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Bobcats not in a rush to pass the pigskin

September 2, 2010
By MARK PAWLAK

The difference in rushing yards gained versus allowed is 7.59 yards per attempt.

With that number it's easy to guess the record for the Marshalltown football team through two games:

2-0.

The Bobcats close out the first third of the regular season with Friday's matchup against Johnston at Leonard Cole Field.

It has been Marshalltown's ability to run and stop the run that has stuck out early on in 2010.

Marshalltown churned out 357 rushing yards last week against Des Moines North and that was on the heels of 326 yards against Des Moines Roosevelt.

Fact Box

Johnston at Marshalltown

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Leonard Cole Field

Running back Josh Illum leads the Bobcats with 240 yards on 24 carries with two touchdowns this season. Running back Darius Ziegler did not play against North due to injury after gaining 210 yards against Roosevelt. Wide receiver Ty Steffensen had a 100-yard rushing game (7-107) against North.

With new starters forming the majority on the offensive line, the Bobcats are averaging 8.65 yards per rushing attempt.

On the other side of the ball, an 11-yard ground gain is the longest run against the Marshalltown defense.

A Bobcat front seven with only one returning starter from last season is allowing 1.07 yards per rushing attempt (63 carries for 67 yards).

The?Marshalltown defense will square off against a Johnston attack that features running back Nathan DePenning. The Dragon senior had one of the best performances of the year by a back against the Bobcats with his 22 rushes for 106 yards in the teams' Week 4 matchup in 2009.

Johnston's run defense ran into some difficulties against one of the state's premier backs last week. The Dragons dropped to 1-1 for the season after a 48-13 loss to Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln. Austin Ebertowski had 276 rushing yards and four touchdowns for the Lynx. Four of Lincoln's scores spanned 60 or more yards.

In Week Zero, Johnston defeated Ottumwa 31-21 behind three passing touchdowns by sophomore quarterback Michael Kinning.

The schedule jumps up in difficulty this week as the Bobcats start a run of three 2009 playoff teams in four games. The penalties that Marshalltown was able to overcome in its August wins could prove costly in September.

"We got to clean it up," said Marshalltown head coach Dave Holdiman after the North game. "That's all there is too it. Unnecessary penalties in particular really set us back. That's the message; we have to get a lot sharper, we got to get a lot more crisp and precise in our execution on both sides of the ball."

 
 

 

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