CORWITH - Fans from the communities of Corwith, Wesley and LuVerne packed the stands to support their school's final homecoming game here Friday night, and they were quite boisterous.
Right up until the first play from scrimmage. That's when Northeast Hamilton brought out its silencer.
Trojans' quarterback Logan Seiser hooked up with tailback Tyler Smith on a 55-yard touchdown toss on the opening play and Northeast Hamilton never let up in a 54-0 thumping of CWL in an 8-man District 2 clash of teams fighting to jump into the top four of the standings.
In ending a two-game skid, NEH (3-2, 1-2) blazed to a 22-0 lead after one quarter, and the cushion vaulted to 30-0 at the intermission. Another Trojans' touchdown in the opening four minutes of the third quarter started the continuous clock for the remainder of the contest.
NEH head coach John Seiser admitted afterwards that he expected a back-and-forth battle. But his players had other ideas.
"Deep down I thought it would be a two-touchdown game, so I'm surprised we won by this margin," he said. "Physically we were pretty equal, but the kids were very focused. We came out and jumped all over them, which is what we needed to do."
NORTHEAST HAMILTON 54, CWL 0
Northeast Hamilton22 8 16 8-54
CWL 0 0 0 0-0
NEH - (11:51) Tyler Smith 55 pass from Logan Seiser (T. Smith run), 11:51.
NEH - T. Smith 56 run (Nick Jeffers pass from Seiser), 7:46.
NEH - T. Smith 1 run (run failed), 4:18.
NEH - T. Smith 51 run (T. Smith run), 3:07.
NEH - T. Smith 4 run (Gabe Rapp run), 8:09.
NEH - T. Smith 46 run (T. Smith run), 2:14.
NEH - Kyler Rapp 7 run (K. Rapp run), 1:02.
RUSHING - NEH: Tyler Smith 19-213, Gabe Rapp 10-57, Kyler Rapp 11-45, Nick Jeffers 3-11.
PASSING - NEH: Logan Seiser 4-8-0 112.
RECEIVING - NEH: N. Jeffers 2-49, G. Rapp 1-8, T. Smith 1-55.
TACKLES (Leaders Only) - NEH: G. Rapp 19, Seiser 10.
CWL (2-4, 1-2), which will have its athletic programs absorbed by Algona High School beginning next year, had no answer for Smith. The shifty senior bounced off tackles to the tune of 213 yards rushing - his third 200-plus yard output of the season - and he reached the end zone six times.
"Tyler's having a great year," John Seiser said.
NEH finished with 438 yards of total offense. Logan Seiser gave the Trojans the balance they needed to keep the Panthers guessing by completing 4 of 8 passes for 112 yards. Nick Jeffers caught two balls for 49 yards.
"You have to respect the pass because Logan is a pretty good quarterback," John Seiser said. "I was really happy with the way Gabe Rapp ran the ball too, and that gives us another weapon."
Rapp, a senior fullback, bowled his way to 57 yards. Kyler Rapp collected 45 ground yards and a touchdown as well.
Following the first-play bomb, Tyler Smith scored two more first-quarter touchdowns. He found an opening and sprinted to the house from 56 yards out at the midpoint, and just 3 minutes later went in from the 1.
Smith got free again in the second quarter for a 51-yard touchdown and then added scoring scampers of 4 and 46 yards in the third quarter.
Kyler Rapp put the punctuation on the blowout with a 7-yard touchdown rumble with just 1:02 remaining on the clock.
NEH put the clamps on CWL running back Esden Carroll, who entered the game as the district's third-leading rusher behind Smith and Newell-Fonda's Brady Bohe. Gabe Rapp, who doubles as a linebacker, jumped in on 19 tackles. Logan Seiser finished with 10 stops, including three sacks.
Smith and Hunter Dilley both intercepted passes.
"We were very physical all over on defense," John Seiser said.
It was a must-win night for the Trojans, who have playoff-implications tussles coming up with North Iowa, Laurens-Marathon and G-T/R-A over the next three weeks. John Seiser says that, in many ways, the Trojans' postseason began Friday night.
"We needed a win for sure," he said. "We have three big games in a row and I think all three are toss-up games, so it's going to be interesting."
NEH will host North Iowa (3-2, 1-2) on Friday at 7 p.m.