Derek Van Kooten picked a good night to rush for a career high 214 yards. With Caleb Morgan out for the season and backup tailback Michael Mason on the sidelines in street clothes (high ankle sprain), Van Kooten helped carry the Eagles past Sigourney-Keota 33-13.
Van Kooten could empathize with Mason as he himself missed the Des Moines Christian game while rehabbing from an injury.
Pella Christian took the opening kickoff and drove down the field to score. Van Kooten put the first points of the game on the board when he found the end zone on an 18-yard run. The point after was no good. PC led 6-0 at the 8:19 mark of the first quarter.
Sigourney-Keota’s Kolton Greiner returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown to give the Cobras their only lead of the game at 7-6.
The Eagles responded by putting together a 63 yard scoring drive that took less than two minutes. Coltin Collins threw a 31-yard touchdown pass to Blake Riggen to put PC back in front 13-7. The second quarter was scoreless and the Eagles held the lead at the half
The Pella Christian defense started the second half out strong. They forced Sigourney-Keota to punt on their first possession. The Eagles got the ball back at their 23. Van Kooten ripped off a 52 yard run that gave PC a first down at the Cobras 11. Collins connected with Riggen for a second aerial touchdown. Jacob Brouwer added the extra point to put the Eagles up 20-7.
The Cobras mounted a time killing drive and were able to get all the way down to the PC two before being turned back by the Eagle defense.
A penalty, two sacks, and an incomplete pass gave Pella Christian the ball back at their own 17. Two plays later Van Kooten sprinted 76 yards for his second touchdown of the night.
Sigourney-Keota started its next drive on their own 19. Once again the Eagle defense stepped up as Riley Stursma intercepted a Cobra pass and returned it for a score. Pella Christian now led 33-7, with 7:35 left in the game. S-K added a late score to make it 33-13.
Van Kooten finished the night with 214 yards and two touchdowns. He only carried the ball 12 times. Mason Howerzyl rushed 17 times for 55 yards. Collins was 10-19 passing for 128 yards and two scores. He also threw two interceptions. Riggen had three catches for 55 yards and two touchdowns.
Others catching passes included Adam Howerzyl 2-25, Van Kooten 3-26, Stursma 1-15, and M. Howerzyl 1-7.
Defensively, Pella Christian was led by Zach Van Zee with 15 tackles. Alex Van Maanen was also in double figures with 10 tackles. M. Howerzyl was in on nine stops. Zack Giddings recorded eight tackles, Riggen 6, and Jeremy Visser 5,
Rozendaal caused a fumble that was recovered by Zach Arkema. Stursma had an interception that he turned into a touchdown.
Pella Christian is now 5-0 overall and 2-0 in district play. They are ranked 8th in Class 1A.
The Eagles will travel to Ogden (3-2) on Friday night.