Tritons swing momentum

From the opening kickoff until the final horn, the Iowa Central football team imposed its will on Dakota College here Saturday afternoon.

In their 2013 home debut at Dodger Stadium, the Tritons (1-1 overall) coasted to a 66-19 triumph.

Showing no lingering effects from last week’s bitter loss at defending NJCAA national champion and then-No. 4 Iowa Western, Iowa Central dominated the Lumberjacks (1-1) in every phase of the game, improving to 4-0 in the all-time series against the sixth-year NJCAA independent school.

“The quality of opponent (Saturday) was not anything close to (Iowa Western), but we told our boys that going in,” said ICCC head coach Kevin Twait, who improved to 127-54 at the helm with the win. “At the same time, this victory was just great for our whole team morale.

“We have a lot of pride in our program, and none of the coaches or players were happy with the performance last week.”

Offensively, the Tritons accumulated 461 total yards compared to just 268 for the visitors. Iowa Central, which surged out to a decisive 53-0 advantage at the break, also returned two picks to paydirt and managed a pair of safeties.

“We got off to kind of a slow start offensively, but the two pick sixes really helped set the tone,” Twait said. “It was nice we were able to build a big lead and get so many different guys into the game. I thought our kids handled the sweltering heat pretty well again.”

DeShawn Johnson gained a team-high 57 rushing yards on just six carries for the Tritons, who received touchdowns from eight different players. Reserve quarterback Kendall Jackson, who reached the endzone twice on the ground, also went a perfect 3-for-3 through the air for 101 yards. Jackson hooked up with Brandynn Clark on a 46-yard score in the waning moments of the first quarter, while later finding Andy Henry from 45 yards out midway through the second.

Jaried Combs (two sacks), Greg Brown (interception), Ethan Herren (interception), DJ Robinson (interception), Anthony Combs (fumble recovery) and Hiro Sasaki (fumble recovery) spearheaded Iowa Central’s opportunistic defensive unit, which forced five takeaways. Derrion Phillips also blocked a punt out of the back of the endzone for a safety, and Shaquille Wells, Kyle Terlouw and Wesley Bradley all combined for a sack just over the goal line for two more points.

Dakota College signal-caller Shazzon Mumphrey, a former Triton player, finished 11 of 21 passing for 138 yards, including two picks and a score. Mumphrey actually broke up Iowa Central’s shutout bid with a 15-yard touchdown dash early in the second half, which came four plays after a Triton fumble. The Lumberjacks, who failed to cross midfield in the opening 30-plus minutes, punted five times and committed nine penalties for 60 yards.

“We know we have a whole different bag of worms waiting for us next week in College of DuPage,” said Twait. “(The Chaparrals) have beaten us three straight times, and they have some tremendous talent on their team from the Chicago area.”

Kickoff for the Midwest Football Conference matchup between Iowa Central and College of DuPage (1-1) is set for 1 p.m. Saturday at Dodger Stadium. The Chaparrals trounced North Dakota Science yesterday, 47-7.