PLEASANT HILL - Rams with space to run caused the downfall. Rams also are pretty adept at defending as well.
Southeast Polk controlled all phases of the contest on its way to a 60-20 victory over Marshalltown on Monday in the second round of the Class 4A state football playoffs.
The West No. 3-seed Rams (10-1) averaged over 10 yards per offensive snap on their way to advance to Friday's quarterfinals at No. 2-seed Ankeny (10-1).
T-R PHOTO BY MARK PAWLAK
Marshalltown’s Kyle Carnahan (4) wraps up the legs of Southeast Polk Jordan Beem (5) as fellow Bobcat defenders David Hughes (43) and Tyler Kluver (7) pursue during Monday’s Class 4A second-round state football playoff game in Pleasant Hill. Third-ranked Southeast Polk prevailed, 60-20.
No. 3-ranked Southeast Polk scored touchdowns on six of its first seven possessions to jump on Marshalltown early and the visitors never recovered from a slow start.
"You've got to make plays. Early in the ballgame we had some uncharacteristic drops, drive-stoppers and Southeast Polk didn't," said MHS head coach Dave Holdiman. "They made plays early, got the momentum and we never really got out of our funk. Give them credit, they outplayed us in about every phase of the ballgame, every way you look at it."
The Bobcats, seeded sixth in the West, were held to a season-low 20 points and 261 yards of total offense. Marshalltown ends the year with an 8-3 record.
"It's kind of what we left the kids with after the ballgame, there's no reason for us to hang our head," Holdiman said. "We accomplished a lot, we had a great season. There aren't a lot of eight-win seasons in Marshalltown history and this group put one together."
Marshalltown got a pair of first downs in its first possession of the night against the Rams - 4A top scoring defense at 7.7 points per game. The Bobcats stalled near midfield and could not get everything clicking the rest of the night.
Wide receiver Brock Daniels scored on a 24-yard run for Southeast Polk with 6:29 left in the first quarter, the first of his three touchdowns on the night.
The Rams forced MHS to go three-and-out on the next drive and surged ahead 14-0 after Daniels caught an 11-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Starcevich.
Southeast Polk created running lanes and used a stable of ballcarriers to hurt Marshalltown. The hosts had four rushing scores in the second quarter - two apiece by Dalton Sanford and Jordan Beem to take a 39-0 lead. The Bobcats got on the board in the final minute of the half on a 1-yard touchdown run by Blake Gimbel to face a 39-7 halftime deficit.
Gimbel threw touchdown passes to Austin Hauser and Tad Steffensen in the second half, but Marshalltown had no answer to slow the Rams' offense.
Southeast Polk amassed 553 yards on 53 plays, led by 349 yards on the ground on 37 attempts. Sanford had 17 carries for 201 yards, while Beem added 73 yards. Starcevich completed 12-of-16 passes for 204 yards and three scores.
The state's all-time single season passing leader, Gimbel finished 24-for-50 for 245 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Dominick Osborne had a game-high eight receptions for 120 yards to go with 42 rushing yards for the 'Cats. Ty Steffensen added seven catches for 40 yards.
"It's tough when you don't get into a rhythm in our offense," Holdiman said. "Part of that was our own doing and the other part was the good aggressive play by the Southeast Polk defense. Those two worked hand and hand."
On the defensive side of the ball, Bennett Mann had an interception and Kyle Carnahan finished with 11 total tackles.
The 2011 season marked Marshalltown's third straight year in the playoffs, a program-high. The Bobcats reached eight wins for the third time in the last 50 years.
"Our fans have been terrific all year," Holdiman said. "We all appreciate so much the support we get from our fans and our community. We just wish we could have got one more for them."
Ankeny and Southeast Polk met during the regular season with the Hawks winning 12-7 on Sept. 9 for the Rams' only loss. Ankeny downed Sioux City East 45-14 on Monday.