GARDINER – Coach Pat Munzing wanted to see improvement in the run game of the Gardiner football team.

He got it on Friday night.

The Tigers rushed for 306 yards on the way to a 21-0 win over Nokomis in a Class B/C crossover game at Hoch Field.

“I’m really proud of our offensive line, the way they were able to grind through and play with our up-tempo (scheme),” said Munzing. “We were finally able to run the ball. We’ve been able to hit some teams with some pass attack stuff, but tonight was about the ground game. That was our mentality all week, that we were going to grind this thing. That was our approach.”

Sophomore Owen Chadwick led the ground game for Gardiner (4-1), rushing for 158 yards on 18 carries and scoring two touchdowns. Junior Kyle Doody added 91 yards on eight carries with a touchdown.

“I was insanely happy with (the offensive linemen),” Chadwick said. “They did great. We wanted to run the ball a lot, we worked on it in practice.”


After a scoreless first quarter, Doody opened the door for the Tigers with a 53-yard touchdown run on a sweep to give Gardiner a 6-0 lead. The Tigers added another score on their next possession, capping a 62-yard drive with a 1-yard run from Chadwick. Doody’s successful run on the two-point conversion gave Gardiner a 14-0 lead, where it remained until halftime.

“The blocking tonight was pristine, better than usual, it was really good,” Doody said. “Me and Chadwick are really fast. That’s why we get the edge and are just, gone. It doesn’t even have to be the edge sometimes, you just see that perfect hole and see the seam right on up the field and just take it to the house.”

Gardiner received the opening kick of the second half and scored two plays later, when Chadwick took a handoff straight up the middle for a 51-yard touchdown. Asher Nagy’s extra point made the score 21-0 in favor of the Tigers.

Gardiner was just as dominant on the defensive side of the ball, holding the Warriors (2-3) to 62 offensive yards.

“It feels great knowing on every tackle, we’re going to have the whole (defense) there,” Chadwick said.

“(Nokomis’) offensive line gets a pretty good surge,” Munzing said. “For our guys to play with speed… (we’re) undersized up front, we know that. But the physicality they play with, they’re so relentless up front that we’re able to rotate eight or nine different guys on the defensive line, staying fresh and not skipping a beat when we make those rotations… This was a game that was going to be won in the trenches, and they responded.”

Seth Bowden had 32 rushing yards on 11 carries for Nokomis, while Landon Rowell added 21 yards on eight carries.

“The thing we’re figuring out, is on offense, are we going to move the ball, against teams that match us in physicality,” Nokomis head coach Jake Rogers said. “(Gardiner) is faster than we are, that’s evident. The thing we’re missing is that speed. We know we can lean on guys if they are equal to us. It’s just (the speed) part that we’re still trying to figure out.”

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