SIOUX CITY | Noah McWell quarterbacks a hard-working football squad riding the thrill of momentum.
“We try to do our best, man. All the hard work we’ve been trying to put in finally paid off at the end of the night,” said the West High senior, following Friday night’s 36-7 win over North.
McWell hit four different receivers while completing 13 of 17 passes for 130 yards as the Wolverines defeated North for the first time since a 23-13 victory in 2004 (not counting a 2012 contest North had to forfeit). He also rushed 15 times for 137 yards and two touchdowns.
Defense was perhaps the biggest key as Coach Trever Case’s team recorded six takeaways, including Jalen Roseland’s two interceptions. Darius Moore, Marquise Bolden and Enrique Delagarza each added an interception while Sammy Blakey recovered a fumble.
The Wolverines scored 22 points off turnovers.
West’s only takeaway, prior to the homecoming win, was Cole Schultz’s fumble recovery in a 49-14 loss to East on Sept. 4.
What does the win mean for the Wolverines?
“This gives us a little confidence,” said Case. “We have a lot of younger players that have been playing along and haven’t experienced a lot of success. Now we have proved to them that we can do this against a quality team and I think North is a quality team. Heading into district play, it gives us a bit of momentum.”
West (1-3) still has turnover issues to correct going into this Friday’s Class 4A District 3 opener at Ankeny Centennial. The Wolverines won, despite throwing two interceptions and losing two fumbles.
West also dodged two North bullets -- Deion Clayborne’s interception late in the second quarter and Connor O’Dell’s fumble recovery early in the third quarter.
Had North converted on either one of those takeaways, it could have tied the game 14-14.
“You can what-if-it all night, but at the end of the day, we have to look at ourselves in the mirror and get this ship righted, get this ship straightened out,” said North Coach Jon Niemic, whose 1-3 squad will host Council Bluffs Thomas Jefferson Friday night. “There are still a lot of things we need to correct as a coaching staff and a lot of things we need to correct as a program.”
McWell was well aware of West’s turnover issues that have occurred throughout the season.
“We will go back to the playbook, we will figure out what went wrong and we will make those corrections,” he said.