COUNCIL BLUFFS — Iowa Western’s offense got off to a slow start.
With the way its defense is playing, it didn’t really matter.
The No. 3 Reivers extended their defensive scoreless streak to 13 quarters in a 33-0 blanking of DuPage Saturday at Titan Stadium. It was the third consecutive shutout victory for Iowa Western (5-0), which finished its first swing through the Midwest Football Conference with a perfect 4-0 mark.
Iowa Western beat its four MFC foes by a combined score of 181-10. The last team to score on the Reivers was Iowa Central with a third-quarter field goal in a 62-10 game on Aug. 31.
“That’s something that we really strive for as a defense — to shut teams out and show that we’re the best,” linebacker Ryan Langford said. “That’s how you do it.”
Langford had a 20-yard interception return for a touchdown during a 20-point third quarter that let Iowa Western pull away after leading the Chaparrals (2-2, 2-1) 13-0 at the half.
The Reivers opened the game with punts on their first two possessions before going 80 yards in seven plays late in the first quarter to claim a 6-0 lead. Akise Teague raced the final 41 yards on a fourth-and-1 play to start his big afternoon. The sophomore transfer from Cincinnati ran for 178 yards and two scores after sitting out last week with a hamstring injury.
“He’s so elusive,” Iowa Western coach Scott Strohmeier said. “I think he’s getting better as the year goes on. He sat out a year of football, now he’s really coming along.”
Quarterback Connor Bravard was also back in the lineup after missing Iowa Western’s last game for disciplinary reasons. He threw for 189 yards and two touchdowns in three quarters of playing time.
“Once we got going in the second quarter, and in the second half definitely, it felt good,” Bravard said. “We were just shooting ourselves in the foot with penalties, dropped balls and missed assignments. Once we got that shored up, we got going.”
The Reivers finished with 510 yards of total offense, 240 on the ground and 270 through the air, in their final tuneup for next week’s battle of unbeatens at No. 7 Georgia Military (4-0). The game should vault the winner into national title contention for the second half of the season.
“I told our guys if you take care of business each week, then each game gets a little bit bigger,” Strohmeier said. “If you can’t get motivated and come back tomorrow and have a great week ... I don’t know what it’s going to take. Georgia Military’s a really good team.”
DuPage (2-2, 2-1)...........................0 0 0 0— 0
At Iowa Western (5-0, 4-0)................6 7 20 0—33
IW: Akise Teague 41 run (kick failed)
IW: Antwan Gilbert 8 pass from Connor Bravard (Alex Langer kick)
IW: Teague 17 run (Langer kick)
IW: Ryan Langford 20 interception return (kick blocked)
IW: Geronimo Allison 25 pass from Bravard (Langer kick)
RUSHING: D, Hill 10-16, Toney 8-11, Chance 7-53, Cammon 6-21, Zerquera 3-(-3), Meek 2-5, Team 1-(-1). IW, Teague 19-178, Begg 7-18, Bender 6-24, White 5-14, Bravard 5-(-2), Stephenson 4-1, Gilbert 2-7.
PASSING: D, Toney 6-16-1 60, Brown 1-5-1 0. IW, Bravard 20-36-0 189, Bender 6-9-2 59, Thomas 1-1-0 13, Culjat 1-1-0 9.
RECEIVING: D, Woodard 2-13, Harris 1-27, Bussenger 1-10, Childs 1-6, Wells 1-4. IW, Gilbert 8-83, Allison 5-60, Johnson 3-24, Hinkel 2-21, Schleuger 2-15, Smith 2-12, Moore 2-9, Davis 1-18, Hall 1-13, Teague 1-9, Sehl 1-6.