DYERSVILLE — Friday night’s district opener did not go the way the Northeast football team wanted.
And now the Rebels are going to have to wait longer than expected to rectify that start on the field.
Beckman Catholic rode the play of dual threat quarterback Nick Offerman on offense and slowed down a Northeast rushing attack that had gained 200-plus yards the week before to win Friday’s soggy 1A district 5 opener, 37-7.
That will end up being the final game of September for the Rebels. Northeast athletic director Troy Hansen announced Monday that the team’s next two district contests — Friday’s homecoming date with Durant and a Sept. 25 visit to West Branch — are canceled as the team is in quarantine due to an exposure to COVID-19.
That would make October 2nd’s home contest with Cascade as Northeast’s return to the gridiron.
Success on the ground proved to be the difference in the Rebels’ opener Friday.
Hosting Beckman rushed for four of its five touchdowns in the game and churned out 250 rushing yards on 43 carries.
The Rebels gained the same amount of yards on the ground in their previous game, a victory over North Cedar, but were stymied by the Blazers who limited them to just over a yard per carry.
Offerman did the biggest damage. The senior quarterback rushed for a team-high 111 yards and three scores on the ground and tacked on another 151 yards through the air with another touchdown.
With its rushing attack flummoxed, Northeast found its own success through the air. Junior Cade Hughes completed half of his 22 attempts, finding senior Ethan Snyder and junior Carter Pataska four times apiece.
That latter connection with Pataska also produced the Rebels’ lone touchdown of the game as Hughes hit the receiver for a big 75-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter.
The Blazers’ ground attack, however, had helped the home team build a 23-0 advantage at the half and Beckman scored once in both the third and fourth stanzas to create the final margin.
Caleb Gruhn found the most success on the ground for the Rebels, gaining 41 yards on his 16 carries.
Along with the eight combined catches from Pataska and Snyder, the Rebels also picked up receptions from Hayden Lee, Ty Hudson and Gruhn. Hudson’s catch netted 26 yards.