Van Meter and Pella Christian varsity football teams are both coming off appearances in the UNI-Dome as final four teams in Class 1A a year ago.
The two faced off Friday evening in Pella. The No. 3 ranked Bulldogs have plenty of fire power left for a nice lengthy run in 2019. The Bulldogs tripped up the Eagles 40-6 on Eagle Lane Friday.
The win elevated Van Meter to 2-0 while the Eagles slipped to 0-2.
The Eagles were able to move the ball, but they weren’t able to finish drives and turn them into points against Van Meter for most of the night.
The score was 20-0 at halftime. Van Meter opened the game by marching 64 yards on six plays with talented tailback Ian Abrahamson diving into the end zone on a 1-yard dive.
The first quarter ended with the Bulldogs punching in another score on a 34-yard run by quarterback Anthony Potthoff for a 13-0 advantage.
It was a pass interception by Parker Fryar that set-up the short TD drive of one play and 34 yards for the second score of the night.
The final Bulldog score of the first half was a time consuming drive of 11 plays in 5:33 that put the tally at 20-0 at halftime.
PC punter Cody Boender did a nice job. His longest punt was a 51-yard effort near the end of the first half.
PC’s defense forced a Bulldog turnover at the end of the first half when Drew Geetings recovered a VM fumble.
In the third quarter the Eagles marched 62 yards to score on 12 plays. Jase Amelse finished the drive with a 4-yard run to pay dirt. That cut the deficit to 20-6.
Van Meter proved too tough as they answered back with a two play 61-yard drive. The big play a 54-yard touchdown run by Potthoff.
The next two VM scores were Dalton Van Pelt on a 21-yard run and on an 11-yard run with 1:32 left.
The Eagles finished with 208 yards of offense. They had 126 rushing and 82 passing.
PC quarterback Dan Jungling was 13-of-20 passing for 82 yards with two passes being intercepted.
Keean Cadwell was the top receiver with 32 yards on five catches while Boender and Caden Van Dyke each caught three passes.
On the ground, Jase Amelse ran for 56 yards on 11 carries, David Willis netted 22 on four attempts and Boender had eight rushes for 22 yards.
Potthoff ran for 137 yards for VM and he threw for 140 hitting 7-of-10 attempts.
Van Meter had 311 yards on the ground and 140 in the air for 451 yards of offense.
The PC defense was led by the tenacious play of Jase Amelse with 11.5 tackles. Next came Cody Boender with 4.5 stops, Drew Geetings with four, Luke Mulder and Dan Jungling each had 3.5.
PC Coach Rich Kacmarynski encouraged his team following the game. “We had moments where we went toe-to-toe with them. We had a beautiful drive for our touchdown.”
“We had a lot of positives come out of this game. I still believe we can be a fine football team.”
He added, “Van Meter is a very good team. They block and tackle well. They are a state championship caliber team.”
Life doesn’t get any easier for the Eagles as their rugged non-district schedule calls for a meeting Friday night at home against Iowa City Regina, Catholic at 7 p.m.
Iowa City Regina stands at 1-1 after topping Anamosa last week 56-25.