(Corning) --Prior to Friday night, The Southwest Valley Timberwolves had never started a season 0-1.
The Timberwolves relied heavily on their bread-and-butter----dominate the run game, and play physical defense. The end result was an 18-6 victory over Red Oak. The T-Wolves are now 1-0 for the seventh consecutive season.
"I told the boys that half the state of Iowa has lost a game, and we're not one of those. It feels good." Coach Anthony Donahoo told KMA Sports.
Quarterback Brendan Knapp was responsible for all 18 of Southwest Valley's points, the sophomore signal-caller rushed for 129-yards and found the end-zone three times. Knapp also finished the night with 5 completions for 61 yards.
"We're going to make teams play honest football with us being able to throw the ball a little bit this year," Donahoo said.
Neither team scored in the first quarter, but Knapp broke the scoreless tie in the second quarter with a four-yard scamper to give Southwest Valley a 6-0 lead at halftime.
In the third quarter, Knapp scored his second touchdown of the night, this one from 11-yards to extend Southwest Valley's lead to 12-0. Red Oak quarterback Jacob Athen scored from 12-yards out on fourth down early in the fourth quarter to cut the lead to 12-6, but Knapp put the game on ice with a tackle-breaking, 15-yard score with just under five minutes to go.
"We had a rough start in the first quarter," Knapp said, "We just had to figure out what was working and what wasn't. Once we found our zone, we just kept rolling."
The Timberwolves were paced defensively by a monster night from junior Tallen Myers. Myers was responsible for 18 tackles on the evening and also a recovered a fumble. Myers accomplished all this in his first game since suffering a season-ending knee injury last season.
"I haven't played a game in 350-something days, I was hyped," Myers said, "I was ready for this, I've been dreaming for this all year long."
"I thought he was one of the most important pieces we lost last year," Donahoo said, "He's always in the backfield, he reads his keys so well and he's there before you know it."
Southwest Valley will now turn their attention to a road contest next Friday against Central Decatur (0-2).
"We've got to play fundamental football, fix some of the mistakes we had and be ready to go by Friday" Donahoo said.
Red Oak's offense was paced by Athen's 88 rushing yard and one touchdown. The Tigers fall to 0-1 on the season and will host Clarinda (1-0).
Complete video interviews with Myers, Knapp and Coach Donahoo as well as a photo gallery taken by Jan Castle Renander can be viewed below.