MALVERN, Iowa — Nathan Herbst broke one long run.
In a game between offenses averaging more than 35 points a week, the A-H-S-T quarterback never would have guessed his second-quarter sprint would hold up to keep the Vikings unbeaten Friday night.
Herbst broke loose for a 45-yard touchdown and the A-H-S-T defense took care of the rest in a 10-0 road victory over Iowa Class A No. 9 East Mills in a key District 8 showdown. Kicker Steven Jacobsen added a 42-yard field goal for the Class A No. 5 Vikings (7-0, 5-0), who all but clinched a district title with some gritty defensive play.
“It’s fun; we’re bringing A-H-S-T football back, I guess you could say,” Herbst said. “We have a lot of teamwork and a lot of heart.”
East Mills (5-2, 3-2) had precious few scoring chances while suffering its second shutout of the season. Of its nine possessions, three were punts, two were missed field goals and three resulted in turnovers. The other was a kneel-down play to end the first half.
“A-H-S-T’s a great team,” East Mills coach Andy Irwin said. “They’ve been putting a lot of points on the board and we were able to stop them. They’ve got good athletes out there all across the board. I don’t know if they’ve got a weak spot.”
But A-H-S-T couldn’t start fast, either. Its first two drives ended with a turnover on downs and a bad fourth-down snap that allowed East Mills to swarm punter Kyle Bauerkemper deep in Viking territory late in the first quarter.
That led to the Wolverines’ best opportunity for points — a first-and-goal eight yards away from the end zone. But the home team went backward on its next two snaps before eventually missing a 30-yard field-goal try wide right.
The Vikings capped a 13-play drive to start the second quarter when Jacobsen connected on his 42-yard kick. After Jacobsen recovered an East Mills fumbled snap on the ensuing drive, Herbst darted through a crowd of defenders on a draw play and sprinted down the left sideline for a 45-yard score.
“I saw everybody kind of flowing to the right and decided to cut back and saw nobody there,” Herbst said. “I was like, ‘Wow, we’re going to go in with this.’ ”
The 5-foot-11 sophomore ran for a game-best 113 yards on 16 carries while also going 4-of-10 passing for 51 yards. Bauerkemper surpassed the century mark as well, churning out 102 rushing yards on 28 carries.
The defense, meanwhile, stifled East Mills at every turn. All three turnovers came in the first half, with Lee Whyte recovering a fumble on the Wolverines’ opening drive and Bauerkemper picking off a pass to extinguish an East Mills possession near midfield with his side holding a 3-0 edge.
“It’s been a whole team effort making some different plays,” A-H-S-T coach Davis Pattee said. “Although we weren’t mistake free, we didn’t make that big mistake.”
A-H-S-T (7-0, 5-0) ............................ 0 10 0 0—10
At East Mills (5-2, 3-2) ............................ 0 0 0 0— 0
A: Steven Jacobsen 42 FG
A: Nathan Herbst 45 run (Jacobsen kick)
RUSHING: A, Kyle Bauerkemper 28-102, Nathan Herbst 16-113, Terry Shannon 4-27, Austin Fink 7-13. EM, Lane Stortenbecker 12-34, Colby Jennings 23-99, Travis Tupper 1-6, Jacob Schafer 6-(-24).
PASSING: A, Herbst 4-10-1, 51. EM, Schafer 3-11-1 34.
RECEIVING: A, Lee Whyte 3-48, Shannon 1-3. EM, Stortenbecker 2-21, Michael Story 1-13.