Indianola’s pass attack the focus for Bobcats

A week after falling 45-14 to Newton, the Marshalltown football team is reeling to find the answers to a lost fight. Preparing for their second road trip in as many weeks, the Bobcats head to face a stout Indianola team that, on paper, will prove to be just as challenging.

The Indians (2-3, 0-1 District 4) will rely on a heavy presence at the shotgun formation. Leading the charge will be quarterback Joe Jensen.

Jensen is 69-for-139 with 954 passing yards, nine touchdowns and six interceptions. Head coach Don Knock said an area his defense, which has forced an interception in every game this season, can pursue will the change in offensive style.

“They have lanky receivers and like to spread it out a lot,” Knock said. “They’ll be in the shotgun offense, which is new for them. [Jensen] will go from being under center all the time to not at all.”

Coupled with an aerial attack that has six receivers catching 10-plus balls, and five of which have amassed 100-plus yards, Indianola touts Dylan Hildreth, a 64-carry, 355-yard rushing tailback.

Hildreth has scored on the ground six times this year and averages 5.5 yards per carry. The Bobcats will also have to be warry of Kade Kolarik, who has rushed 54 times for 213 yards.

Knock said it’s going to have to come down to doing the basic fundamentals of the game the right way, all the time.

“It’s a winnable game, without a doubt,” Knock said. “We just have to play better. We’re just back to the same old things [right now]. We have nine kids all doing the right thing with two kids doing the wrong thing. It just comes down to the kids playing football and doing the right things.”

Sustaining drives, moving the chains and most importantly all-around protection for junior quarterback Sam Irwin will be pivotal keys to coming away with a win Friday night.

Irwin has gained 654 yards through the air while going 57-for-121 (47.1 percent completion), throwing for six scores.

“Our offensive line just has to be better,” Knock said. “We have to move the chains and take time off the clock [while] giving Sam enough time to throw the ball.”

Running back Marquis Haynes highlights the rushing game with 68 carries for 309 yards this season. But it’s been power running back Avery Brooks who saw more carries than anyone in last week’s game against Newton.

Brooks has 12 carries total for 78 yards, averaging 6.5 yards per carry. Brooks also scored the only offensive touchdown of the game last week, a 41-yard burst in the fourth quarter.

Receivers TJ Snyder, Reid Nennig, Josh Melde and Maddux Richardson have all caught touchdown passes this season, and will continue to be threats if the running game is sustained early.

Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. at the new Indianola Athletic Complext at Indianola Middle School.