PLEASANTVILLE — The Pella Christian Eagles were definitely smarting from a lackluster loss at Mt. Ayr last week and that loss stuck in their craw all week. The taste of that loss fueled an intense week of practice and spilled over to a huge effort against a Trojan team that was unbeaten and ranked No. 8 in Class 1A. When the smoke of the battle had cleared, it was the Eagles in the winner’s circle with a 34–27 victory.
For the Eagles, it was a torrid start as they took the opening kickoff and in three plays they were in the end zone. On the first play, Cody Boender rumbled 24 yards for a first down. On the next play, Isaac Kacmarynski darted 14 yards for another first down. The third play saw Kacmarynski finding 6-foot-7 Eric Mulder in the corner of the end zone for the score. The PAT kick by Jack Fancher was good and before the game was a minute old, the Eagles had a 7–0 lead.
The Trojans, using a strong ground attack, answered with a 10 play, 51-yard drive to score on a two-yard run by Jacob Hiemstra. The PAT kick was blocked and at the 7:06 mark of the first period the Eagles had a 7–6 lead.
In a minute and a half, the Eagles found pay dirt again. The drive was 68 yards in five plays and it was capped by a one-yard plunge by Boender. Big plays in the drive would be a 20-yard pass from Kacmarynski to Mulder and a 22-yard run by Kacmaryinski. Fancher’s kick was good for a 14–6 PC lead with 5:45 to go in the first stanza.
Pella Christian dented the scoreboard again early in the second quarter with another 68 yard, five-play drive that was finished by an 11-yard dash to the goal line by Boender. This time the PAT kick failed and with 10:17 remaining in the first half, the Eagles held a 20–6 lead.
Pleasantville went to their heralded run game for the next two scores to tie the game at 20–20 at halftime. The first score was a one-yard run by Caylor Clark and the second was a five-yard run by Issac Mann. Colby Sandholdt kicked both PATs.
The Eagles would score first in the second half when Caden Van Dyke hauled in a 12 yard Kacmarynski pass at the flag. Fancher nailed the PAT for a 27–20 PC lead at the 7:36 mark of the third period. The Trojans didn’t wait long to tie the score as they ground out a nine-play, 61-yard drive that ended when Mann dived five yards for the TD. Sandholdt kicked the tying PAT.
The Eagles got the final touchdown of the game with 2:31 left in the third quarter when Kacmarynski weaved his way through the Trojan defense for 20 yards. Fancher’s kick set the final scored at 34–27.
Both defenses struggled to get stops in the first three quarters, but they both showed up big in the fourth period with big plays. But no play was any bigger than one made by Eric Mulder when the Trojans were facing fourth and four late in the game. Mulder chased down the Trojan quarterback for a sack, giving the ball back to the Eagles to seal the deal.
Kacmarynski had a huge night for PC as he ran for 169 yards and threw for another 201 yards. Boender, running like a runaway bowling ball, went over, around and through the Trojans for 93 yards and he pulled down five passes for 87 yards. Van Dyke had 58 receiving yards and Eric Mulder added 56 more yards. Boender was a terror on defense with 21 tackles and Luke Mulder and Eric Mulder each had seven stops.
“I thought we played inspired football from start to finish,” PC coach Rich Kacmarynski said. “The guys were really frustrated by their play last week and they worked hard this week. Pleasantville is a good team and very hard to stop. They challenged our defense all night. The defense got some key stops late in the game and that was the difference. I’m just really proud of our team and the way they responded this week.”
The top of the 1A District 7 standings is a log jam with Pella Christian, Mt. Ayr and Pleasantville all at 3–1. It could remain that way as all three teams would probably be favored in this week’s final district games. Pella Christian will be at home against Colfax-Mingo, Pleasantville is at I-35 and Mt. Ayr is at Central Decatur.
Pella Christian 14 6 14 0 - 34
Pleasantville 6 14 7 0 - 27
PCHS: 11:17 – Eric Mulder 23 yard pass from Isaac Kacmarynski. PAT kick by Jack Fancher.
PV: 7:09 – Jacob Hiemstra 2 yard run. PAT kick failed.
PCHS: 5:45 – Cody Boender 1 yard run. PAT by Fancher.
PCHS: 10:17 – Boender 11 yard run. PAT kick failed.
PV: 6:04 – Caylor Clark 1 yard run. PAT kick by Colby Sandholdt.
PV: 1:35 – Issac Mann 5 yard run. PAT kick by Sandholdt.
PCHS: 7:36 – Caden Van Dyke 12 yard pass from Kacmarynski. PAT kick by Fancher.
PV: 4:33 – Clark 5 yard run. PAT kick by Sandholdt.
PCHS: 2:31 – Kacmarynski 20 yard run. PAT kick by Fancher.
Pella Christian Individual Stats:
Rushing (Carries/Yards) – Kacmaryinski (20/169), Boender (13/93),
Passing (Comp/Att/Int/Yards) – Kacmarynski (14/21/0/201)
Receiving (Catches/Yards) – Boender (5/87), Van Dyke (5/58), E. Mulder (4/56)
Tackles (Solo/Assist) – Boender (16/5), E. Mulder (6/1), Luke Mulder (5/2), Kacmarynski (4/4), Bennett Spronk (4/1), Peyton Ritzert (3/1), Drew Geetings (3/1), Zach DeVries (3/1), Lucas Hol (2/2), Justin Horn (2/0).
24 First Downs 21
35/245 Rushes/Yards 59/286
201 Passing yards 60
14/21/0 Passes (comp/Att/Int) 4/11/0
446 Total Offense 346
4/1 Fumbles/Lost 1/0
9/75 Penalties/Yards 8/58