SERGEANT BLUFF | Opportunistic Sergeant Bluff-Luton remained unbeaten with a 35-7 Iowa Class 3A District 1 football victory over Spencer here Friday night.
The fourth-ranked Warriors, now 5-0 overall and 2-0 in the district, took advantage of five fumbles and scored two defensive touchdowns.
And, as it turned out, it was probably a good thing they did because SB-L was whistled for a whopping 139 yards in penalties.
“We were fortunate to get a lot of turnovers but a lot of them were forced,” Sergeant Bluff-Luton Coach Justin Smith said. “To our kids credit we took those and did things with them and made big plays when we needed them. We had a lot of kids play really well.”
Britton Delperdang rushed for a game-high 165 yards on 18 carries, including a 61-yard touchdown in which he tight-roped the sidelines for the final 25 yards. The talented junior also scored on a 25-yard swing pass from Daniel Wright.
Wright, a sophomore making his third start, also tossed a 22-yard touchdown pass to Ty Boekelman, who stretched out and made a good catch on the play. Wright, a 6-foot-6 sophomore, passed for 72 yards on five completions.
Junior Sam DeMoss, though, may have had the best game of anyone in an SB-L uniform. DeMoss returned an interception 35 yards for a touchdown and was virtually all over the field on defense, charting a team-high 13 tackles (two for loss) and forcing a fumble.
“The defense was flying around, big hits are what cause fumbles,” DeMoss said. “We were opportunistic, one guy had 'em up and we stripped the ball. My pick-six was given to me, a lot of good pressure by the inside men. Just a great team effort defensively.”
DeMoss wasn't touched when he caught an errant Cade Hopkins pass and strolled into the end zone. It was his second interception return for a touchdown this season.
The Warriors scored another defensive touchdown when Colby Klingensmith scooped up a fumble and rambled 38 yards to paydirt. That came early in the second quarter, snapping a 7-7 tie and got SB-L started on a 21-point quarter.
Spencer fumbled it away on the first snap of the game, but the Warriors were unable to convert from the Spencer 23 and turned it over on downs. The defense, though, got it right back by holding the Tigers on downs after they had driven to the SB-L 30.
Wright tossed what looked like a 49-yard touchdown pass to Conner Groves, but it was nullified by a holding penalty. Delperdang, however, broke loose for his 61-yard jaunt on the very next play.
Spencer answered with an 80-yard scoring march, using 13 plays to tie it at 7-7 on a 1-yard sneak by Hopkins on fourth down with 48 seconds left in the first quarter. Although they were able to pick up some more yardage, that drive was the only significant damage the Tigers inflicted on offense the entire contest.
The TD pass to Delperdang came four plays after a bad snap when Spencer was lined up in punt formation. DeMoss pounced on a fumble at the 33, setting up Boekelman's touchdown just before half that made it 28-7.
“We got some breaks and took advantage of them but that's a tough team to prepare for,” Smith said. “It's a tough scheme and you have to be sound and disciplined. This year with a little more experience on defense it allowed us to do a better job with them.”
Cooper Fox gained 94 yards on 14 carries from Spencer's wishbone offense, but the Tigers slipped to 3-2 overall and 1-1 in the district.