Your Prep Sports
WEST BRANCH – Friday night was supposed to be a night of celebration for the West Branch football team. Instead, it turned into a bittersweet evening as Class 1A No. 2 ranked West Branch fell to West Burlington/Notre Dame 27-18 at the Little Rose Bowl.
“We had a good chance to win that ball game,” West Branch head coach Butch Pedersen said. “We made some mistakes when we shouldn’t have made some mistakes so I think it might have been a different ballgame.
West Branch senior Luke Lenoch. “They have a good football team and we’re going to learn from our mistakes and get up there to Jesup next week, because Jesup is a better football team than this one.”
Senior running back Luke Lenoch came into the game against needing just 59 yards to break the school’s all-time rushing record. Lenoch eclipsed the mark in the second quarter on a two-yard run.
Lenoch finished with 78 yards on 23 carries Friday giving the senior 4,440 yards for his career and breaking the previous mark for career yards held by Cade Jones.
“He’s one of the greatest athletes in the history of our football program,” Pedersen said. “He showed it the three years before this and this year he’ll show the same. I’m extremely happy for him but we didn’t make a big deal about it because that’s not what Luke likes to do. He likes to play for the team and that’s what we did.”
West Branch turned the ball over on downs on their first possession of the game. On the ensuing play West Burlington senior running back Isaiah Trousil took a handoff around the left side and burned the Bears defense for a 49-yard touchdown run.
That would be the only time West Burlington would score in the first half. Despite numerous special teams miscues by West Branch, the Bears took a 12-7 lead into halftime.
West Branch sophomore quarterback Beau Cornwell left the game midway through the first quarter with an apparent injury and did not return.
The special teams struggles continued for West Branch in the second half but it was able to keep the lead through the third quarter, thanks to a 10-minute scoring drive that resulted in a 1-yard touchdown run by senior fullback Cale Donovan in the waning seconds of the quarter.
“I thought they really stuck in there well and had each other’s backs and that’s what we’re looking for,” Pedersen said.
The fourth quarter was all West Burlington.
The Falcons used two huge kick returns to land themselves in West Branch territory and marched in for two quick scores to take the lead 27-18.
It would prove to be too much for the Bears as they just could not overcome mistakes on special teams.
“Our special teams need to get cleaned up obviously that was terrible,” Pedersen said. “I thought the secondary was not the best. We had some kids blow some assignments that they shouldn’t have blown. Those are things we need to work on, those are correctable mistakes and that’s what we need to do this week in practice.”
As the final seconds ticked away senior West Branch quarterback Brandon Rummelhart was intercepted by West Burlington’s Tanner Snodgrass to put the game out of reach.
West Branch West BurlingtonFirst Downs 19 11 Rushes-Yards 48-105 20-54Passing Yards 272 138Comp-Att-Int 16-30-2 11-20-1Fumbles-Lost 5-1 0-0Penalties-Yards 6-45 6-45
West Branch 0 12 6 0 – 18
West Burlington 7 0 6 14 – 27
WBND –Trousil 49 run (Slater Gifford kick)WB –Jacob Graves 6 pass from Brandon Rummelhart (Conversion failed)WB –Cooper Kabela 84 pass from Rummelhart (Conversion failed)WBND –Luke Shipley 2 run (Kick blocked)WB –Cale Donovan 1 run (Conversion failed)WBND – Tate Snodgrass 6 pass from Drake Day (Conversion failed)WBND – Drake Day 1 run (2 pt. good)
Rushing – WB: Luke Lenoch 23-78, Cale Donovan 9-36, Beau Cornwell 5-10, Garrett Tucker 1-3, Brandon Rummelhart 9-(-22). WBND: Isaiah Trousil 5-58, Luke Shipley 2-6, Drake Day 1-1.
Passing –WB: Beau Cornwell 1-2-0 13, Brandon Rummelhart 15-27-2 259, Luke Lenoch 0-1-0 0. WBND: Drake Day 11-20-1 138.
Receiving – WB: Cooper Kabela 7-163, Jacob Graves 2-48, Tanner Lukavsky 2-15, Ben Thompson 2-15, Cale Donovan 2-12, Luke Lenoch 1-8. WBND: Tanner Snodgrass 5-73, Isaiah Trousil 3-36, Tate Snodgrass 2-27, Rel Greer 1-2