Bulldogs take the wind out of Columbus Catholic’s sails

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Karter Decker scored MFL MarMac’s first touchdown in the 27-7 win over Columbus Catholic on Sept. 16. (Photos by Audrey Posten)

Kade McElwaine accounted for 9 of MFL MarMac’s 48 tackles. Seven were solo efforts and 3 for a loss.

MFL MarMac totaled 236 rushing yards, a big part of which head coach Dan Anderson credited to offensive linemen like Hunter Meyer (53).

Carver Blietz-Bentien wraps up a Columbus Catholic runner in last week's Bulldog victory.

Bryce Radloff runs through two defenders on his way up the field.

MFL MarMac defenders like Cole Allert limited the Sailors both in the air and on the ground.

Running back Wyatt Powell accepts a hand off from quarterback Zach Driscoll.

Brock Hackett (20) and Taylor Herzmann (50) combine to take down the Columbus Catholic runner.

By Audrey Posten, Times-Register

 

The MFL MarMac football team sunk the visiting Waterloo Columbus Sailors 27-7 Friday night, to win the Class 1A - District 4 opener and improve their overall record to 2-2.

 

According to head coach Dan Anderson, the Bulldogs worked to clean things up both on and off the field following a tough loss to Osage the previous week that included five turnovers.

 

“The penalties, the turnovers—the little things add up to big things,” he said. “And we’re not just talking X’s and O’s, but how they carry themselves and how they handle their business. They made a big step in the past week. If we continue to do that and clean up some more of the X’s and O’s, we’re going to be a tough team to beat.”

 

The Bulldogs got on the board at the 8-minute mark in the first quarter, thanks to a 36-yard touchdown reception by wing back Karter Decker. They scored again early in the second, after a Tristen Koehn fumble recovery set the team up on the Sailor 15 yardline. Quarterback Zach Driscoll scored the TD on a 1-yard keeper, and Decker secured the 2-point conversion for a 14-0 lead.

 

Columbus Catholic cut the advantage to 14-7 less than four minutes before halftime, but MFL MarMac struck again, this time on a 36-yard run from Wyatt Powell. Dylan Jones hit the extra point to make it 21-7.

 

“They made one good play on a deep pass. That’s going to happen. But our kids didn’t flinch at all,” Anderson said. “Good football teams, you have to get them down by multiple scores. Us scoring right before half hurt them. We’ve been on the other side of that, and it really takes the wind out of your sails.”

 

The Bulldogs’ final touchdown—another Driscoll quarterback sneak—came in the fourth quarter. The point after was unsuccessful, cementing the score at 27-7.

 

Along with his two touchdowns, Driscoll completed eight of 16 passes for 96 yards, and also rushed for 41 yards on five carries. He threw one interception.

 

Decker was his top target, with 56 yards and a touchdown on five carries. Brock Hackett caught two passes for 13 yards.

 

MFL MarMac also had another big game on the ground, totaling 236 yards. Fullback Carver Blietz-Bentien collected a career-high 123 on 19 carries, while Powell added 52 yards and a touchdown on seven attempts.

 

“The offense did well. Zach got rid of the ball quicker this week and we spread the ball out,” Anderson said. “Last week, Powell had a big game, and we knew these guys saw that on film, so they were doing whatever they could to stop Powell. So Carver was over 120 yards, a career high for him. He had a really good game rushing the ball, and a lot of that goes to the offensive line.”

 

Defensively, the Bulldogs kept the Sailors in check. Outside the big touchdown pass play and a screen pass, they had limited yardage in the air and on the ground.

 

“I think Columbus only had 30-some yards rushing all game, and that’s what they like to do this year,” Anderson said. “Our guys made it tough for them all game long. We were where we needed to be. We tackled well. We swarmed the football.”

 

“And we got a couple turnovers tonight, an interception and fumble recovery,” he continued. “That was good to see.”

 

Kade McElwaine accounted for 9 of the team’s 48 tackles. Seven were solo efforts and 3 for a loss. Blietz-Bentien added 6.5 total tackles and—along with Powell, Koehn, Bryce Diehl and Corbin McElwaine—was one of five Bulldogs to record a sack. Other leading tacklers included Bryce Radloff with 5, Powell with 4.5 and Decker and Diehl with 4 apiece.

 

Koehn recovered the fumble while cornerback Elias Hatt snagged an interception.

 

Next up for the Bulldogs is Sumner-Fredericksburg this Friday, Sept. 23. Anderson anticipates a low-scoring game.

 

“It’s a tough district, and Sumner-Fred is a much improved team. They always play good defense, they’re tough kids,” he said. “We have to be efficient and hang on to the football.”

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