Comets defeat Trojans 16-7, start season 2-0
By John Burbridge
CHARLES CITY — Depending on what level you’re playing football, posting a 2-0 record right out of the gate could be considered a good start or a great start.
If you eventually find your favorite NFL team graced with a 2-0 record early in the league’s forthcoming season, good for them, but don’t go making postseason reservations just yet. The NFL season has grown to 17 regular-season games and will likely even itself out with an 18th regular-season game. With such a long and stretched out season, teams could go undefeated in September and October and still not be guaranteed of playing in January.
But if you’re a high school team starting the season at 2-0, you’re in a much better position considering the regular-season is only nine games long. And though the formulae used to determine playoff berths in Iowa can be rather complicated, generally five regular-season wins will extend your season.
After defeating South Tama 16-7 in their home-opener last Friday, the Charles City Comets are 2-0. The last time the Comets started the season 2-0 was in 2021 where they were eventually eliminated from the playoffs when they lost to West Delaware in the final game of the regular season when they were deprived of their fifth win that would have gotten them in.
During their win against the Trojans, the Comets dominated defensively in the first half while limiting South Tama to one first down in the entire first half while taking a 10-0 lead into intermission.
With several of Charles City’s key players on the bench to start the second half, South Tama managed to put together a long drive after taking the second-half kickoff and scored with a 3-yard slant route — Daniel Wiese to Jeremy Dolash — to pull within a field goal (10-7).
But then the Comets began feeding the ball to sophomore Deacon Caspers while seizing control of the game again. Caspers’s 6-yard TD with 7:54 left in regulation capped the score and a second-straight Comet victory.
Caspers rushed for a career-high 72 yards on 10 carries to lead all ground gainers.
Comet senior quarterback Jordan Foster had one of his better games of his varsity career while completing 17 of 27 passes for 145 yards, including an 8-yard TD pass to Keenan Wiley that opened the scoring late in the first quarter.
Wiley had eight catches for 64 yards.
Foster also hooked up with Kayden Kasemeier on a couple of big pass plays as Kasemeier compiled 49 yards on just two catches.
Comet junior linebacker Jackson Ruzicka set the tone early in the game with a couple of resounding tackles for losses. Ruzicka would end up leading Charles City’s defense with 7.5 total tackles for the game.
For the second time in as many games, Comet senior defensive back Micah Hillhouse snared an interception. Hillhouse was also credited with 1.5 tackles for losses.
All last season, Charles City didn’t have a field goal. Comet senior placekicker Jack Hanson ended that drought with a 26-yard field goal in the first half against the Trojans for the aforementioned 10-0 lead.
The Comets will travel to Waterloo East next Friday (Sept. 8). The WE Trojans improved to 1-1 with a 28-20 victory over Des Moines North on Friday.
CHARLES CITY 16, SOUTH TAMA 7
Scoring By Quarters
South Tama 0 0 7 0 — 7
Charles City 7 3 0 6 — 16
CC — Keenan Wiley 8-yard pass from Jordan Foster (Jack Hanson kick) 1:31 1st, 7-0
CC — Hanson 26-yard field goal 9:32 2nd, 10-0
ST — Jeremy Dolash 4-yard pass from Daniel Wiese (Adrian Valle kick) 5:47 3rd, 10-7
CC — Deacon Caspers 6-yard run (Kick failed) 7:54 4th, 16-7
RECORDS — Charles City 2-0, South Tama 0-2
PASSING — (CC) Jordan Foster 17-27, 145 yards, TD.
RUSHING — (CC) Foster 10 carries, 38 yards; Deacon Caspers 10 carries, 72 yards, TD; Josiah Cunnings 5 carries, 25 yards; Isaiah Roe 4 carries, 6 yards; Jackson Ruzicka 1 carry, 1 yard.
RECEIVING — (CC) Kayden Kasemeier 2 catches, 49 yards; Keenan Wiley 8 catches, 64 yards; Isaiah Roe 5 catches, 33 yards; Gabe Rogstad 1 catch, 4 yards.
DEFENSE — (CC) Josiah Cunnings 7 total tackles, 4 solo tackles, 2 tackles for losses; Jackson Ruzicka 7.5 total tackles, 4 solo tackles, 2 tackles for losses, QB sack; Micah Hillhouse 1.5 tackles of losses, INT; Gabe Rogstad 1.5 QB sacks; Keegan Bollman 3 solo tackles, 1.5 tackles for losses.