’Cats can’t keep up with Indianola
Winless at home in its first three attempts and with two home games left on the schedule, the Marshalltown football team entered Friday’s Class 4A Division 4 contest against Indianola with a sense of urgency and a desire to play some physical football.
The first drive started off well for the Bobcats, as quarterback Sam Irwin hooked up with running back Giorgio Diiorio on a 47-yard pass from a screen play, but after breaking into Indians territory the MHS offense stifled, handing the ball back to Indianola off a failed fake punt attempt.
After that turnover, the Indians would drive all the way down for a 3-yard score from Dylan Hildreth — his first of four on the night — and Indianola took a 7-0 that would eventually grow to 44-14 by the end of the game.
Marshalltown head coach Adam Goodvin said a lack of physicality was the culprit behind his team’s fourth home loss of the year.
“We told them all week that Indianola was going to be physical and just run the football and try to do their thing, and then they did,” Goodvin said after the 30-point defeat. “We didn’t execute very well and us as coaches have to put both our offense and defense in better positions to win the football game, and we didn’t, so we are going to have to reevaluate some things and get better.”
Hildreth racked up 131 yards and four touchdowns on nine carries, and the Indians (4-2, 1-1) as a team gashed MHS for 340 yards on the ground in their win.
On the flip side, the Bobcats (1-5, 0-2) couldn’t get anything going in their run game, totaling minus-2 rushing yards in the loss. Goodvin said both sides of the line of scrimmage were dominated by Indianola, and his offensive and defensive line need to play stronger if the team wants to win.
“We need to be more consistent and be more physical. Dig deeper, you know, and that will help make plays,” Goodvin said.
Though the run game was ineffective, the Bobcats found success through the air. Irwin had to scramble quite a bit and took more sacks than the coaching staff would like to see, but he also finished the night 21-for-35 for 257 yards and two touchdowns.
Senior Josh Melde was the leading receiver with three catches for 84 yards, including a 46-yard score to put MHS on the board in the second quarter, and junior Dylan Eygabroad hauled in six receptions for 62 yard and a score.
Goodvin said they had to pass the ball more because of the early lead for Indianola, and because of the lack of success running the ball.
“We got down and unfortunately we weren’t able to develop our run game anywhere near as well as we had hoped,” he said. “Kind of had to play catchup and put the ball out there and hopefully our guys could make plays but we ended up on the short end.”
Special teams was a double-edged sword all night for the Bobcats. They had quite a few great returns on kickoffs from Jonathan Hernandez and Kabba Pins, but they also gave up a 94-yard touchdown return to Indianola’s Evan Gauger after scoring in the third quarter to make it a two-score game.
Punting was also an issue, as the Indians were given a safety after a bad connection between punter Ricky Ibarra and his snapper. Goodvin said there is always room to improve on special teams, and for some of the issues they will have to look at possibly changing around personnel.
“We are going to always look to improve on special teams and all around,” he said. “We are going to go back to the drawing boards and get after it.”
Marshalltown officially has a losing record after its fifth loss, but there is still something for the Bobcats to play for in their last three games. If they can win out, they will finish district play with a winning record, and with this still being Goodvin’s first year at the helm, every week under the new approach is a growing opportunity.
Goodvin said what he wants to see from his team is a higher sense of urgency on the field, and he said that starts with how they approach practice.
“I want to see the intensity level brought up at practice,” he said. “Hopefully if we can do that we can carry that over to the games on Fridays and hopefully have a different outcome.”
Marshalltown hits the road for its next two games, facing off with Fort Dodge next week then taking on Southeast Polk on Oct. 13, then it returns home for its final game against West Des Moines Valley on Oct. 20.
Indianola 44, Marshalltown 14
Indianola 7 23 14 0 — 44
Marshalltown 0 7 7 0 — 14
IND — Dylan Hildreth 3 run (Hunter Morgan kick), 7:33.
IND — Safety, ball snapped through end zone, 9:45.
IND — Hildreth 24 run (Morgan kick), 9:08.
MHS — Josh Melde 46 pass from Sam Irwin (Ryan Huffman kick), 8:57.
IND — Hildreth 39 run (Morgan kick), 6:56.
IND — Kolby Kolarik 24 run (Morgan kick), 7:42.
MHS — Dylan Eygabroad 7 pass from Irwin (Huffman kick), 4:33.
IND — Evan Gauger 94 kickoff return (Morgan kick), 4:19.
IND — Hildreth 12 run (Morgan kick), 1:08.
RUSHING — IND: Hildreth 9-131, Jay Hale 7-71, Kolarik 4-70, Cooper Huff 12-55, Brayden Wireman 1-12, Kyle Koonce 1-2, Quinn Vesey 1-1; MHS: Giorgio Diiorio 8-25, Wyatt Himes 4-2, Jordan Fox 1-0, Jacob Smith 1-(minus-5), Ricky Ibarra 1-(minus-9), Irwin 12-(minus-14).
PASSING — IND: Joe Jensen 4-9-65-1, Vessey 1-1-11-0; MHS: Irwin 21-35-257-0, Smith 2-3-27-0.
RECEIVING — IND: Hildreth 2-50, Kolarik 1-10, Cole Scott 1-5; MHS: Melde 3-84, Eygabroad 6-62, Diiorio 3-53, Noah DeVenney 5-44, Jonathan Hernandez 4-23, Kabba Pins 1-16, Himes 1-2.