The 2019 football opened this past Friday night with the Van Meter Bulldogs hosting the Earlham Cardinals. The Bulldogs and Cardinals were meeting for the 38th time overall and this contest started with a bang for Van Meter and finished as a solid win for the home team 33-12.
On the opening offensive play of the night, Anthony Potthoff swept around the left end and was off to the races behind some great blocking for a 65-yard touchdown run to give the Bulldogs a quick 6-0 lead. Earlham tried to respond as they put together a 15 play drive. However, the Cardinals would turn it over on downs as Ian Abrahamson and Korbin Barck combined to stop the Earlham runner well short of the first down sticks. After exchanging punts, Potthoff would find the end zone for his second TD of the night on a 5-yard run. This would push the Van Meter lead to 13-0 8:56 remaining in the 2nd quarter after Caden Tost added the PAT.
The Bulldog defense would force their first 3 & out on Earlham’s next possession and the Van Meter offense would need less than 3 minutes to add to their lead. Abrahamson would get his first touchdown of the night on a 9-yard run to cap off a 7 play 47-yard drive. So with 4:17 to play in the 1st half, Van Meter would lead 19-0. Earlham would show they weren’t going down without a fight on their final drive of the half. On 4th & 7 from the Van Meter 41 yard line, the Cardinals would connect for a 41-yard touchdown pass and cut the Van Meter lead to 19-6 at half time.
This seemed to serve as a bit of a wake-up call for the Bulldogs as they would force a quick punt by Earlham after only 3 offensive plays to start the 3rd quarter. Van Meter’s offense would immediately make a statement as it took only 4 plays to cover 67 yards for another score. This time Potthoff would run 18 yards for his third score of the night. Tost would add the PAT and the Bulldogs would lead 26-6. The Cardinals would again show they weren’t going away as they would add another score midway through the 4th quarter to make the score 26-12 in favor of Van Meter. However, the home team would respond with another quick drive and Abrahamson would finish it off this time from 4 yards out. Tost would again add the PAT and Van Meter would add to its lead for the final time 33-12.
While Potthoff had 3 rushing TD’s and Abrahamson added 2 more, the Bulldog offensive line of Brett Berg, Max Pettit, Andrew Simpson, Max Gilliland and Lincoln Olsen paved the way all night long as Van Meter was able to roll up 317 yards rushing on only 34 carries. With this effort by the offensive line and the Van Meter rushing attack, it really took the pressure off the passing game that could only come up with 26 yards. Van Meter would finish with 343 yards of total offense on 43 plays for an outstanding average of 8 yards per play. The Bulldog defense would bend on occasion throughout the night but rarely broke. They would allow Earlham 276 yards of total offense on 62 plays for an average of only 4.5 per play, so almost half of Van Meter’s offensive output.
Van Meter’s defensive leaders for the game included:
Parker Fryar – 8 Solo Tackles, 14 Asst Tackles (including 2 Solo TFL & 1 Asst TFL)
Calvin Sieck – 3 Solo Tackles, 10 Asst Tackles
Bryce Cole – 1 Solo Tackles, 9 Asst Tackles
Korbin Barck – 8 Asst Tackles (including 1 Asst TFL)
Zach Madden – 5 Solo Tackle, 1 Asst Tackle
Brett Berg – 2 Solo Tackles, 5 Asst Tackles (including 2 Asst TFL & 1 Solo Sack)
Please click on the following link for complete offensive and defensive stats from the game: Van Meter 33 – Earlham 12 (Game Stats)
Van Meter will travel to Pella this Friday, September 6th to take on the Pella Christian Eagles with the varsity game beginning at approximately 7:00 PM. The varsity game will follow the 9th grade game between Van Meter & Pella Christian that begins at 4:30 PM, so we hope you’ll attend and enjoy an entire afternoon and evening of football with your Van Meter Bulldogs.
Come on out and support your Bulldogs!
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