WEBSTER CITY - Pick a quarterback, any quarterback, and the odds are good that the Midwest Rampage can plug him in and make it work.
Starting its third quarterback in as many weeks, Webster City's amateur football team showed no signs of regression here Saturday afternoon, as the Rampage rode the lively right arm of new signal caller Ben Jass to a 37-12 victory over the Albert Lea Grizzlies in a battle of unbeatens.
The victory propelled the Rampage to 4-0 overall - the best start in franchise history - and 3-0 in the Southern Plains Football League. It shares first place with the Southwest Huskerz (2-0), which handed the defending SPFL champion South Central Hawgs (2-1) its first loss on Saturday.
Rampage running back Ross Haren (35)?loses his helmet, but still finds the end zone for a touchdown on Saturday.
Jass, who played at Alden as a prep and Upper Iowa as a collegiate, jumped into uniform last week. The industrial technology teacher at Webster City High School was thrust into duty because Tyler Kibbee, who started the season at QB, continued to be sidelined with an injury. Last week's starter Drew Dettmering was attending was attending his college graduation at Iowa State University on Saturday.
Jass, the former head football coach at Nashua-Plainfield High School, made a strong case to remain the starter, as he set single-game franchise records for completions (27), attempts (45) and yards passing (301). He tossed a pair of touchdowns to Gunnar Wyatt and threw just one interception.
It was a heavy burden to throw onto Jass, as the Rampage ground game was limited to just 22 yards on 28 carries.
Saturday at Webster City
Grizzlies 6 0 6 0-12
Rampage14 13 7 3-37
RAM - Ross Haren 2 run (Chuck Tack kick).
GRIZ - Lamar Sayles 56 run (kick failed).
RAM - Gunnar Wyatt 12 pass from Ben Jass (Tack kick).
RAM - Tack 39 FG.
RAM - Shon Osborn fumble recovery in end zone (Tack kick).
RAM - Tack 29 FG.
RAM - Wyatt 15 pass from Jass (Tack kick).
GRIZ - Trent Leesch 5 pass from Tony Tolbers (pass failed).
RAM - Tack 35 FG.
Rushing - RAM: Ross Haren 24-20, Nick Plueger 1-(-2), Ben Jass 3-4.
Passing - RAM: Jass 27-45-1 301.
Receiving - RAM: Gunnar Wyatt 11-127, Clint Foth 6-75, Haren 6-36, Taylor Karas 1-20, Jeremiah Spitler 1-8.
Tackles - RAM: Nick Plueger 10, Brian Miller 6, Shon Osborn 6, Tyler Mosbach 5, John Elkin 4, Tanner Day 3, Justin Engh 3, Caleb Bonjour 2, Ben Scott 2, Karas 1, Cody Mosbach 1, Aron Kliegl 1, Josh Christensen 1, Travis Hurt 1.
"Rampage football made a statement (on Saturday) and I'm proud of the team for getting better each week," Rampage head coach Matt Girdley said. "This team has come together and clicked, overcome adversity and various players have stepped up in big ways on both sides of the ball."
Jass's first TD pass - a 12-yard strike to Wyatt - near the end of the first quarter ignited a 27-point surge that put the game out of reach by the midpoint of the third quarter.
Veteran kicker Chuck Tack booted field goals of 39 and 29 yards in the second quarter, and Shon Osborn fell on top of a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown to push the Rampage lead to 27-6 at the half.
Wyatt reeled in a 15-yard scoring toss from Jass early in the third period to extend the lead to 34-7.Wyatt finished with 11 receptions that covered 127 yards of real estate.
Tack added another field goal - this one from 35 yards - in the fourth quarter.
Ross Haren gained just 20 yards on 24 totes, but he scored the game's first touchdown from 2 yards out after he lost his helmet early in the play.
The Rampage Black Plague Defense was solid again; linebacker Nick Plueger made a team-high 10 tackles. Osborn and Brian Miller had six each.
Another trip to Minnesota awaits the Rampage this weekend. It will head to Nicollet, Minn., to face The Panic at 7 p.m.