Bears Bounce Back with Big Win
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The West Branch football team rebounded from its first regular season loss in three years in typical West Branch fashion.
They ran the ball, and they ran the ball some more. And they ran the ball well in a 35-14 victory over Jesup (1-2) in the Class 1A, District 10 opener for both teams.
Senior running back Luke Lenoch ran for 229 yards and four touchdowns on 39 carries as No. 10 West Branch bounced back from a loss to 3A West Burlington/Notre Dame last week that snapped a 20-game regular season winning streak.
As a team, West Branch (2-1) racked up 268 yards on the ground on 54 attempts and improved their special teams play that struggled last week.
“We ran the ball extremely well,” West Branch head coach Butch Pedersen said. “We were extremely efficient in what we did. I thought our special teams were really key tonight, I thought we played extremely well on special teams where a week ago I thought we played really poorly.
“We spent a lot of time in practice this week on special teams and I think that paid off a lot. We had good field position a lot of the time tonight and I think that’s because we spent the extra time.”
West Branch jumped out to a 28-0 lead in the third quarter before allowing Jesup to add a pair of four-quarter touchdowns.
“I don’t think we finished as well as we could have with this game,” Pedersen said. “Overall I thought we improved a lot, I thought the kids came to play tonight. They did a lot of things fundamentally sound. They played as a group, they played as a family and that’s what we try to stress here is we run a family atmosphere. They played extremely hard and extremely well tonight.”
West Branch was playing without its starting quarterback Beau Cornwell, who suffered a broken collarbone last week against West Burlington/Notre Dame and appears to be out for the season.
Senior Brandon Rummelhart made his first career start in place of Cornwell and completed 10-of-17 passes for 171 yards and a 34-yard touchdown strike to Cooper Kabela.
Cornwell also served as The Bears’ kicker and has since been replaced by Javier Zamudio, who went 5-for-5 on point after attempts Friday night.
West Branch Jesup
First Downs 22 15
Rushes-Yards 54-269 23-127
Passing Yards 171 196
Comp-Att-Int 10-17-2 14-31-3
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 1-1
Penalties-Yards 3-25 5-28
West Branch 7 7 14 7 – 35
Jesup 0 0 0 14 – 14
WB – Luke Lenoch 8 run (Javier Zamudio kick)
WB – Cooper Kabela 34 pass from Brandon Rummelhart (Zamudio kick)
WB – Luke Lenoch 8 run (Zamudio kick)
WB – Luke Lenoch 37 run (Zamudio kick)
JES – C. Wyant 32 pass from A. Schmidt
WB – Lenoch 4 run (Zamudio kick)
JES – 4 run
Rushing – WB: Luke Lenoch 39-226-4, Cale Donovan 12-34, Brandon Rummelhart 2-11, Jesup: B. VanBrocklin 8-56, A. Schmidt 9-33
Passing – WB: Brandon Rummelhart 10-17 171. Jesup: A. Schmidt 14-31-1
Receiving – WB: Cooper Kabela 5-75, Luke Lenoch 3-73, Cale Donovan 1-18, Tanner Lukavsky 1-5. Jesup: C. Wyant 6-121-1, B. VanBrocklin 2-13