POCAHONTAS - The Class 1-A Pocahontas Area Indians got off to a 14-0 halftime lead over Alta-Aurelia in a non-District football contest here on Friday on their way to a 21-8 victory in the season opening game for both teams.
Pile-driving fullback Garrett VanHouten ran the ball 14 times for 79 yards to lead the Warriors' ground attack and fellow senior running back Alex Stephan gained 37 yards on nine carries. Stephan scored the Warriors' lone touchdown on a six-yard run and also also ran for the two point conversion. Senior QB Joe Napierela completed 10 of 19 pass attempts for 102 yards for Alta-Aurelia, with no interceptions and no touchdown passes. Stephan gained 40 yards on two receptions, Mitchell Fritz had three receptions for 28 yards, and Manny Murillo gained 16 yards on his three receptions.
Pocahontas Area QB Aaron Youngberg was 8-12 passing for 121 yards, no interceptions and no touchdown passes. Draven Barth had a big game on the ground for the Indians, as he ran for 194 yards on 21 carries, including a 75-yard touchdown gallop. Jacob Kopriva gained 48 yards on 10 carries, Jay Brinkman carried 11 times for 42 yards, including a two yard touchdown run, and quarterback Youngberg gained 14 yards on five carries, including a five yard score.
Sam Brinkman was successful on all three of his extra point kicks for Pocahontas Area.
Seniors Jay and Joel Brinkman led the Indians' defense with 11 and nine tackles, respectively. No defensive statistics were available for Alta-Aurelia.
The Warriors play their home opener in Alta this Friday against Sioux Central.