Mohawks roll over Comets 35-0
By John Burbridge
MASON CITY — There’s an unwritten law in football.
In the event of a fumbled ball, don’t act like a hero by trying to pick it up on the run. Instead, act like a posthumously awarded Medal of Honor hero and smother it like it was a live grenade.
Mason City senior Carter Thomas must not have gotten the unwritten memo.
On two occasions during the Mohawks’ non-district game against the visiting Charles City Comets last Friday, Thomas scooped up loose balls on dead runs without breaking stride for uncontested sprints into the end zone.
All in one quicksilver motion.
If the Olympics ever include a 50-yard dash where you have to pick up a football midway on the track — or on damp/wet grass — this kid might be able to smoke Usain Bolt.
Thomas’s 55-yard fumble recovery dash in the third quarter that followed his 14-yard recovery score in the first quarter helped give the Mohawks a 22-0 lead at the time.
Mason City would reach paydirt two more times before it was all over, defeating Charles City 35-0.
For the Mohawks (1-2), it was their first win of the season.
For the Comets (2-1), it was their first setback after starting the season 2-0 — best start for the program since 2008.
“This is why we wanted to schedule some of these bigger schools early in the season to see where we stand,” said Charles City first-year coach Bryan Bjorklund. “This was a reality check for us. It brought us back down to Earth.”
Aside from the 14 immediate points scored by its defense — which was led by hard-hitting senior linebacker Branson Peters, who had 14 solo tackles, four QB sacks, and one fumble recovery; Mason City also benefited from offensive contributions from quarterback Kale Hobart, who connected with Isaiah Washington for a 33-yard scoring pass play, and punched it in from the 1 on a quarterback sneak to cap the scoring.
Mohawk senior running back Leon Walker gained a game-high 80 yards on 14 carries, including a 17-yard TD run to open the scoring with 3:37 left in the first quarter.
Though they were kept out of the end zone, the Comets did consistently move the chains. Senior Trimel Christian, a quintessential Chuck Foreman-like fullback, produced 91 total yards from scrimmage with 42 yards on 10 rushing carries, 20 yards on three receptions, and a 29-yard completed halfback pass to Mario Hoefer, who seized the ball away from a Mohawk defender who also got his hands on the pass.
Hoefer led all receivers with 96 yards on four receptions. He is currently among the state leaders for receiving yards while averaging nearly 30 yards per catch.
Playing uphill thanks in part to Thomas’s fumble scores, Charles City’s defense did maintain its competitive chops with a series of fourth-down stops.
Junior Kayden Blunt was credited with three tackles for losses; Ethan Peterson seized an off-the-edge lane to the quarterback for a big loss on third down; Tino Tamayo also had a QB sack and consistently pressured Hobart; and Hoefer had four solo tackles and a fumble recovery.
Ian Collins came up with his second interception in as many games when he picked off a Hobart pass intended for Washington late in the second quarter.
Unfortunately for the Comets, Collins — the team’s starting quarterback — subsequently had his throwing arm injured while attempting a pass on the final play of the first half. He didn’t return for the second half.
The game represented Bjorklund’s return to Mason City where he served as a teacher and assistant football coach.
“I was nervous … excited … happy … all rolled into one,” Bjorklund said after congratulating some of his former colleagues and players after the game. “But this is where I always wanted to be.”
Charles City, a Class 3A school, will face another Class 4A school next Friday (Sept. 17) when it hosts Decorah (1-2) at Comet Field. It will be Youth Football Night.
MASON CITY 35, CHARLES CITY 0
Scoring By Quarters
CHARLES CITY 0 0 0 0 — 0
MASON CITY 15 0 14 6 — 35
MC — Leon Walker 17-yard run (Carter Thomas pass to Isaiah Washington) 3:37 1st, 8-0
MC — Thomas 14-yard fumble recovery (Carson Siemons kick) 3:22 1st, 15-0
MC — Thomas 55-yard fumble recovery (Siemons kick) 9:15 3rd, 22-0
MC — Kale Hobart 33-yard pass to Washington (Ava Seaton kick) 7:30 3rd, 29-0
MC — Hobart 1-yard run (Kick blocked) 3:25 4th, 35-0
RECORDS — Charles City 2-1, Mason City 1-2
PASSING — (Charles City) Ian Collins 5-9 69 yards; Calvin Hanson 4-8 25 yards, 2 INT; Trimel Christian 1-1 29 yards; (Mason City) Kale Hobart 7-15 99 yards, TD, INT; Carter Thomas 1-1 3 yards.
RUSHING — (Charles City) Christian 10-42; Colton Crooks 14-38; (Mason City) Leon Walker 14-80, TD; Malakai Johnson 2-26; Hobart 4-9, TD.
RECEIVING — (Charles City) Mario Hoefer 4-96; Christian 3-20; Jalil Jones 1-6; Isaiah Roe 1-1; (Mason City) Isaiah Washington 3-41, TD; Carter Thomas 2-39; Will Fingalsen 1-17; Reid Johnson 2-5.
DEFENSE — (Charles City) Kayden Blunt 5 solo tackles, 3 TFL; Ethan Peterson 1 sack; 1.5 TFL; Hoefer 4 solo, 1 fumble recovery; Chase Crooks 3 solo tackles; Trevor Peterson 2 solo, 0.5 TFL; Colton Crooks 2 solos, 0.5 TFL; Collins INT; (Mason City) Thomas 2 fumble recovery TDs; Branson Peters 14 solo tackles, 4 sacks, 1 fumble recovery; Darian Davis 5 solo tackles.