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Gustison's five scores lead complete Wapello effort in big win over Alburnett
PREP FOOTBALL | WAPELLO 48, ALBURNETT 12

Gustison's five scores lead complete Wapello effort in big win over Alburnett

WAPELLO — After missing Wapello's 34-21 win over Highland with a shoulder injury a week ago, Jake Gustison made up for lost time by providing the Indians with 271 yards and five touchdowns in a 48-12 rout of Class A District 5 opponent Alburnett Friday night in Wapello.

For the game, the Indians amassed 423 offensive yards to the Pirates' 238.

For Wapello, perhaps more important than the distance between the teams on the scoreboard Friday night was the distance the win puts between the two in the district standings as each entered Friday night with identical 3-1 marks in district play through six weeks, both behind eighth-ranked Lisbon, who beat Highland Friday night to stay unbeaten in district play.

With the win, Wapello secured a spot in the playoffs. The Indians' regular season concludes next Friday on the road against one-win North Cedar.

"We're really just concerned with ourselves right now," Wapello head coach Todd Parsons said. "We talked all week about playing a complete game in all three phases of the game. We really haven't put together a game where we played well offensively, defensively and on special teams (at the same time). So we were stressing that this week and I think for the most part we accomplished what we wanted to tonight."

Four of the Gustison's scores came in the first half, starting with taking the first play of scrimmage 62 yards to the house after a nice return by senior Caleb Ealey started the Indians at their own 37-yard line.

All but 15 of junior running back's yards came in the first half as Wapello (5-2, 4-1 District 5) took a commanding 35-12 lead at the intermission.

"Coming back (from the shoulder injury), I was a little scared to start that I was going to hurt it again," Gustison said. "But once I got out there, everything just felt natural."

Alburnett (3-4, 3-2 District 5) found an answer to the first Wapello score when Carson Klostermann crossed the goal line from a yard out, but the two-point try by the Pirates failed on both of their scores, so Klostermann's score made it 7-6, which stayed on the scoreboard through the end of the first quarter.

Just prior to the Pirate first-quarter score, Alburnett had a scoring play wiped away by a holding call only to convert a 3rd and 18 on a pass from Mason Neighbor to Brayden Osborn to set up the touchdown.

Wapello quarterback Tade Parsons had super efficient night, completing 13 of 16 passes for 136 yards, including a beautiful scoring connection to wide receiver Maddox Griffin.

The 6-foot-2, 185-pound signal-caller displayed great touch on the ball that sailed over top of two Pirate defenders into the hands of the leaping Griffin in the back corner of the end zone from nine yards out to give Wapello a 28-6 lead with 3 minutes, 51 seconds left in the second quarter.

"We feel we can compete with anybody," the Wapello quarterback said. "This win is huge for us going into the playoffs coming up. We're just looking forward to building off of this."

Parsons and Griffin were two of the 11 seniors recognized prior to the game. Griffin ended with 61 yards receiving on seven catches.

"Our line is improving every week, receivers are getting better at route-running, I'm just getting more comfortable as a quarterback," said Tade Parsons.

Alburnett's Osborn would add the second Pirate touchdown when he was on the receiving end of a 42-yard pass from quarterback Connor Rock with 2 ½ minutes left in the second and Wapello up 28-12.

Rock left early in the game injured and was replaced by backup Neighbor, who finished 9 of 13 for 86 yards. Rock would come back in and finish 5 of 16 for 62 yards.

Gustison's fourth score from 65 yards out came just seconds later to knock the wind out of the Pirates' sails. His fifth trip to the end zone came on a one-yard run with just over three minutes left in the third and stood as the final points of the night after Daniel Perez missed his only point after attempt of seven tries.

"The whole team played well tonight," Gustison said. "Special teams, offense, defense, all of it ... It was a great effort out there."

Prior to that, Ealey took a 19-yard run to the house as the Indians' out-scored Alburnett 41-6 over the middle two periods.

"We played hard and made some big plays when we needed to. I'm just really happy with our effort," said coach Parsons. "We made a few adjustments, coach (Tom) Wilson and our staff do a great job on the defensive side of the ball. After that first quarter, we kind of settled down."

Wapello's Ealey also had an interception that set up the second Gustison score, which came on the first play of the second quarter from two yards out. Ealey and Gustison were both big on defense as both were in on several tackles for loss.

Senior Owen Housman would intercept a second Alburnett pass, that put a stop to the Pirates' opening drive of the second half at the Alburnett 26-yard line and set up the Ealey score.

"We won all phases of the game," Tade Parsons said. "We just feel like we're clicking. It's a great confidence booster for all of us."

Wapello 48, Alburnett 12

Alburnett;6;6;0;0;--;12

Wapello;7;28;13;0;--;48

First quarter 

WAP -- Jake Gustison 62 run (Daniel Perez kick), 11:59

ALB -- Carson Klostermann 1 run (run failed), 4:13

Second quarter 

WAP -- Jake Gustison 2 run (Daniel Perez kick), 11:56

WAP -- Jake Gustison 25 run (Daniel Perez kick), 7:26

WAP -- Maddox Griffin 9 pass from Tade Parsons (Daniel Perez kick), 4:01

ALB -- Brayden Osborn 42 pass from Connor Rock (run failed), 2:29

WAP -- Jake Gustison 65 run (Daniel Perez kick), 2:28

Third quarter 

WAP -- Caleb Ealey 19 run (Daniel Perez kick), 10:31

WAP -- Jake Gustison 1 run (kick failed), 3:19 

Team statistics

;ALB;WAP

First downs;16;16

Rushes-yards;30-96;28-284

Passing yards;142;139

Comp-Att-Int;14-26-2;13-16-0

Punts-avg.;6-38.0;2-41.5

Fumbles-lost;1-0;0-0

Penalties-yards;10-63;7-85

Individual statistics

Rushing

Alburnett -- Connor Rock 4-5, Carson Klostermann 15-44, Mason Neighbor 2-11, Brody Neighbor 4-8, Rory McGargill 5-28

Wapello -- Jake Gustison 14-220, Caleb Ealey 5-51, Tade Parsons 5-(-5), Macuen West 3-10, Jaren Frank 1-8

Passing 

Alburnett -- Connor Rock 5-15-2, 62 yards; Mason Neighbor 9-13-0, 80 yards

Wapello -- Tade Parsons 13-16-0, 139 yards

Receiving 

Alburnett -- Payton Baker 2-20, Carson Klostermann 4-17, Brody Neighbor 1-0, Grayson Carolsn 4-32, Braydon Osborn 4-68, Gavin Soukup 8-5

Wapello -- Jake Gustison 5-51, Maddox Griffin 7-61, Caleb Ealey 2-2, Macuen West 2-25

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