It took awhile for the Iola-Scandinavia football team to wake up Friday.
Once it did, however, it was hard to stop. Especially Devin Peterson.
The senior running back ran for a game-high 223 yards on only 16 carries in the Thunderbirds’ 35-27 win over Wittenberg-Birnamwood.
The T-Birds spotted the Chargers a pair of first-quarter touchdowns, a 1-yard run by Cody Kasprak and Mitch School’s 19-yard run, but rallied with four touchdowns in the second quarter.
Jake Metz put the T-Birds on the board with a 16-yard scoring pass to Lucas Albers. School returned the kickoff 85 yards for the Chargers’ next score, but Metz scored from a yard out to cut the deficit to 20-13.
The teams combined for three more scores before halftime. Kasprak scored from a yard out and Peterson scored on 10- and 45-yard runs to give the home team a 28-27 halftime lead.
“We finally settled down offensively,” coach Scott Erickson said of his team’s 28-point quarter. “Our guys finally figured it was time to get going.”
Neither team scored in the third quarter and Metz scored from a yard out to give the T-Birds an eight-point advantage.
“Getting ahead by eight was a big thing,” Erickson said. “We got the ball with about three minutes left and could have put the game away, but we fumbled.”
However, the T-Bird defense held and the Chargers turned the ball over on downs.
The T-Birds outgained the Chargers 397-322. Despite Peterson’s 223 yards, W-B outgained I-S 324-273 on the ground. Metz threw for 124 yards and the T-Birds held the Chargers to minus-2 passing yards.
Erickson named Peterson and Jordan Beyersdorf the offensive and defensive players of the game, while Albers had the hit of the week on a punt return.
I-S will host Stevens Point Pacelli at 7 p.m. Friday at Thunderbird Field in Scandinavia for Homecoming. Pacelli is currently tied with Bonduel for first place in the Central Wisconsin 8 Conference at 2-0 in league play and 4-0 overall. I-S improved to 1-1 in the CWC 8 and 2-2 overall with Friday’s win.
“They’re going to be very tough, but hopefully, we can play our style of ball and give them some trouble,” Erickson said.