Bobcats lack punch at Indianola

INDIANOLA – In another flat offensive start, a worn-out Bobcat defense was unsuccessful in halting the run-heavy Indianola team and fell on the road for the second consecutive week, 38-21, Friday night.

The lackluster performance was juiced by a jolt from bench players late in the fourth quarter, which denied the Indians (3-3, 1-1 District 4) of a shutout. Junior Nick Fisher came off the bench and carried the ball three times for 61 yards – including a 35 burst on his first rush – for a touchdown against the Indianola second-string defense.

After recovering a fumble on the ensuing kickoff, quarterback Sam Irwin rushed in for an 18-yard carry for a second score.

The Bobcats (1-5, 0-2 District 4) then recovered an onside kick, followed by the five-yard touchdown to TJ Snyder to make the score 38-21.

However, it was a disappointing night for head coach Don Knock and his crew, who fell after starting off with a 31-0 deficit at halftime.

“It’s not fun when you sit on your heels all night long,” Knock said. “I’m just disappointed we didn’t show up to play. We just don’t have football sense and it isn’t coming natural to them. Maybe that’s our fault as coaches; we have to do a better job of preparing the kids. But we’ll go back to the drawing board and see if we can get ready for Fort Dodge.”

The Bobcats gained 246 yards of total offense, 165 of which came from five running backs carrying the ball. Jordan Fox started for the Bobcats, but gained a net total of zero yards on four carries.

It was Avery Brooks who once again led the Bobcat rushing attack with 70 yards on 12 carries and a controversial fumble in the second quarter. Fisher was second to Brooks with his 61 yards.

Irwin finished the night 7-for-14 with 81 passing yards, a touchdown and an interception. His leading receiver was Noah DeVenney who caught the ball just twice for 45 yards.

Knock said it was obvious when the passion to play finally kicked in, noting it was just unfortunate it took so long.

“Some of our other kids starting playing well toward the end,” Knock said. “And we put a lot of new kids in. It wasn’t one’s versus one’s. Nick Fisher ran the ball hard when he came in. And then the onside kick, which gave the kids some excitement. And that’s what the game’s about. That’s the fun that’s created when you go out and make things happen. It’s exciting and it’s fun to play.”

The Indianola running game took to the Bobcat defense, rushing for 91 yards between six different ball carriers. Kade Kolarik led the Indians with 22 carries, 54 yards and a fumble. Quarterback Joe Jensen had a score and Dylan Hildreth had five carries for 30 yards and another rushing touchdown.

What made the Indians so lethal was Jensen’s precision passing, where he went 10-for-17, 185 yards and three more touchdowns. Receiver Chris Ewoldsen made the most of missed tackles early, grabbing two of those three scores and going for 101 yards on four catches.

Knock said while the Indians did a successful job of hammering down on the Bobcat defense, altogether, the Bobcats didn’t do themselves any favors.

“We talk about starting fast and playing a full four quarters,” Knock said. “We go through all that. Some of these kids have put an awful lot of time in in the weight room and summer camps. It’s just not right for them to put in all that time and not come out here and perform. That’s what you live for: Friday night. That’s what you live for and that’s why you do what you do.”

Prior to the fourth quarter, Marshalltown had just four first downs all game. A 12-play drive – the most put together drive of the night – was halted in the Indian’s red zone with Irwin’s lone interception.

While showing the ‘never give up’ attitude through the final quarter against Indianola’s second-string defense and special teams, Knock said there has to be a better week of practice and preparation coming for the Bobcats, in order to avoid another letdown.

“We’re not going to go to a less aggressive team. We’re going to go to a more aggressive team,” Knock said. “They better have it strapped down otherwise it’s going to be worse than tonight.”

Marshalltown starts a two-game home stand next Friday against Fort Dodge, kicking off at 7:30 p.m. at Leonard Cole Field.