans 302 to 223, and only 33 of the Spartans' yards came on the ground. The Rampage defense - which calls itself the Black Plague Defense - rolled up seven tackles for loss and only 12 of the Spartans' 24 rushing attempts went for positive yards.
DFJ photo by Tracy Runneberg
Rampage running back Dan Schaa (11) goes airborne as he gets hit by a pair of Spartans’ defenders on Saturday. He caught a touchdown pass in a 14-7 win.
The Rampage did all the scoring it would need in the second quarter. Early in the period, Ingelin found wide receiver Chris McNiel open on a short route, and the veteran wide out did the rest as he out-ran the defense down the sideline for a 67-yard touchdown.
The Rampage got the ball back with 1:45 remaining in the quarter and proceeded to drive 65 yards, capped off by an 11-yard touchdown toss from Ingelin to Dan Schaa.
Chuck Tack added the extra points to send the Rampage into the break ahead 14-0.
An 11-minute third quarter drive by the Rampage netted no points, but it kept the Spartans' offense on the sideline. The visitors finally got on the scoreboard in the fourth quarter.
Schaa lumbered for 58 ground yards on 11 carries to pace the Rampage, which finished with 101 yards rushing.
McNiel caught a team-high seven passes for 145 yards, and Andy Goeb added five receptions for 61 yards.
As it was all of last season, the Rampage defense was salty. The unit held up on two goal-line stands and the Spartans also came up empty on two other occasions when they had short fields.
Longtime middle linebacker John Elkin led the defense with seven tackles, and newcomer Terrance Freeney was in on six stops. Defensive back Andy Sowle had five tackles.
The Rampage - last year's MFA runner-up - will head to Pella on Saturday to take on the Pella Knights at 7 p.m.