WESTFIELD - Laurens-Marathon and Ar-We-Va's electric offenses both shined in the first half, but it was the Rocket's defense that decided Wednesday night's 8-man substate battle. Ar-We-Va blanked the explosive Laurens-Marathon offense for the final two quarters and rolled behind Reggie Kock's three second half rushing TDs to a 40-13 victory.
Head coach Mike Ehn and Laurens-Marathon, making their debut in 8-man football, finish the season at 7-3. The Chargers had been averaging nearly 50 points per game this season. Wednesday's 13 point output was their lowest of the season as the Rocket defense took over in the second half.
Heralded Ar-We-Va receiver Tyler Pawletzki put the Rockets ahead first on a 53 yard TD pass from Jeremy Ehlers with just over six minutes to go in the first quarter. It was Pawletzki's 17th TD grab of the season.
Ehlers would soon extend that lead with a 30-yard scramble. The extra point was failed and the Rockets led 13-0. Ehlers would take a shot in the second quarter and miss the remainder of the game.
The Charger offense came back to life as quarterback Zach Lovin connected with Caleb Jamison with six minutes left in the first quarter to bring the game to 13-7.
That score remained until Ryan Schurke's three-yard rush into the endzone put Ar-We-Va ahead 20-7 with nine minutes left in the half.
The teams traded possessions before Laurens-Marathon struck back. With just over three minutes left in the half Lovin connected with Adam Woodin in the corner of the endzone for what was the quarterbacks 28th TD of the season. It was the 12th TD connection of the season by the pair of seniors.
The Chargers entered the half fired up, trailing just 20-13. Unfortunately it was all Ar-We-Va from that point out. Senior fullback Reggie Kock was nearly impossible to bring down as he rumbled in for scores from 15, 17, and 30 yards out. Kock finished with 88 yards on just 12 carries with the majority coming in the second half.
Laurens-Marathon's offense struggled to find their consistency in the second half as they were limited to zero points and just 48 yards in the final 24 minutes.
Senior running back Gary Brechler ground out 60 yards on 18 carries for Laurens-Marathon as finishes his 2008 campaign just shy of 1100 yards with 16TDs.
Lovin's effort on Wednesday pushed him over 1650 yards through the air this fall with 28TDs through the air and another eight on the ground. His primary target on the season, Woodin, had five grabs for 45 yards and a score against the Rockets to push his season line to 51 receptions, 724 yards, and 12 TDs. Close behind is Jamison who's pair of catches for 44 yards and a score move him to 40 receptions, 572 yards, and 10TDs this fall.
The Chargers' season may have not ended in ideal fashion, but the Laurens-Marathon squad made an extremely impressive debut into the 8-man world of Iowa football this season.
Ar-We-Va (9-1) advances to Mondays's matchup with undefeated North Sentral Kossuth (10-0) who rolled St. Mary's Remsen 56-14 in their opening round matchup.