Jared Brinkman rushes the passer against Solon. Jackie Blake Jensen/IC Pixx. By Ryan Murken Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – Defense wins championships.
The old adage gets said, screamed, written and read often around football teams this time of year.
At Regina, it’s been more than a saying, it’s been a fact, with a stingy defense a constant during the Regals state-record, six-year state title run.
On Friday, Regina and its rock-solid defense will face perhaps its biggest obstacle on the road to a seventh consecutive title in the form of second-ranked Pella Christian (10-0) and its high-flying offense.
“We just want to show that we have the best defense in the state and we want a great challenge,” Regina offensive lineman Jared Brinkman said. “It’s going to be a fun challenge this week.”
The challenge facing top-ranked Regina (9-1) on Friday in the Class 1A quarterfinals at 7 p.m. at Regal Field is a Pella Christian offense that ranks among the best in 1A.
Pella Christian enters Friday’s quarterfinal leading 1A in scoring at 56.2 points per game and total offense, averaging 455 yards per contest.
The Eagles have scored at least 42 points in every game this season and have scored more than 56 points six times.
“They have a lot of returning guys that have played a lot of good football and obviously, they are playing at a high level right now,” Regina coach Marv Cook said. “They know what their identity is and they know who they are and they play to their strengths and they are real talented.”
Pella Christian features one of the most productive quarterback and receiver combinations in the state in seniors David Kacmarynski and Levi Jungling.
Kacmarynski has thrown for 1,731 yards and leads 1A with 31 touchdowns passes.
The 6-foot-3, 227-pound quarterback also leads the Eagles in rushing with 653 yards and eight touchdowns.
“They play hard, they have won all their games so they doing something right,” Regina senior Reagan Ries said. “Their quarterback is a big kid and a good player, it’s going to be a physical game.”
More than half of the passing yards and touchdowns for Kacmarynski have gone to the 5-foot-11, 170-pound Jungling who leads 1A with 1,030 yards and 17 touchdowns on 43 receptions.
“They would be comfortable throwing every snap, they are that good that they wouldn’t have a problem if they needed to do that,” Cook said. “Hopefully we can make them one dimensional that would help us a lot.”
The Regina defense has its own impressive resume.
Regina is holding opponents to 227 total yards and 12.3 points per game this season and hasn’t allowed more than 17 points in six games.
The Regals have been impressive against the pass this season allowing just 86 yards per game through the air.
Regina has 22 sacks and 15 interceptions this season, returning four for touchdowns, while allowing six passing touchdowns.
“They have great athletes, they have been putting up numbers for a couple of years now,” Brinkman said. “We know what they have so we have to try to shut that down and do what we do.”