Van Meter welcomed a new opponent to Bulldog Stadium this past Friday evening for the 1st Round of the IHSAA Football Playoffs. The Sumner-Fredericksburg Cougars and the Bulldogs have never played before, but that was probably due to the nearly 3-hour travel distance between the two schools. However, once the game kicked off, it was two quality opponents battling it out for the right to move on in the 2018 IHSAA Football Playoffs.
The Cougars entered the contest at 7-2 with those two losses coming by a total of only 23 points, so Van Meter knew they were facing a tough opponent. This would seem to prove true in the opening few possessions of the game as both teams turned the ball over on downs on their first possessions. Van Meter’s defense forced a Cougar punt after only 3 plays on their second possession and the Bulldog offense was set to take control. The Bulldog’s second possession of the game saw them march 72 yards in 8 plays. The drive was helped by a long pass completion from Anthony Potthoff to Zach Drummond and was finished off on a 3 yard TD run by Ian Abrahamson, as he dove over the right side of the strong Bulldog offensive line into the end zone. Sam Bardwell tacked on the PAT and Van Meter would lead 7-0 with 1:15 remaining in the 1st quarter.
The Bulldogs pretty much took complete control in the 2nd quarter outscoring the Cougars 28-8. It started with the Bulldogs sacking the S-F punter on 4th down on the Cougar’s own 16-yard line. Potthoff then hit Cody Coffman with a perfect 9-yard pass over the middle on 4th down for Van Meter’s second touchdown of the game. On Sumner-Fredericksburg’s next possession, Zach Drummond intercepted a 3rd down pass to set the Bulldog offense up on the Cougar 18 yard line this time. Three plays later, Potthoff carried it in from 19 yards out to make it 21-0. After a failed onside kick attempt by the Bulldogs, the Cougars scored on a well-executed reverse pass for a 55-yard touchdown. Following a successful 2 pt conversion, the score was 21-8 in favor of the Bulldogs. However, Van Meter wasted little time to reestablish their momentum as Potthoff again scored on a run from 29 yards out this time. The Bulldog defense didn’t allow a single yard on the Cougar’s next possession and forced a punt. The final score of the half was the result of Potthoff finding Zach Drummond in the left flat on a quick pass and Drummond doing the rest with his legs after the catch for a 35 yard TD reception. Zach Madden would end Sumner-Fredericksburg’s final possession of the half with an interception near mid-field. Bardwell converted all five PATs in the first half as the Bulldogs would lead 35-8 at the half.
The second half saw both teams play very good defense with each team only scoring once in the final 24 minutes of the game. Van Meter would start the second half with the ball first. However, the Bulldogs would have to punt, but the Cougars put on a good rush and sacked the Van Meter punter before he could get the kick off. Sumner-Fredericksburg would strike quickly with a 29 yard run around the right end to pull the Cougars within 35-16 following another successful 2 pt conversion. Van Meter would respond with a score in the 4th quarter as Abrahamson found the end zone for the second time in the game on another 3 yard TD run. Bardwell booted the PAT and the score would end with a 42-16 Bulldog victory.
Van Meter’s rushing attack was running on all cylinders behind a strong effort by the Bulldog offensive line as they rushed for 345 yards on 57 carries. Van Meter tacked on another 85 yards through the air for a total offensive output of 430 yards on 70 offensive plays. The Bulldog defense was very strong as well as they limited the Cougars to 178 total yards (62 rushing & 116 passing), with 84 yards of that resulting from their two scoring plays. Van Meter’s offense would also rack up 21 first downs to only 7 for the visitors. Ian Abrahamson would lead the Bulldog rushing attack with 179 yards on 28 carries. Potthoff also benefitted from the strong blocking of the offensive line as he accumulated 140 yards rushing on 15 attempts. Drummond would lead the receiving corp on this evening with 2 receptions for 65 yards.
Van Meter’s defensive tackle leaders vs. Sumner-Fredericksburg included:
Cameron Smolik – 6 Tackles (including 2 Asst TFL & 1 INT)
Parker Fryar – 5 Tackles
Kasey O’Brien – 4 Tackles (including 1 Asst TFL)
Quinn Corcoran – 3.5 Tackles
Sam Miller – 3 Tackles (including 1 Asst TFL)
Bryce Cole – 3 Tackles (including 2 Asst TFL)
Tyler Erdman – 3 Tackles
Zach Madden & Zach Drummond – 1 INT Each
Please click on the following link for complete offensive and defensive stats from the game: Van Meter 42 – Sumner-Fredericksburg 16 (Game Stats)
Come on out and support your Bulldogs! GO DAWGS!!
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