OTTUMWA — After scratching and clawing its way back into the game, the Ottumwa Bulldog football team couldn’t close the deal and lost to Des Moines East, 47-26, Friday at Schafer Stadium.
Still, the boys put together one heckuva comeback. Ottumwa trailed 26-3 going into the third quarter after a rough first half. Whatever coach Zach Pfantz told the Bulldogs at halftime worked, because Ottumwa came out like a house of fire in the second half.
The Bulldogs went on a long methodical drive in third quarter that started on their own 5-yard line and ended in the Scarlets endzone after Alex Goodvin found fullback Alec Maas for a three-yard touchdown pass. In contrast to the first half where the Bulldog defenders struggled to tackle East’s lightning quick guards in the open field, Ottumwa clamped down and really kept the Scarlets’ high-octane offense in check for the majority of third quarter.
Later in the third, Seth Griffiths shed a few tackles and made a beeline for the right corner of the endzone for a 23-yard touchdown. Moments later, Griffiths ran in the two-point conversion, which cut East’s led to 26-18.
After a long delay because of an East injury, Titus Weller picked off Scarlets’ quarterback Xavier James’ pass and dashed 15 yards for a touchdown. Griffiths took the handoff and plowed into the endzone for a successful two-point conversion, tying the game at 26.
The Ottumwa crowd was fired up and the atmosphere was electric after the score. Unfortunately on the kickoff that followed East’s Abu Sama quieted the crowd with a 95-yard touchdown return that recaptured the lead for Scarlets at the end of the third quarter.
East struck again in the fourth when James got loose for a 16-yard score. The Scarlets went on to pick up the victory. Griffiths gave an inspired performance in defeat, rushing for 129 yards on 35 carries.
Ottumwa (2-2) plays at Indianola Friday.
Des Moines East 47, Ottumwa 26
East 13 13 7 14 — 47
Ottu 0 3 23 00 — 26
Scoring By Quarters
East — Terrence Carla 6-yard run (Luke Dawson kick no good) 10:03.
East — Abu Sama catches 9-yard pass from Xavier James (Dawson kick) 2:23.
East — James 2-yard run (Dawson Good) 3:01.
Ottumwa — Justin Vonderhaar 18-yard field goal 5:26.
East — James 80-yard run (Dawson kick no good) 1:36.
Ottumwa — Alec Maas catches 3-yard pass from Alex Goodvin (Vonderhaar kick) 4:02
Ott — Seth Griffiths 22-yard run (Griffiths run) 1:25.
Ottumwa — Titus Weller 15-yard interception (Griffiths run) 1:10.
East — Sama 95-yard kickoff return (Dawson kick) 55.2.
East — James 16-yard run (Dawson kick) 4:58.
East — James 1-yard run (Dawson good) 1:54.
First downs 14 20
Rushes-yards 49-151 33-176
Passing yards 26 211
Total Yards 177 387
Comp-Att-Int 18-27-1 6-22-2
Return Yards 8-276 11-134
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 1-1
Penalties-Yds 4-30 8-68
RUSHING — Xavier James 16-147 yards, Terrance Karla 12-40 yards, Rico Gafford 3-(-)11.
PASSING — James 18-27, 211 yards.
RECEIVING — Gafford 9-135 yards, Abu Sama -7-85 yards.
INTERCEPTIONS — Gafford.
RUSHING — Seth Griffiths 35-129 yards, Alex Goodvin 9-26 yards, Alec Maas 4-7 yards.
PASSING — Goodvin 4-15, 18 yards, Kyle Keck 2-7, 8 yards.
RECEIVING — Maas 4-33 yards, Griffiths 1-(-) 7 yards.
INTERCEPTIONS — Tyler Johns.
TACKLES — Shawn Foster 9.