Prior to this season, the South Callaway varsity football team has fared well in recent years against area rival North Callaway.
Then came 2017 and all that changed starting on Sept. 8 when the Thunderbirds defeated the Bulldogs 33-29 at home. Maybe it was luck or perhaps it was fate, but, in the rematch last Friday in the Class 2, District 5, title game, the gap between these teams grew a whole lot wider as North Callaway earned its first district championship since 2011 by winning 38-20.
The star head coach Kevin O'Neal and staff hitched their wagon to in this contest was Adam Reno, who carried the ball 37 times for 229 yards and two touchdowns. For the season Reno now has 2,002 total rushing yards.
"We rode Reno as far and as hard as we could," said O'Neal.
Reno's other game-changing highlight came on defense on a first down and goal at the two-yard line. That's when he ripped the ball from the hands of the South Callaway running back and was off and running all the way to the other endzone.
Quarterback Tully Thomsen also did his part for the cause for the Thunderbirds at 4-for-7 for 80 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. Catching two of those scores from Thomsen was Dawson Wright,. This included receptions of 47 and 16 yards, respectively.
While North Callaway did have control for nost of this contest, the game wasn't as one-sided as the score. Instead, the Thunderbirds grabbed a 6-0 lead in the first before getting outscored buy the Bulldogs 13-12 in the second to head into halftime winning 18-13. North Callaway then claimed the third 14-0 to extend its advantage to 32-13 prior to getting edged out 7-6 in the fourth to earn this 18-point victory.
South Callaway did chart 21 first downs compared to just 13 for the Thunderbird's on 165 passing yards and 36 rushing yards for 201 total yards. The problem with that is the North Callaway defense fprced four fumbles and made two interceptions, one of which came by way of Jordan Delashmutt, who also had a team-high 12 tackles.
North Callaway, 11-1 overall, has won 11 games in-a-row and next plays Saturday at 1 p.m. in the quarterfinals at Clark County, 8-4 overall, in Kahoka.