Updated to reflect official IHSAA statistics.
St. Ansgar's Jack Sievert left no doubt in the minds of North Iowa high school football fans – and coaches – that he is the running back to watch this year.
The 6-foot, 2-inch, 208 pound senior had a career game Friday night against rival Osage, amassing 270 yards on the ground on 50 carries and three touchdowns.
The St. Ansgar running back came into the game with 137 rushing yards and five rushing TDs – tops in North Iowa – in the Saints 66-14 win against West Fork in their opener.
After just two games, he has gained 407 yards – which is nearly half of his yardage from 2018 (865) – and has scored eight TDs for the Saints.
The Osage Green Devils knew going into Friday's game that they would have to stop Sievert if they had any chance of beating St. Ansgar.
Sievert had different plans.
The senior running back took control of the game early and pounded the Green Devil defense the entire game in the Saints’ 42-32 win in Osage.
Osage (0-2) jumped out to a 6-0 lead on the game’s opening kickoff when Spencer Mooberry scampered 79 yards as the stunned Saints looked on.
But the Saints (2-0) got things rolling on their third possession, scoring on a 19-yard pass from quarterback Cade Duckert to Ryan Cole. The point after kick gave St. Ansgar a 7-6 lead with 6:55 left in the first quarter.
The Saints’ TD drive covered 52 yards in 10 plays.
Osage regained the lead with 2:16 left in the first quarter when Green Devils quarterback Colin Muller connected with Nathan Havel on an 82-yard touchdown pass. The PAT failed giving Osage the 12-7 lead.
Sievert and St. Ansgar took over the game after that, scoring twice to close out the first half with a 22-12 lead.
The senior running back had 115 yards on 23 carries in the half, including a 5-yard TD run and a 2-point conversion.
“We wanted to be physical and control the ball and wanted to keep the ball out of their hands,” St. Ansgar head coach Drew Clevenger said. “We did a good job of that tonight.”
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The Saints, ranked No. 3 in Class 1A, started the second half where they left off, scoring on a 10-yard TD run by Sievert. The senior had 25 yards on six carries during the drive, and capped it off with the 2-point conversion for a 30-12 lead.
“What we did tonight was run up the middle and punch them in the face,” Sievert said. “The offensive line did an amazing job. It’s nice when everybody is doing their job and everything is working.”
St. Ansgar made it 36-12 at the end of the third quarter when Duckert scored on a 34-yard keeper. Against Osage, the senior QB rushed for 80 yards on 13 carries and scored a touchdown.
The Green Devils came right back to score on a 32-yard TD strike from Muller to Thor Maakestad. After the 2-point conversion failed, St. Ansgar led 36-18.
Muller came into the game with two TD passes and 225 passing yards in last week’s 56-12 loss at Clear Lake. Friday night, the senior was 11-20 passing for 262 yards and a touchdown, most coming in the second half.
The Saints scored on their next possession to make it 42-18 on a Sievert 28-yard TD run.
Osage scored two more times to keep the game close, but it was too little, too late.
“We knew everything was going to go through him (Sievert) tonight,” said Osage head coach Matt Finn. “He was tough to bring down.”
While Finn was disappointed in his team’s loss, he said his players will learn from the experience.
“We’ll be OK,” he said. “We’re going to keep growing up. We’ll figure it out and get it rolling.”
Osage's Mooberry finished the game with six catches for 139 yards and a TD to go along with his opening kickoff TD run, while sophomore Nathan Havel had an 82-yard TD catch.
Osage travels to West Hancock next Friday for a showdown with the No. 1 team in Class A, while St. Ansgar is at home against Starmont.