SIOUX CITY | Greg Schoon had a happy homecoming of sorts Friday night.
Schoon is a 1993 Sioux Central graduate who played on Iowa State’s defensive line from 1993 to 1997. For the past 14 years, he has been the head football coach at Des Moines East.
“My mom’s here, my stepdad, my cousins, my aunts came from Northwest Iowa,” said Schoon, whose team improved to 2-4 following a 55-13 Class 4A District 1 rout over North at Olsen Stadium. “It’s good to see family because I don’t get to see them very often.”
Isaac Toluwalase rushed for 298 yards and four touchdowns for the Scarlets while the defense recorded four quarterback sacks.
The first time Toluwalase touched the ball, he broke loose for 36 yards. He had 150 yards on the ground when the first quarter ended and by halftime, a whopping 233 yards on only 15 carries.
“He is an explosive athlete,” said Schoon. “Football is kind of a new game for him, so he has gotten better and better every year. Now, he’s obviously using his physical talents and he’s understanding the game. He’s really starting to trust his offensive line more. We’re seeing the fruits of those gains now.”
Toluwalase, who began the sport in eighth grade, hiked his season rushing total to 976 yards and 16 touchdowns. Three of his defensive teammates sacked quarterback Devonta Cobbs for losses totaling 27 yards in the first half.
Perhaps the game could have changed somewhat, had Coach Mitch Mohr’s Stars recovered quarterback Corey Mills’ first-quarter fumble. With his team ahead 7-0, Mills saw the snap from center go over his head and he recovered it at North’s 20, thrown for a 14-yard loss.
Mills, on the next play, tossed a 20-yard touchdown pass to Stephon Field for a 14-0 lead and the beginning of a rout was on for a team that scored on each of their first nine possessions.
“That was really the game,” said Mohr. “If we would have been able to drop on something like that, it’s a game changer. It’s a confidence booster.
“Right now, our players show signs of confidence and then they show signs when they’re really down. That’s building off the positive things we did in the second half.”
North (0-6, 0-2 District 2) had zero total yards offense in the game before reserve quarterback Quintin Krusemark fired a short screen to Cobbs, who sprinted down the left sideline 81 yards for a touchdown to pull within 35-7, about a minute into the third quarter.
Krusemark had passed for 88 yards and a touchdown in last Friday’s 47-12 District 1 loss to East. As the game progressed, Krusemark hit five different teammates with at least one catch during a night where he completed 10 of 17 passes for 119 yards and a touchdown.
Teammate Jayse Martineck had been held to a minus-seven yards on six carries in the first half. Martineck, who rushed for a career-best 184 yards against East, highlighted a 102-yard performance with a 58-yard touchdown sprint with 36 seconds left in the game.
“We talked at halftime about coming out and being ready to play,” said Mohr. “At the start of the game, we were assignment ready, but we weren’t ready to come and meet the runner. They had a big offensive line and we weren’t ready to take them on. In the second half, we had more confidence. With that confidence, you play fundamentally sound because you trust in yourself and you trust in your teammates. We just needed one big play and you saw it with the 81-yard touchdown pass. So we built off momentum in the third and fourth quarter.”
North plays at Johnston this Friday as Class 4A District 1 play continues.