By Perry Bell
Pella faced off with the Marshalltown Bobcats to open the 2012 varsity football season.
The Bobcats hosted the game last Friday evening. It was the second game of the season for the Bobcats, while the Dutch were playing their season opener.
The Dutch knew entering the game that they needed to keep Marshalltown quarterback Blake Gimbel under control. They realized they weren’t going to shut him down, considering he is regarded as one of the top four quarterbacks in the state.
Gimbel passed for a state record number of yards in 2011. He’s well on his way to rewriting the record books again this fall.
Gimbel threw 48 times and completed 30 passes for 446 yards against the Dutch. He had four touchdown passes.
All of that came one week after Gimbel passed for 405 yards against No. 3 ranked Ankeny in the opener.
The Bobcats lost to the Ankeny Hawks 49-14.
Two Bobcat receivers had a big night against the Dutch. Tad Steffensen hauled in 13 passes for 185 yards and one touchdown.
De’Quan McDowell snagged eight passes for 165 yards and a score. Toss in Brandon Pettigrew with five receptions for 64 yards and two scores. All three receivers are seniors, as is Gimbel.
The Bobcats found it difficult to run the ball against Pella. Marshalltown totaled -17 yards on the ground on nine attempts.
Pella managed 218 yards rushing on 41 tries and they passed for 141 yards hitting 15-of-25 attempts for 359 yards of total offense.
The one Pella score came in the third quarter as Lukas Steenhoek rambled 71 yards to cut the deficit to 17-7 with 3:45 left in the period.
Anthony Bentzinger tacked on the PAT kick for the Dutch.
Pella moved the ball against the Bobcats, but penalties and mistakes cost the Dutch in several key situations.
In the first half the Dutch drove to the Bobcat 22 before being turned away without any points.
Early in the fourth the Dutch moved the ball to the Marshalltown nine before being faced with a fourth and two situation. Again Pella came away with no points.
The score was 14-0 at the half as the Bobcats scored on a 22-yard pass from Gimbel to Steffensen with just 33 seconds left before intermission.
In the third quarter Marshalltown scored on a 37-yard field goal by Gimbel and a 5-yard touchdown pass from Gimbel to Pettigrew.
The two third quarter scores by the Bobcats were sandwiched around the lone Pella touchdown of the night.
Pella was hampered by opening night mistakes as they were whistled for 13 penalties for 111 yards. Marshalltown was whistled for seven penalties for 65 yards.
Josh DeWaard was 15-of-25 passing for Pella for 141 yards and one interception.
Bryce Bortscheller had five receptions for 63 yards for the Dutch and Jacob Vollmar snagged five passes for 38 yards.
Steenhoek topped the Pella ground game with 103 yards on six attempts while De Waard ran for 43 yards on 17 carries and Brandon Konfrst had 32 yards on four rushes.
Pella had three quarterback sacks led by Garret Jansen and Cody De Kruyff each with one.
Josh Hileman led the Pella defensive tackle charts with six while Nathan Clayberg was in on five. Daniel Langenfeld, Landon Van Dyke and Christian Stafford each were in on four stops for the Dutch.
Pella Coach Jay McKinstrey let the team know he wasn’t pleased with the loss.
He stated, “I like how we competed and played hard, but we had a lot of mistakes. We played against a great Marshalltown team.”
McKinstrey said the Dutch need to learn to play the speed of the game. “We need to be more physical and keep playing hard, “ he said.
Up next for the Dutch is a game at home Friday against the Washington Demons.