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Walker’s Warriors stand in way of MHS playoff hopes

October 16, 2008

A first-ever win at Waukee would go a long way to another Marshalltown first.

The Bobcats' drive to advance to the postseason in consecutive years for the first time in school history makes a stop at Waukee Friday night.

Marshalltown (3-4, 0-2 CIML Iowa Conference) faces the Warriors (4-3, 2-1) for the third time in school history.

The two teams have split the previous two meetings, both winning at home. The Bobcats dropped a 35-21 contest at Waukee in the 2006 season finale.

Both Marshalltown and Waukee were on the wrong end of close games last week.

While the Warriors played No. 1 Valley to a 24-17 contest, the Bobcats were bumped off by Ames in double overtime, 20-14.

"Last week was tough on everybody," said Marshalltown head coach Dave Holdiman. "As a team we have to come out with the attitude that we're going to come out and play hard.

"The goal is still in front of us, this group wants to qualify for the second season (the playoffs)."

"We're moving on from last week, we don't want to dwell on it, but we have to learn from it," Holdiman added.

The top 16 teams from the west half of the state advance to the Class 4A playoffs and Marshalltown stands 14th among West teams going into the final two weeks of the regular season.

Waukee, currently eighth in the West, is versatile on offense and can move the ball from the I-formation or the shotgun.

"They're able to change things up on offense and as a defense you have to have a way to respond," Holdiman said. "They can go either power football or a more finesse game."

The Warriors' running back-fullback combination of Walker Woods and Jake Knott is one of the state's best.

Woods is coming off a 161-yard performance against Valley to bring his season numbers to 1,064 yards and 15 touchdowns on 169 carries.

Woods hurt Marshalltown in last year's matchup for 222 yards on 44 carries.

"Walker Woods is a tremendous back, he has great vision and a knack for finding daylight," Holdiman said. "He's one of the premier backs in the state."

Knott leads the team in receiving with 18 catches for 450 yards.

"Last year they used a lot of tight end screens and now with him they've being using a lot of fullback screens," Holdiman said. "He has the size and speed to play any position."

Marshalltown missed its opportunities early against Ames last week.

All five Bobcat first-half possessions advanced to Little Cyclones' territory and Marshalltown was unable to score each time.

"We had our chances in the first half where we could have put two or three scores up and didn't get it done," Holdiman said. "Likewise at the end of the game, we missed too many opportunities."

Quarterback Chanse Creekmur set a Marshalltown school record with his 32 pass completions against Ames.

Allen Mann had 11 catches for 97 yards, Jarred Carlson added seven receptions for 67 yards and Nick Thimesch had seven catches for 64 yards to lead the Bobcats.

T.J. Flanagan paced the MHS defense last week with eight solo tackles. Ben Brennecke had seven solo stops.



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