Pella — A Senior Night at Pella High School that will not soon be forgotten, as the Dutch take overtime to overcome the Washington Demons 16-10 and earn their first victory of the season.
The Dutch came into the game ranked tenth in the state. They demonstrated why, when early in the first quarter, they recovered a fumble.
The offense was not able to take it in for the touchdown and had to settle for a Seth Johnson field goal with 7:28 left in the first. This put the Dutch up 3-0. It would not be until late in the fourth quarter when Pella would put points on the board again.
Both teams struggled with procedural penalties on the offensive side of the ball throughout the game.
On the defensive side, the Dutch remained strong. Nathan Clayberg sacked Washington Quarterback Dayn Sebelius for an 18-yard loss that forced the Demons to punt. When the Dutch got the ball back, the Demons recovered a fumble with 1:40 left in the first.
The first play of the Demons' new drive was a long gain that completely changed the momentum of the game. As the second quarter opened, Sebelius connected with Alan Sanchez for a 15-yard touchdown. After the extra point, the Demons had a 7-3 lead over the Dutch.
Chris Brogden returned the ensuing kickoff to the 43, but the Dutch were unable to capitalize on the good field position. Neither team could reach the end zone again before halftime.
The Dutch came close near the end of the second. Pella's last drive was almost ended with a punt at midfield, until the Demons were penalized for roughing the kicker. The Dutch offense took advantage of the second chance and made their way into the red zone.
With less than a minute left in the half, Pella was threatening on the Demons' three. A bad snap sailed over Quarterback Josh DeWaard's head and was recovered by the Demons.
Defense was the name of the third quarter for both teams. The Demons were able to drive down to the Dutch five, but failed to cross the goal line. They had to settle for a field goal, which increased their lead to 10-3.
The Pella crowd and sideline were quiet for much of the fourth, as things did not look good for the Dutch. At 7:16, a Pella player got sick on the field and the officials called a special water break. The entire evening was warm and humid.
When play resumed, Washington was about to punt. This time, the Demons struggled with a snap, and the Dutch recovered.
Rehydrated and excited, the Dutch were able to tie the game with 6:56 left in the game when DeWaard connected with Bryce Bortscheller.
Washington refused to quit and marched the ball all the way down the field. At this point in the game, the uniforms of the Dutch defense had grown dark green from the sweat and effort they had been putting in all night. Washington could not cross the goal line. They had to settle for another field goal attempt with under 10 seconds left in the game. The kick was no good and the game went into overtime.
The Dutch won the coin toss and chose to defend. Sebelius snuck into the corner of the end zone to get what may have been the winning touchdown. However, the Demons were called for a penalty and nullified the touchdown. A second field goal attempt also failed.
On the second play in overtime for the Dutch defense, DeWaard connected with Brogden. Brogden stayed on his feet as he was pushed by several of his teammates across the goal line to win the game with a final score of 16-10.
"It felt amazing," Brogden said after the game. "Our whole team and our whole line pushed me through. If it wasn't for them, it wouldn't have happened."
Brogden acknowledged that the team has work to do this week, as it prepares for a trip to Grinnell Sept. 7.
"I think definitely, we'll pull through," Brogden added. "We'll improve."
Head Coach Jay McKinstry was glad the game had the outcome it did as well.
"It's nice to win," McKinstry said. "It's great seeing our kids come back after being down at halftime." He went on to say that the third quarter did not go well either.
"It was great to see our kids fight through some of that," he said. "They needed to do that."
In other Marion County football news, Pella Christrian beat PCM 44-6, Knoxville beat Newton 12-6, Melcher-Dallas defeated Seymour 78-28, Pleasantville fell to Martensdale 46-21 and Twin Cedars lost to Wayne.
Look for more on Pella's game in the Sept. 6 Chronicle.