PELLA — There were two teams in contention for a district title when the Carlisle Wildcats visited the Pella Little Dutch Friday night. The matchup featured the top offense in the district against the leading defense in the district and in the end it was the defense of the folks in green that prevailed 34–7.
For the entire first quarter the two teams traded blows like a pair of heavyweights. Both teams would start drives only to have a big play or a miscue halt the drive.
The Wildcats received the opening kickoff and used a pair of first downs to move the ball across the mid-field stripe. The drive was squelched when Josh Warner picked off a Wildcat pass.
Pella then drove the ball to the Carlisle 24 yard line only to have the threat nixed when the snap sailed over the quarterbacks head.
Again the Pella defense held at mid-field after the Wildcats failed to convert on a fourth and one attempt. The Dutch front wall slammed the door and Pella took over on its own 46 yard line. A pair of runs by Aiden Pollock and Ryan Mace produced a first down and then Mace connected with Warner for 28 yards and a first down the Wildcat 12 at the first period ended.
After three plays failed to produce a first down, Silas Vanderhoff booted a 22 yard field goal through the uprights.
It was big play time for the Dutch on the next Carlisle possession. The interior line got great penetration and messed up the handoff. The ball squirted loose and big Levi Roose scooped it up and rumbled 15 yards for a touchdown with 7:55 left in the first half. Vanderhoff booted the PAT for a 10–0 Pella lead.
Neither team could get anything going until late in the second quarter when Pella mounted a drive from its own 38. They drove deep into Wildcat territory, but had to settle for a 27 yard field goal from Vanderhoff as time ran out. Pella took a 13–0 lead into intermission, but this game was far from settled.
The Little Dutch averted disaster as the second half began. Pella received the kickoff, but it was fumbled. Carlisle felt they had recovered the ball, but it was out of bounds and Pella was pinned deep.
Both teams were forced to punt and after a touchback Pella began to drive from the 20. 11 plays later the Dutch had completed an 80 yard drive with an eight yard power run by Nolan Clayberg. The kick by Vanderhoff was good for a 20–0 Pella lead with 33 seconds left in the third stanza.
It didn’t take long for Pella to find pay dirt again. The defense held the Wildcats to two yards in three plays and the punt was short. Pella took over on the Wildcat 36 and on the first play Mace found Reece Thoreson for 33 yards and first and goal on the three. Mace then pounded in for the score and Vanderhoff nailed the PAT for a 27–0 lead with 11:11 left in the game.
Carlisle was able to put together a drive of 80 yards with Jonathan Dunn scoring from five yards out. Garrett Pienkowski kicked the PAT to set the score at 27–7.
Pella got another score with their reserve unit in the game. Blake Meyer faked a handoff of Kenson Fuller and the Wildcats bought the fake. The Carlisle Red Sea parted and Meyer rambled untouched for a 55 yard scoring play. Vanderhoff’s kick set the final score at 34–7.
Pella Coach Jay McKinstrey was very pleased with the play of his team.
“I thought we managed the game well,” McKinstrey said. “We had no turnovers, we gave them no short fields and we played good defense against a good running team. We made some big plays and some of them were turning points in the game.”
Clayberg was a workhorse for the Dutch as he ran for 94 yards in 11 carries and he was also a leader on defense. Mace connected on 8-of-16 passes for 116 yards and Thoreson, Warner and Nelson were his leading receivers.
Pella is 3–2 overall and 3–0 in district play. Next up is a key district battle at Bondurant Friday night.
Carlisle 0 0 0 7 - 7
Pella 0 13 7 14 - 34
10:58: P – Silas Vanderhoff, 22 yd field goal
7:55: P – Levi Roose, 13 yd fumble return. PAT kick by Vanderhoff
0:00: P – Vanderhoff, 20 yd field goal
0:33: P - Ryan Mace, 8 yd run. PAT kick by Vanderhoff
11:11: P – Mace, 3 yd run. PAT kick by Vanderhoff
4:32: C – Jonathan Dunn, 5 yd run. PAT kick by Garrett Pienkowski
3:39: P – Blake Meyer, 55 yd run. PAT kick by Vanderhoff
Pella Individual Stats
Rushing: (Carries/Yards) – Nolan Clayberg (11/94), Blake Meyer (1/55), Ryan Mace (11/46), Aiden Pollock (7/37), Kenson Fuller (2/10), Nick DeJong (2/8)
Passing: (Comp/Att/Int/Yds) – Mace (8/16/0/116)
Receiving: (Catches/Yds) – Reece Thoreson (3/41), Josh Warner (2/36), Grant Nelson 2/26), Jason Knox (1/13)
Tackles: (Solo/Asst) – Clayberg (5/1), DeJong (3/4), Kody Huisman (2/4), Levi Roose (1/5), Nelson (2/2), Pollock (2/1), Thoreson (2/1), Dylan Waddell (2/1), Josh Miller (1/3), Izaak LaHue (1/2), Warner (1/1), Ethan Bogaards (1/1), Preston Rowe (0/3), Caleb Van Sant (1/1)
17 First Downs 15
233 Rushing Yards 193
116 Passing Yards 44
349 Total Offense 237
8/16/0 Passes (Comp/Att/Int) 4/17/1
0/0 Fumbles/Lost 2/1
4/39 Punts/Ave 4/29
7/45 Penalties/Yards 5/45