INDIANOLA — The Ottumwa football team was its own worst enemy in its game at Indianola Friday night. Two interceptions and two fumbles played a substantial part in the Bulldogs 26-7 loss to the Indians.
Now it’s true that even if Ottumwa had played two halves of turnover-free football Indianola might have still won the game, but the score would have been much closer.
Both teams were able to move the chains on a semi-regular basis in the first half, while the second half featured a lot of smash-mouth in-your-face defense. Ottumwa already trailed the Indians 14-0 in the second quarter when fullback Alec Maas rushed 10-yards right up the gut for the Bulldogs first and only touchdown. Justin Vonderhaar booted in the extra point, cutting the Indians’ lead to 14-7. The score was set up by a tremendous run by Seth Griffiths. The Bulldogs’ fleet-footed running back evaded a couple tacklers, found and hole a dashed from about midfield all the way to the 10-yard line.
Later in the first half, Alex Goodvin made an ill-advised pass that was picked off by Ethan Jolliff at Ottumwa’s 25 and taken to about the 22-yard line. This set up a 25-yard field goal with 3:18 left in the first half.
The third quarter was all about defense, as both team’s offenses ground to a halt. The “Dark Side” really shut down the Indians traditionally-strong run game in the third. Cole Eklund, Tyler Johns, Logan McCarty and a slew of other Bulldogs were plugging up gaps and getting to the Indians’ talented backs behind the line of scrimmage. Unfortunately, the same scenario was playing out on the other side of the ball as the Bulldogs’ offense failed to put together any sustained drives.
To make matters worse, Indianola punter and quarterback Cody Smith made several nice punts that forced the Bulldogs to start many of their drives around their own 10-yard line. Since Ottumwa’s offense couldn’t move the chains, they constantly had to punt near their own end-zone, leaving the Indians with a short field to work with. If it weren’t for Ottumwa’s excellent punt coverage – Indianola’s punt return man sometimes would catch the ball at the Bulldogs 45 or 42-yard line – the score could have been much worse. Also, the Bulldogs’ defense, despite having to be constantly on the field in the second half, did a heckuva of a job keeping the Indians off the scoreboard in the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, however, Ottumwa’s bad starting field position caught up with them. After bobbling the football, Goodvin was tackled by Colby Vlieger in his own end zone for a safety.
Ottumwa’s defense finally softened a little towards the end of the game and Smith was able to find Austin Dittmer on the right sideline for a 24-yard reception that left the Indians on Ottumwa’s 1-yard line. A quarterback sneak by Smith later and Indianola led 25-7. Drew Jensen booted the extra point.
Seth Griffiths once again ran for over 100 yards: He rushed for 104 yards on 22 carries. Johns led the Bulldogs with nine tackles.
Ottumwa (2-3) plays at Marshalltown next Friday.
Indianola 26, Ottumwa 7
Ott 00 7 0 0 — 0
Ind 7 10 0 9 — 0
Scoring By Quarters
Ind — Cody Smith 3 yard run (Drew Jensen kick) 5:50
Ind — Jeremy Kelow 21-yard catch from Cody Smith (Drew Jensen kick) 10:59
Ott – Alex Maas 10-yard run (Justin Vonderhaar kick) 7:56
Ind — Jensen 25-yard field goal
Ind — Alex Goodvin sacked by Colby Vlieger for a safety
Ind — Smith 2-yard run (Jensen kick) 3:23
First downs 7 13
Rushes-yards 42-75 44-89
Passing yards 45 150
Total Yards 120 239
Comp-Att-Int 5-12-2 10-19-1
Return Yards 7-82 10-64
Fumbles-Lost 2-2 0-0
Penalties-Yds 9-54 7-46
RUSHING — Seth Griffiths 22-104 yards, Alec Maas 9-43 yards, Alex Goodvin 8- (-)48.
PASSING — Goodvin 5-12, 45.
RECEIVING — Maas 3-31, Griffiths 1-10 yards, Kyle Keck 1-4 yards.
INTERCEPTIONS — Andrew Altfillisch.
TACKLES — Tyler Johns 9.
RUSHING —Jeremy Kellow 8-38 yards, Keegan Render 1-19 yards, Cody Smith 10-18 yards, Mike Crawford 8-15 yards,
PASSING — Smith 10-19, 150 yards.
RECEIVING — Austin Dittmer 4-65 yards, Blake Beard 3-40 yards, Kellow 2-37 yards, Ryan Lehr 3-40 yards.
INTERCEPTIONS — Ethan Jolliff, Trey Kuehl.