MAXWELL - A physical game plan on offense almost paid off for the Colo-NESCO football team against Collins-Maxwell Friday.

The Royals used a punishing ground game to give the Spartans fits all game long. But they couldn’t withstand Collins-Maxwell’s big-play ability in suffering a 52-43 loss.

Colo-NESCO took it to Collins-Maxwell early. The Royals scored on their first two drives, with quarterback Brandon Roberts finishing each drive with a touchdown run.

Fullback Francis Bower came back from an ACL sprain to give Colo-NESCO a big spark and running back Andrew Grover turned in another huge night to help the Royals off to their hot start.

But toward the end of the first quarter Collins-Maxwell’s Kadin Bennett connected with Brett Livesay on a 65-yard touchdown pass. That play completely swung momentum in the Spartans’ favor as they followed it up with 32 points in the second quarter to take control of the game.

“When it comes down to it the big plays really hurt us,” Colo-NESCO head coach Josh Nessa said. “We’ve got to be more consistent - the second quarter killed us.”

Colo-NESCO kept fighting in the second half.

Grover had two touchdown runs in the second half and Bower found the end zone on the final play of the game. The Royal defense also stepped up, limiting Collins-Maxwell to only two touchdowns over the final two quarters.

The loss put Colo-NESCO at 1-5 on the season and 1-2 in 8-man District 5. The Royals fell despite rushing for 350 yards and racking up 446 yards of total offense.

“We pounded it at them and played the kind of football I love to play,” Colo-NESCO head coach Josh Nessa said. “Grover and Francis had a good night and our line improved.”

Grover ran for 170 yards and three touchdowns and added two catches for 66 yards. Bower finished with 104 yards and one score on the ground and he also caught four passes for 30 yards.

Roberts ran for 66 yards and three touchdowns and completed 6 of 13 passes for 96 yards.

On defense Roberts came up with seven tackles, Bower six and Grover five. Parker Ryan chipped in 3.5 stops and Trevor Burg 2.5.

Collins-Maxwell improved to 3-3 on the season and 2-1 in the district. The Spartans totaled 495 yards, including 293 through the air.

Bennett threw for 268 yards and four touchdowns and added 150 yards and two scores on the ground. Livesay made eight grabs for 178 yards and three touchdowns and Wes Kahler five catches for 86 yards and a score.

Next up for Colo-NESCO is a road game against Meskwaki. The game takes place next Friday at Tama and will start at 7 p.m.

Collins-Maxwell 52, Colo-NESCO 43

CN 12 12 7 12 - 43

CM 6 32 8 6 - 52


First quarter

CN - Brandon Roberts 3 run (kick blocked), 7:11.

CN - Roberts 45 run (run failed), 1:39.

CM - Brett Livesay 65 pass from Kadin Bennett (run failed), 1:19.

Second quarter

CM - A.J. Smith 23 pass from Bennett (Caleb Dvorak pass from Bennett), 9:30.

CM - Wes Kahler 25 pass from Mason Markley (Kahler pass from Markley), 8:38.

CM - Livesay 4 pass from Bennett (Markley run), 3:35.

CN - Andrew Grover 40 run (run failed), 2:09.

CM - Bennett 42 run (Jace Huntrods run), 1:18.

CN - Roberts 1 run (run failed), 0:00.

Third quarter

CM - Livesay 17 pass from Bennett (Rylee Scott run), 10:22.

CN - Grover 3 run (Ephram Muntz kick), 1:33.

Fourth quarter

CM - Bennett 8 run (run failed), 11:14.

CN - Grover 16 run (run failed), 7:27.

CN - Francis Bower 3 run (no attempt), 0:00.

Team statistics C-N C-M

Rushes-yards 57-350 17-202

Passing 6-13-0 15-28-0

Passing yards 96 293

Total yards 446 495

Fumbles lost 1 0

Punts-average 3-23.0 2-26.0

Individual statistics

Rushing: CN - Andrew Grover 24-170, Francis Bower 20-104, Brandon Roberts 12-66, Andrew Tschantz 1-10. CM - Kadin Bennett 10-150, A.J. Smith 7-52.

Passing: CN - Roberts 6-13-0-96. CM - Bennett 14-26-0-268, Mason Markley 1-2-0-25.

Receiving: CN - Grover 2-66, Bower 4-30. CM - Brett Livesay 8-178, Wes Kahler 5-86, Smith 1-24, Luke Huntrods 1-5.

Tackles: CN - Roberts 7, Bower 6, Grover 5, Parker Ryan 3.5, Trevor Burg 2.5. CM - Simon McKinney 16.5, Bennett 9.5, Kahler 6.5, Rylee Scott 6, Kayden McKinney 6.

Sacks: CM - S. McKinney 2, Scott.

Fumble recoveries: CM - S. McKinney.