Williamsburg — The Pella Dutch finished their football season at 7-4 after losing in the second round of the playoffs in Williamsburg.
The Williamsburg Raiders doubled up the Dutch with a final score of 54-27. The Raiders got on the board on their opening drive after Bryan MacDonald took the ball downfield 34 yards after a couple quick plays. After missing the extra point, the Raiders were up 6-0.
Williamsburg showed its defensive prowess throughout the night and held the Dutch scoreless in the first quarter. They were ahead 20-0 before Josh DeWaard was able to connect with Nathan Clayburg with a little less than 10 minutes left in the half.
The Raiders immediately answered with another touchdown pass of their own. Throughout the game, the Dutch struggled with penalties and some bad snaps against a Williamsburg team that made few mistakes.
By the end of the first half, Williamsburg was up 40-7.
On the first play of the third quarter, a Dutch fumble was recovered by the Raiders and ran in for a touchdown. With the score 47-7, the continuous clock came into effect. The Dutch fumbled on the ensuing kickoff return, putting the Raiders up 54-7.
Though facing what would prove to be an insurmountable lead, the Dutch continued to fight. A good drive late in the third was capped by a six-yard touchdown by Lukas Steenhoek.
In the fourth quarter, with 8:39 left in the game, Chris Brogden ran across the goal line for another Pella touchdown. The point after was blocked, making the score 54-20. With that score, the continuos clock ended.
A few minutes later, with 5:25 left in the game, DeWaard connected with Jacob Vollmar for a great 57-yard touchdown. (Video of this touchdown accompanies this article.)
Williamsburg, on its final possession, encompassing the last two minutes, knelt on every play. The final score of 54-27 gave them the District 8 football championship, with the Dutch taking second.
"Our kids are fighters," Head Coach Jay McKinstry said. "They came to play, but we just knew Williamsburg was very good up front."
He went on to say that Williamsburg got off to a good start, made some good plays. The "shock factor" hit the Dutch, which the team got over, but they continued to struggle to stop the Raiders.
"We had trouble slowing them down," McKinstry said. "We just played a good team tonight that outplayed us early on."
Though the Dutch were down 33 points at halftime, McKinstry said he asked his team to be men of character, to come out fighting for their "family." They responded by putting another 20 points on the board before the game was over.
"In life, some of them are going to face things tougher than this," McKinstry said. He wants his team to be able to stand up to adversity, and do what is right in the future. As for the season, McKinstry is proud of what his team accomplished this year.
"I appreciate all their efforts," McKinstry said. "We've had a great group of seniors...that are just competitors. It's a tough way to end it, it's not they way they wanted to end it, but when they look back they can just see the camaraderie, the friendships."
McKinstry believes the relationships the team has built will last all of their lives. He appreciates everything the players have done for the Pella football program.