(Above) GHV’s Nick Joynt is brought down by Nick Danielson (5) and Zach Lester (2). GHV’s Anthony Sherwood tried to hold back Clear Lake’s Nico McPherrin (44) and Alex Snelling (8).
A little history about Friday night’s rivalry
Garner-Hayfield and Clear Lake used to have quite the rivalry. The Lions were original members of the North Iowa Conference before joining the North Central Conference in the late 1930s.
The Garner and Clear Lake tradition included ending the season with a Thanksgiving Day game. The visiting team traveled the 12 miles to the game by train. The Lions and Cardinals were the cream of the NIC, combining to win nine of 11 conference titles between 1926 and 1936.
Clear Lake won titles in 1926, 1927, 1928, 1930, 1934, 1935 and 1936.
After a 50 year break, the two teams played each other again in 1992, where Clear Lake beat Garner-Hayfield, 22-6.
The Clear Lake Lions responded to the challenge their coach handed them in a big way. The Lions put together a masterpiece of a game and rolled over Garner-Hayfield-Ventura 48-14 Friday night in the district opener for both teams.
“We had some adversity during the week - we were disappointed with our loss at Webster City, and we needed to clean up a few things,” said Coach Jared DeVries after the game. “Hat’s off to the kids and how well they played.”
The Lions dominated every aspect of the game between the two teams, who started the season ranked in Class 2A. GHV was listed at number five in the first Associated Press poll, while the Lions were number 10. Losses in week two bumped both out of the rankings, however Clear Lake was back in at number eight this week after their lopsided win at GHV.
Sophomore quarterback Jaylen DeVries had the best outing of his young career. DeVries connected on 20 of 25 pass attempts for 351-yards and four touchdowns. The first of his touchdown strikes came with just 7:01 left in the first quarter when he hooked up on a four-yard pass to Zach Lester, capping a 10-play, 42-yard drive. Lester’s extra point kick was good for a 7-0 lead.
GHV wasted little time evening the score, as Nick Joynt took the kickoff at the 13 and raced up the middle before cutting outside and turning on the burners for an 87-yard touchdown run. Connor Burke’s PAT was good with 6:46 remaining.
DeVries struck again before the quarter ended, this time on a 30-yard pass to Nick Danielson to put the Lions back on top. Lester’s kick made the score 14-7.
The Lion defense frustrated the Cards repeatedly in the game. The home team was three-and-out on their final possession of the first quarter and the Lions tacked on another score less than :30 seconds into the second quarter. Speed Toyne, who had his way with the GHV defense most of the night with 105-yards on 24 carries, got the first of his two touchdowns on a one-yard blast. The PAT put the Lions ahead, 21-7.
GHV stayed determined and struck back with their best drive of the night midway through the second. A 60-yard march, helped by two Lion penalties, ended in pay dirt when quarterback Ryan Meyers found Anthony Sherwood on a 14-yard pass. Burke kicked the extra point to pull the Cards back within a touchdown, 21-14.
But the Lions didn’t allow the Cards to get hopeful. Another score before the half, on a seven-yard run by Toyne, sent the Lions into the break with a 28-14 lead.
The second half was all Clear Lake, as the Lions racked up 155-yards of offense in the third quarter, compared to just two for GHV. Danielson broke away for a 20-yard score with 4:21 remaining in the third and DeVries found Lester one-minute later on a 58-yard pass to push the lead to 42-14. Lester wrapped up the night with 150-yards receiving.
Drew Enke made the Lion receivers a double threat. The junior grabbed eight passes for 141-yards, including a fourth quarter TD reception that made the highlight reels. On fourth-and-15 from the 31, DeVries launched a pass to Enke. The GHV defender missed an interception attempt and Enke deftly got his hands on the tipped ball and broke away for the Lions’ final score.
Clear Lake ended the night with 481-yards (351 by air); the Cards finished with 142-yards of offense. Meyers was 7/13 for 84-yards. He was intercepted once by Lester. Meyers was tagged with -44 yards rushing.
Clear Lake’s offensive and defensive linemen were praised by both coaches and players like DeVries, Lester and Enke, who noted they were given plenty of protection and coverage to make big plays.
Defensively, the Lions made sure GHV’s signal caller was constantly under pressure. Meyers was sacked seven times in the game, with Sean Wendel getting three of the sacks. He also had three solo tackles and two assists. Jack Barragy, Luke Eggers, Rhys Glidden, Dalton Grell, Austin Larson, Alex Snelling and Lester also had three solo tackles. Grell was in on seven more, while Barragy had four assists and Glidden, Joey Monson and Nico McPherran each had three assists.
The Lion defense directed much of its attention to GHV’s main threat, Nick Joynt. The senior carried eight times for 45-yards and had five receptions for 65-yards. Colton Shroeder had one carry for 19-yards and Jace Pringnitz ran the ball seven times for 17-yards. Brady Hess was given the ball twice for 15-yards. Connor Burke had three rushes for three-yards.
“All week I warned our team about giving up the big plays. Big plays are what really hurt us in this game,” said GHV Coach Scott VanDusseldorp. “We continued to battle, but could not overcome those errors. This week we will need to fix those errors if we want to get back on the winning track.”
This week Clear Lake will host Osage in a Homecoming game set to begin at 7:30 p.m.
GHV will also be celebrating Homecoming with a district game against Forest City. Kickoff is 7:30 in Garner.
CLASS 2A DISTRICT 2
Clear Lake, 48, GHV 14
Cresco 35, Hampton 28
New Hampton 28, Forest City 14
Osage 34, Clarion-Goldfield 0
Osage @ Clear Lake
Hampton @ New Hampton
Forest City @ GHV
Clarion @ Cresco