by J.O. Parker
It was a championship season that ended in the highest scoring game in Iowa football history.
Montezuma, 94, St. Mary Remsen, 108.
The game took four hours and 1 minute.
The 202 points is the highest-scored game in state history, and the first to reach the 200 combined mark.
Montezuma is the first team to score at least 90 points and lose, and just the third to score at least 80 points and lose.
Montezuma finished with 804-yards of total offense in the game with 744 coming through the air and 60 on the ground. Quarterback Eddie Burgess, who took quite a beating in the game, accounted for 689 of those yards on 34-60 passing and 1 interception, which is also a single-game record by one player.
St. Mary Remsen finished with 693-yards of total offense with 559-yards on the ground.
Montezuma finished with 14 touchdowns, 10 passing and 4 rushing in the game.
Montezuma wrapped up a record-breaking 10-1 season that not only brought a group of young men together, it brought the community together.
“Great game, great season and a great group of young men,” said Rex and Barb Baker, long-time Montezuma fans and score keepers.
Also on offense, Trey Shearer finished the day with 389 yards and 7 touchdowns. Cole Watts finished with 2 touchdowns and 204 yards of offense. Kodie Strong had quite a day, too, finishing with 89 yards of offense while Masin Shearer finished with 62 yards of offense and 1 touchdown.
On the ground, Burgess led the way with four touchdowns and 24 yards of offense while Trey Shearer finished with 37 rushing yards on the day.
Owen Cook, who handles the kicking duties, wrapped up Montezuma’s scoring efforts with a 55-yard touchdown pass to Masin Shearer in the waning minutes of the game. Cook finished the game with 695-yards and 8 touchbacks in the kickoff department.
On defense, Burgess finished with 15 tackles, 9 solo and 6 assists. Connor Van Zee wrapped up business with 9 solo and 3 assists in the tackling department. Trey Shearer had 7 solo and four assists, while Cole Watts finished with 8 solo and 1 assist. Joey Kercheval finished with 5 solo and seven assists and Brian Diaz wrapped up the day with 5 solo and 2 assists before leaving the game with an injury.
Others with defensive stops including Brady Ogan, 4 solos and 2 assists, Tyler Vanderford, 2 solos and 3 assists, Jack Brenner and Kodie Strong, each with 1 solo tackle and Camden Michalek with 2 assists.
“I really enjoyed watching the team this years,” said fan Larry Weeks. “The coaches always seemed to “coach” not yell at the boys. When a team did something unexpected, the coaches, and the boys, made adjustments. I hated to see some of them get hurt at the dome. Congrats to all.”
“Being part of the Montezuma American Legion flag presentation prior to every home game has always been something we Legionaries have taken pride in doing,” said Ron Hensel, commander of the Montezuma American Legion Post 169. “But this year prior to each home game the coaches and players would come by and thank us and in return, we would encourage them to have a good game. The Braves had a tremendous season and one that will be talked about for ages to come, by fans and players alike. To be one of four teams to advance to the UNI-Dome is an accomplishment in itself.”
“It was just a fun season to watch this particular group of boys,” added Andy Erselius.
“Losing is always a tough pill to swallow,” said Braves Head Coach Pat O’Brien. “These boys truly left it all on the field. I hope that these young men can take the lessons they learned here and apply to life. These guys have been a true joy to coach.”