Regina quarterback Michael Conlon runs against Solon on Sept. 2. Jackie Blake Jensen/IC Pixx.
Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – It only took one half and some solid defensive line play for Regina to take care of Louisa-Muscatine on Friday.
The Regals did all of their scoring in the first half and cruised to a 43-7 victory on Senior Night at Regina, improving to 8-1 overall and 7-0 in Class 1A District 4 play.
Regina had the district title locked up before Friday’s regular-season finale and now has won seven consecutive district titles.
The defense set the tone for Regina. Northern Iowa commit Jared Brinkman led the way by helping to cause three interceptions by three different Falcons quarterbacks. Brinkman applied pressure nearly every time a Louisa-Muscatine quarterback dropped back to pass.
“You know, we’ve been drilling really hard,” Brinkman said. “We know we’re one of the top defensive lines in the state and the top defensive line in 1A. We push ourselves and we have goals for the defensive line, how many sacks we’re going to get every game. We’re just pushing each other and it showed tonight.”
Brinkman also was used as a lead blocker on punt returns, making a crushing block on a Louisa-Muscatine defender that paved the way for a long punt return and a quick 8-yard touchdown run by Mason Simpson that put Regina ahead 22-0 late in the first quarter.
Brinkman had the opportunity to showcase his fair-catch skills on a couple of punts as well. He chuckled a bit when asked why he was being used as a second punt returner.
“We’ve had some injuries and a little problem catching the ball,” Brinkman said. “There was one day in practice where I was catching some punts and, I mean, I was trying my best.
“It’s always fun lead blocking on punts, too.”
For some teams, it would be hard to not look ahead to the playoffs with a district title already locked up. But according to Regina head coach Marv Cook this bunch is different.
“Honestly it’s not too hard,” Cook said. “It’s a good group of guys. It’s not one of our bigger classes but it’s a quality class. They play for the right reasons. They play for each other, they love each other and I truly didn’t that they would let things slide. I really wasn’t too concerned about it.”
Regina quarterback Michael Conlon led the offense with 230 total yards and four touchdowns in just over a quarter and a half of playing time.
Conlon’s services were no longer needed after he connected with Brady Bigley on a 68-yard touchdown pass midway through the second quarter.
Conlon played mostly mistake-free football and used his legs to gain yards.
“It was just a really good, solid performance,” Cook said of Conlon. “He distributed the ball well. There was the one turnover that was a good ball actually and just had a big hit on the play. I thought his decision making was really solid. He does a good job of running the ball as well so it makes it really hard to keep him in the pocket.”
Louisa-Muscatine wasn’t able to get anything going on until late in the fourth quarter thanks to a couple of big passing plays and some shifty footwork by fourth-string quarterback Zack Bieri.
The Falcons (2-7) scored their only points with 50 seconds left to play on a five-yard scramble by Bieri up the middle.
Regina will find out tomorrow who it plays in the first round of the playoffs and will have home field advantage.
First Downs 21 18
Rushes-Yards 23-119 30-35
Passing Yards 236 164
Comp-Att-Int 13-18-1 10-22-3
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 1-0
Penalties-Yards 6-58 8-50
Regina 22 21 0 0 – 43
Louisa-Muscatine 0 0 0 7 – 7
ICR – Jake Phillips 15 pass from Michael Conlon (Sam Stein kick)
ICR – Daniel Sullivan 3 run (Two point good)
ICR – Mason Simpson 8 run (Sam Stein kick)
ICR – Michael Conlon 14 run (Sam Stein kick)
ICR – Jack Jensen 54 pass from Michael Conlon (Sam Stein kick)
ICR – Brady Bigley 68 pass from Michael Conlon (Sam Stein kick)
L-M – Zack Bieri 5 run (Muhammed Haroon kick)
Rushing – ICR: Michael Conlon 5-46, Jake Phillips 6-44, Daniel Sullivan 3-30, Ryan Schott 2-25, Mason Simpson 2-20, Trae Rogers 2-22, Nick Milder 2-13, Prescott Arendt 2-(-21). L-M: Zack Bieri 7-28, Hunter Connor 11-13, C.J. Sturms 1-(-6), Jacob Hillard 2-8, Chase Kruse 9-(-8).
Passing – ICR: Michael Conlon 9-12-3 184, Prescott Arendt 2-3-0 29, Ryan Schott 2-3-0 21. L-M: Zack Bieri 9-16-0 105, Chase Kruse 1-2-0 59, Austin Leopard 0-1-0, Jacob Hillard 0-3-0.
Receiving – Brady Bigley 2-79, Jack Jensen 2-70, Jake Phillips 3-23, Nick Milder 1-20, Patrick Clark 2-19, Christian Iben 1-11, Noah Felderman 1-9, Trae Rogers 1-3.
L-M: Karson Cantrell 4-93, Hunter Connor 4-49, Max McCulley 1-20, Austin Leopard 1-2.