Eagles face Anamosa, play in 'home' tourney

Emma Dusanek of Midland keeps the ball in play during a match against Monticello, part of the Midland Tournament Sept. 2. The event was held in Monticello as construction on the Eagles’ gym continues. (Photo by Pete Temple)


     The Midland Eagles opened their volleyball season with a three-set loss to Anamosa Tuesday, Aug. 29 at Anamosa. The Eagles (0-1) lost 15-25, 15-25, 12-25.

     Emma Dusanek had 10 assists in the match, as Midland totaled 14 kills. Morgan Soper had five of those, Delanie Uppena had four and Drew Jensen had three.

     The team totaled 34 digs, led by Calli Markmann with eight, Dusanek and Uppena with six apiece. Soper had two blocks. Dusanek served two aces.

     On Sept. 2, the Eagles held their annual Midland Invitational. Because of ongoing construction at the Wyoming facility, the tournament was held in Monticello. Midland lost five matches, starting with a 20-22, 11-21 loss to Central City. Drew Jensen, Brennah Ricketts and Markmann had three kills apiece. Markmann also had seven assists, and served 7-for-7.

     Against eventual champion Springville, Midland lost 6-21, 6-21. Uppena had four digs, while Mikayla Dosland, Dusanek and Markmann had three apiece.

     Midland then lost to Cascade, 7-21, 10-21. Jensen had five digs, and Dusanek had four. Jensen also served three aces.

     Next was a match against Monticello, which Midland lost 3-21, 15-21. Sara Flores had two kills. Markmann made three assists. Dusanek had five digs.

     The team’s final match was a 9-21, 15-21 loss to Bellevue Marquette. Jensen had three kills. Dosland made seven assists. Dusanek and Flores had five digs apiece. Markmann served two aces.



     Midland scored 44 first half points to take a 24-point lead, then coasted to a 66-33 victory over WACO of Wayland Friday, Sept. 8 at Wayland.

     The game was the Eight-player, District 4 opener for both teams.

     Austin Smith had a remarkable game, rushing 21 times for 281 yards and six touchdowns. Included were runs of 68, 36 and 20 yards. Smith had eight of the team’s nine touchdowns altogether, as he also caught two scoring passes from Britan Martens, for 36 and 19 yards. Smith even completed a touchdown pass of his own, three yards to Griffin Gravel.

     Carter Mohr and Smith each ran in a pair of two-point conversions during the game.

     “Offensively we controlled the game,” Midland coach Casey Hack said. “Our line did a great job opening holes and giving our backs running lanes.”

     Midland’s defense had a strong game as well, forcing five turnovers. Drew Gravel made an interception, while teammates Griffin Gravel, Martens, Mohr and Smith each recovered a WACO fumble.

     Griffin Gravel made 10.5 tackles, Hunter Rushford had eight, Fisher Bisinger had 7.5, Mohr had six, and Drew Gravel had 5.5.

     “Defensively we were very good as well,” Hack said. “We forced multiple turnovers, and our defense did a good job tackling a very good running back.

     “Overall it was great to come out with such a big win and to overcome some mistakes that we made.”

     The previous week, the Eagles (1-0, 2-1) stormed past Central Eldaker to win 72-0 Sept. 1 in a non-district eight-player game in Wyoming.

     Smith rushed 13 times for 196 yards and four touchdowns for the Eagles, and Brady Pestka had 107 yards in nine carries.

     Leading tacklers were Griffin Gravel with 5.5, Mohr with five, Drew Gravel and Brett Schoenherr with 3.5 apiece. Rushford recovered two Central fumbles, running one in for a touchdown, and Carson Rupp had an interception.

     Smith scored on runs of 13, 27, 4 and 42 yards. Pestka had a 65-yard touchdown run. Martens threw touchdown passes of 13 yards to Peyton Rupp, and 10 yards to Smith. Mohr caught a 17-yard scoring pass from Smith. Rupp also had a one-yard scoring run.

     “I challenged our football team to dominate a game,” Hack said. “They played great, and all contributed to a big win for us.  It was great to see so many kids get an opportunity to be successful.”

     The Eagles will play host to Easton Valley for homecoming Sept. 15.



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