Bobcats can’t corral Ames

Marshalltown football falls to archrival Ames in season, home opener, 43-13

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON • Bobcat senior captain Josh Melde (11) squares up to make the tackle on Ames’ Bernard Bell during the first half of Marshalltown’s season-opening 43-13 loss to the Little Cyclones on Friday night at Leonard Cole Field.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON • Bobcat senior captain Josh Melde (11) squares up to make the tackle on Ames’ Bernard Bell during the first half of Marshalltown’s season-opening 43-13 loss to the Little Cyclones on Friday night at Leonard Cole Field.

In the 103 times Marshalltown and Ames had faced each other before Friday night, the Little Cyclones boasted a 65-32-5 record against the Bobcats, and unfortunately for the MHS faithful that gap didn’t shrink at all in the first game of the 2017 season.

It was all Ames from the start on Friday night at Leonard Cole Field, as the Little Cyclones held a 43-point advantage midway through the third quarter and eventually rolled to a 43-13 victory over Marshalltown to start the season.

Though they weren’t victorious in his first game at the helm of the program, new head coach Adam Goodvin was in relatively good spirits after the loss, saying he was proud of his guys for not giving up and playing with an edge throughout the game.

“You know, I was pleased with the boys on how they kept fighting and on how physical they played,” he said after the 30-point loss to open the season. “Our physicality was there, we just didn’t make enough plays. We would either drop the ball in the passing game or when we caught it we would go backwards, so we have some things to work on there.”

To Goodvin’s point, the Bobcats were flying around to start the game, especially on defense, but that intensity couldn’t stop a potent Ames offense led by third-year starter Joey Evans at quarterback. Evans was damaging with both his legs and arm, going 22-34 with 248 yards and four touchdowns through the air and rushing for a team-high 70 yards.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON • Marshalltown senior Marco Ordaz (36) bears down on Martell Davis (40) as he returns the opening kickoff for Ames in the Little Cyclones’ 43-13 defeat of the Bobcats to open the season on Friday.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON • Marshalltown senior Marco Ordaz (36) bears down on Martell Davis (40) as he returns the opening kickoff for Ames in the Little Cyclones’ 43-13 defeat of the Bobcats to open the season on Friday.

Bobcats senior Blake Linsenmeyer did pick Evans off on the first drive for the Little Cyclones, but the offense stalled out on a 3-and-out and gave the ball back to Ames. Senior Noah DeVenney also chipped in an interception of Evans in the second quarter to give Marshalltown some momentum.

“That is a good team we faced, their seniors on that squad have some experience and have experienced some success, as well as their juniors and sophomores,” Goodvin said. “We didn’t match them in some areas of the game so that is what we have to fix moving forward, but that team that beat us was good.”

While the defense did surrender quite a few points, they weren’t helped much by the offense, who didn’t gain a first down until well into the second quarter. That first down, however, was a 23-yard pass from senior Sam Irwin to sophomore Justice Richardson that set the Bobcats up inside the red zone, but a missed field goal spelled the end of Marshalltown’s chance to swing the momentum to its side.

Irwin finished the game 14-25 with 133 yards through the air, a touchdown and an interception, and he also led the team with 41 yards on the ground, all in the second half.

Goodvin said his quarterback did well to continue working on things during the game, and he ran the ball well off the zone read in the second half, but overall the entire offensive effort wasn’t enough to keep the Bobcats within striking distance.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON • Marshalltown junior Alex Rockingham (24) takes down Ames junior Will Krapfl during the second quarter of the Bobcats’ loss to the Little Cyclones at home on Friday night.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON • Marshalltown junior Alex Rockingham (24) takes down Ames junior Will Krapfl during the second quarter of the Bobcats’ loss to the Little Cyclones at home on Friday night.

“I think Sam will tell you he needs to play better than he did today, our offense as a whole has to play better,” Goodvin said.

After going down 43-0, the offense did show some life, going on two long touchdown drives that were capped off by a 14-yard catch and run touchdown by DeVenney and a 4-yard scamper by sophomore Alex Rockingham out of the backfield.

Generally in the first game of the season, penalties rear their ugly heads as players get used to having referees watch their every move. On that end, the Little Cyclones were less disciplined than the Bobcats, especially early on in the game, and Goodvin said that is something they can build off moving forward.

“We were alright when it came to penalties but we made mistakes elsewhere that hurt us,” he said. “When it came to making plays they just made more than we did. At some point the game comes down to who can make the most plays and not make the most mistakes, and unfortunately today we weren’t able to make those plays and did have more mistakes.”

The message in the huddle after the game was to put this opening loss behind them and look forward to Mason City next week, and Goodvin said one thing that will make that possible is the large group of seniors the Bobcats boast this year.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON

“I think right now we have to lean on our seniors to get us focused for the next game,” he said. “The guys know they can’t let this game linger in their minds, and our seniors will be a big part of getting us turned around and focused on Mason City.”

Ames 43, Marshalltown 13

At Marshalltown

Score by Quarters

AMES 14 20 9 0 — 43

MHS 0 0 0 13 — 13

Scoring Summary

First Quarter

AMES — Will Krapfl 25 pass from Joey Evans (Josiah Engelken kick), 5:53.

AMES — Tynan Shahidi 31 pass from Evans (Engelken kick), 2:04.

Second Quarter

AMES — Tron Smith 9 pass from Evans (Engelken kick), 10:25.

AMES — Krapfl 9 pass from Evans (Engelken kick), 2:22.

AMES — Jared Braun 35 interception return (kick failed). 1:01.

Third Quarter

AMES — S

afety, ball snapped through endzone, 7:30.

AMES — Gabe Ante 14 pass from Cooper Downs (Engelken kick), 5:38.

Fourth Quarter

MHS — Noah DeVenney 14 pass from Sam Irwin (Ryan Huffman kick), 9:48.

MHS — Alex Rockingham 4 run (kick failed), 1:52.

Individual Statistics

RUSHING — AMES: Joey Evans 8-70; Mantrell Davis 10-51; Ben Rogers 1-2; Bernard Bell 1-(minus-2); Aaron Turner 2-(minus-6); MHS: Sam Irwin 6-41; Alex Rockhingham 13-37; Wyatt Himes 4-7; Giorgio Diiorio 1-2.

PASSING — AMES: Evans 22-34-248-2; Cooper Downs 5-5-54; MHS: Irwin 14-25-133-1.

RECEIVING — AMES: Will Krapfl 7-97; Tron Smith 4-50; Tynan Shahidi 3-37; Davis 3-29; Gauge Sletten 2-28; Gabe Ante 2-27; Tate Hustedt 4-25; Ryan Clem 2-14; Colton Liams 2-10; Bell 2-8; MHS: Josh Melde 3-45; Justice Richardson 2-35; Noah DeVenney 4-18; Dylan Eygabroad 2-18; Tyler Reeder 1-14; Johnathan Hernandez 1-2.