44-26 win over Cascade sets MFL MarMac up for shot at district title

Error message

  • Warning: array_merge(): Expected parameter 1 to be an array, bool given in _simpleads_render_ajax_template() (line 133 of /home/pdccourier/www/www/sites/all/modules/simpleads/includes/simpleads.helper.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to get property 'settings' of non-object in _simpleads_adgroup_settings() (line 343 of /home/pdccourier/www/www/sites/all/modules/simpleads/includes/simpleads.helper.inc).
  • Warning: array_merge(): Expected parameter 1 to be an array, bool given in _simpleads_render_ajax_template() (line 157 of /home/pdccourier/www/www/sites/all/modules/simpleads/includes/simpleads.helper.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type null in include() (line 24 of /home/pdccourier/www/www/sites/all/modules/simpleads/templates/simpleads_ajax_call.tpl.php).

Karter Decker sparked the MFL MarMac offense in his first game back from injury. In addition to this 36-yard catch early in the game, he racked up 99 rushing yards and one touchdown on 10 carries. (Photos by Audrey Posten)

Cullen McShane (left) totaled a team-high 8 tackles in the Bulldogs’ 44-26 win over Cascade. He was also the top scoring threat, with 213 yards and three touchdowns on the ground, along with a 90-yard kick return for a touchdown.

Bulldog quarterback Carver Blietz-Bentien hands the ball off. He completed three of his five passes, for 68 yards, and also scored a first half touchdown.

Brandon Christofferson makes a leaping tackle on a Cascade runner.

Josh Reichard and the MFL MarMac offensive line were especially effective in the second half. "For the most part, our guys really stayed on their blocks, maintained their feet and gave our backs a chance to keep the pedal down," said head coach Dan Anderson.

Wyatt Powell and other Bulldog defenders converge on a Cougar runner.

Gabe McGeough carried the ball 11 times for 55 yards and a touchdown.

The Bulldogs wore special camouflage jerseys Friday night, courtesy of the Iowa National Guard. It was also Military Appreciation Night.

By Audrey Posten, Times-Register

 

The MFL MarMac football team defeated Cascade 44-26 on Oct. 8, setting the now 6-1 Bulldogs up for a shot at a third straight district title.

 

MFL MarMac and Cascade entered halftime of Friday’s game tied 12-12, after the Cougars scored with less than 10 seconds remaining in the second quarter. The Bulldogs pulled away in the second half, though, jump started by a 90-yard kickoff return by Cullen McShane on the opening play.

 

“It was good to see them come out and respond,” said head coach Dan Anderson. “I was pretty frustrated at the end of the first half, to give up that touchdown to tie it up. That hurt.”

 

The Cougars initially punched the ball out of bounds, but Anderson had them re-kick. The move set the tone for the rest of the game.

 

“We have two of the best kick returners in the state of Iowa in Class 1A football. We’ve got to give them a chance,’” he stated. 

 

McShane appreciated the confidence, telling Anderson so after the play.

 

“I said, ‘Of course I do. If that ever happens again, they kick it out of bounds, we’re making them re-kick. I want you getting that ball in your hands. You or Decker,’” recalled Anderson. “That was nice of Cullen to say that, but I trust him and he trusts me.”

 

The Bulldogs scored again with five minutes left in the quarter, on a rushing touchdown by Karter Decker, in his first game back from injury. A McShane TD two minutes later increased the lead to 30-12.

 

Cascade got back on the board at the start of the fourth quarter, cutting the advantage to 30-18, but McShane broke away for a score not long after. An extra point put the Bulldogs up 37-18.

 

The Cougars then countered with a touchdown at the 9:58 mark, but MFL MarMac sealed the win a minute later on another McShane touchdown, followed by a successful point after from Jonah Wille.

 

“If you were to ask me before the game, I would have predicted something kind of like this for a score,” Anderson said. “They have too many good athletes who can run.”

 

That included the Cougars’ star rusher, Jack Menster, who the Bulldogs were able to limit.

 

“He busted a big one in the fourth quarter, which was kind of frustrating, because those guys had worked hard to hold him in check,” said Anderson. “But he didn’t have very many yards.” 

 

Anderson credited the team’s defensive backs, who played more man coverage.

 

“By doing that, we were able to put an extra linebacker in the box, to pinch down and make those running lanes a lot smaller,” he explained.

 

He wouldn’t have tried that earlier in the season, but, in Decker’s absence, other defensive backs have gotten much needed experience.

 

“We had a lot of those defensive backs get a lot of playing time for a lot of weeks of football. Now, they’re confident, and I can put them out there in man coverage and put them on an island,” Anderson added.

 

The MFL MarMac defense was led by McShane, who totaled 8 tackles. Wyatt Powell and Bryce Radloff each had 4.5 and Decker added 4. Kaden Stocker netted 2.5 tackles and snagged one fumble and one interception. Kade McElwaine also recovered a fumble, to go with three tackles.

 

Offensively, the Bulldogs put up 465 total yards, including 397 on the ground. McShane had 213 of those, and three rushing touchdowns, on 13 carries. Gabe McGeough touched the ball 11 times for 55 yards and a touchdown. Decker also proved a dynamic threat, accumulating 99 yards and a touchdown on 10 attempts, and he caught one 36-yard reception as well.

 

Quarterback Carver Blietz-Bentien completed three of his five passes, for 68 yards, and also scored a first half touchdown.

 

“Second half, I thought our offensive line did a really nice job of maintaining their blocks,” said Anderson. “In the first half, we’d have some good chunk plays, but then we missed a block and they’d have a tackle for a loss. For the most part, our guys really stayed on their blocks, maintained their feet and gave our backs a chance to keep the pedal down.”

 

McShane was especially successful with the sweep. Anderson attributed part of that to having Decker as another offensive threat.

 

“He’s one of our big play guys. We want to put a little fear in our future opponents that they better watch out for Decker,” he shared. “We were able to get our sweep going with Cullen, but a big part of that is having Decker back. When he’s able to attack the quick side and get the jets to the outside and the counters, that sure does open things up to the strong side for Cullen.”

 

MFL MarMac will now wrap up its regular season this Friday, Oct. 15, at Beckman Catholic. A win over the 7-0 Blazers would give the Bulldogs a share of the Class 1A - District 4 title. 

 

“There doesn’t need to be a whole lot of ‘ra ra’ this week. The motivation is there,” said Anderson. “We were hoping for the opportunity to go into this game for a chance to win the district title. This is for all the marbles, and that’s what we were hoping for.”

Rate this article: 
No votes yet