SERGEANT BLUFF | Sam DeMoss wanted something a few other Sergeant Bluff-Luton receivers had experienced this season.
A long touchdown catch.
DeMoss caught a 92-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter for the fifth-ranked Warriors, who clinched the Class 3A District 1 championship with a 49-14 rout of Denison-Schleswig here Friday night.
“Me and Dan (Daniel Wright) have been kind of laughing because we haven’t been able to hook up on a deep ball yet this year,” said DeMoss. “What was going through his mind was don’t overthrow him. It was a little inside, but it’s my job to beat the guy one-on-one. I was a little tired after that one.”
It was a nifty catch-and-run play for DeMoss, who ended the night with five catches for 160 yards. DeMoss, who made the play on the ensuing series after defensive back Drew Mathison tackled the Monarchs’ Jack Mendlick on a 2-yard catch eight yards shy of the end zone, made the grab around the 30-yard line and used his sprinter speed to give Coach Justin Smith’s Warriors a 21-0 lead.
Directing an offense that scored on three of their first four possessions, Wright completed 10 of 12 passes for 219 yards and two touchdowns, his fourth 200-yard plus passing performance of the season.
DeMoss’ third scoring catch of the season was Wright’s longest of the campaign for a 7-1 (4-0 District 1) squad that won a second straight district title and their third in the past four seasons. Wright, who completed his first five passes of the game, has two other scoring passes of 50 yards or better this season and 18 touchdown passes heading into next Friday’s regular-season finale at Storm Lake.
“Our offensive line has developed really nicely throughout the year,” said DeMoss. “At the beginning of the year, it was kind of a question mark, but they’ve been exceeding expectations, just getting better and better. It really helps to free up what we thought was going to be our strength at the beginning of the year, which would be our skilled positions and our passing game.”
“We have a lot of really talented kids and we can spread the ball around,” said Smith. “One game, you have (Conner) Groves making a bunch of big plays and catching touchdown passes, then you have DeMoss doing it. We have (Britton) Delperdang in the run game and the offensive line doing a great job. We also have a lot of backups doing the same thing those guys are doing.”
Delperdang hiked his season rushing total to 1,108 yards with 108 yards and two touchdowns for a squad that churned out 354 yards total offense. En route to his 2-yard scoring run in the first quarter, he took advantage of blocks from left guard Drew Lansink (6-2, 225) and center Nick Lee (5-10, 215) for a 47-yard burst to highlight an 8-play, 80-yard drive.
Sergeant Bluff-Luton forced three turnovers and turned each of the takeaways into touchdowns. Wright’s 3-yard TD run in the first period was set up by Groves’ interception at Denison-Schleswig’s 33-yard line, while Gabe Warren’s fumble recovery led to Tristan Navrkal’s six-yard touchdown catch in the third.
Even the reserves were catching the act in the fourth quarter. Colin Margellos’ interception at the Monarchs’ 17-yard line launched a two-play scoring drive that ended with Jordan Hincapie’s 11-yard run.
Denison-Schleswig (4-4, 1-3) had a 41-19 advantage in total plays in the first half, but missed two red zone opportunities. An 8-play, 47-yard drive on the series to start the game ended as Jonathan Romo’s 25-yard field goal attempt fell short, while Mendlik’s short catch prior to DeMoss’ touchdown ended an 8-play, 63-yard series.
Quarterback Charlie Wiebers completed 8 of 20 passes for 91 yards for the Monarchs and pulled his team within 28-7 as he scored on a two-yard play as time expired in the second quarter to complete a 14-play, 70-yard series. Teammate Terrance Weah rushed 13 times for 92 yards.
“(Denison-Schleswig) did a good job and threw out a few formations we weren’t prepared for,” said Smith. “We struggled up front on defense a little bit in the first half. I think that was their game plan to come in and keep the ball away from us. But when we had a chance, our kids made plays.”
SB-L 49, D-S 14
SBL – Britton Delperdang 2 run (David Clausen kick) 5:31
SBL – Daniel Wright 3 run (Clausen kick) 1:17
SBL – Sam DeMoss 92 pass from Wright (Clausen kick) 7:27
SBL – Conner Groves 75 punt return (Clausen kick) 4:40
DS – Charlie Wiebers 2 run (Jonathan Romo kick) 0:00
SBL – Delperdang 5 run (Clausen kick) 9:49
SBL – Tristan Navrkal 6 apss from Wright (Clausen kick) 6:42
DS – Wyatt Kaub 2 run (Romo kick) 9:36
SBL – Jordon Hincapie 11 run (Clausen kick) 2:42