Team crowns champs, MVP, and Coach of the Year
The Iowa Sharks semipro football team wrapped up their season with a 41-6 victory over the visiting South East Iowa Hawks. The Sharks' first season couldn't have gone much better.
Saturday's decisive victory over the Hawks, their third of the season, capped off an undefeated season as they were crowned champions of the Central State Football League.
Northwestern alum Dave Perrigo put the Sharks in the lead early as he rumbled for a three-yard score with just over a minute left in the first quarter. Perrigo led the offensive charge for the Sharks, as he has all season. The running back tallied 135 yards and 3 TDs on 21 carries.
The former Red Raider All-American finished up the year with 1215 rushing yards, 269 receiving yards, 419 return yards and and 25 touchdowns as he named the CSFL's Most Valuable Player.
"The guy is absolutely incredible," said Sharks head coach Butch Faulkenberry. "Undoubtedly the MVP of the league. He's been doing that for us also season long. Also, it's a testament to our offensive line and how effective they have been at opening up holes for him to run through.."
Perrigo's partner in the backfield and former Red Raider teammate, Travis Kooima, extended the lead as he connected with Curt Lilly on a 13-yard strike with six minutes left in the first half.
The Sharks' quarterback quietly threw for 108 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. That brings his season totals to an impressive 1188 yards, 18 touchdowns, and only 4 interceptions.
"Kooima just got it done for us all season," said Faulkenberry. "He did some exceptional play-calling on the field. He called the whole offensive system on the line. He would get up there and read the defense and deal with the audibles as well.. He always put the ball in a place where the defense didn't have a chance to make a play on it. "
Faulkenberry also got some hardware of his own as he was named the 2008 CSFL Coach of the Year. The head coach of the newly formed Buffalo Ridge Bison composed of Galva-Holstein and Schaller Crestland led the Sharks to an 8-0 record.
The last points in the first half came as Perrigo would add another three-yard score to extended the Sharks lead to 20-0 at halftime.
It was more of the same in the second half. The Sharks hard-nosed defense stifled the Hawks, and their offense kept on rolling. After a scoreless third quarter, the Sharks came on strong to put the game on ice in the fourth.
Perrigo hit pay dirt for the third time of the evening with ten minutes left to make it 27-0. Kooima connected with Colin Youde from 16 yards out to push the score to 34-0, and Travis Schuller wrapped up the Shark scoring with a nine-yard scamper. Youde finished with 60 yards on five receptions.
SE Iowa would tack on a late 52-yard touchdown pass to avoid the shutout.
The Sharks amassed 275 yards of total offense while holding South East Iowa to just 96. The front seven was particularly impressive. The defense consistently disrupted the backfield as they totaled nine sacks and held the Hawks to negative rushing yards at -29.
Chad Dreckman, Eric Hentges, and Cody Pierce led the Sharks strong defensive effort. Dreckman, a Storm Lake graduate and Iowa Central standout, finished with nine tackles and a sack.
Pierce, the former BVU All-American linebacker, tallied seven tackles and a sack of his own. Hentges, who hails from Lemars and played at Simpson, totaled four sacks and a fumble recovery on the evening.
"Our defense shined," said Faulkenberry. "Our front four dominated the line of scrimmage and didn't allow them to establish any type of ground game. Dreckman had an outstanding night. Pierce really showed up to play. He was all over the field, and Hentges put constant pressure on the quarterback. He's extremely tough to block. The numbers those three put up were incredible, but our entire defense was outstanding this year. "
The Sharks victory concludes an impressive inaugural season in Sutherland in which they were clearly the dominant force in the league. For the season the Sharks outscored their opponents by a total of 367 to 48. The Sharks stout defense was aided by an punishing ground game that saw them rush for 1497 yards while holding the opposition to just 218.