The Ottumwa Courier

Sports

November 19, 2013

Albia uses exceptional defense to advance to the semifinals

(Continued)

"We don't have a lot of guys going both way," he said. "If you're going both ways you're going to get tired and we only have about three guys going both ways.

"This is the strongest team we've had here at Albia. When you're stronger you can play longer into the game."

Staten complimented conditioning and Albia defensive line coach Tim Folkerts and strength coach Neil Mick for having his defense in shape for the game.

"Half the team can bench over 200 pounds or better and six years ago it was just one guy," Staten said. "It's an indicator of your overall team strength."

He also praised defensive coordinator Russ Bayer for the defense's overall performance.

"They carried the day for us defensively," Staten said. "They won the offensive battle, we won the defensive battle."

After it didn't experience much success in the first half, Mediapolis' Drew Foster began to complete some passes in the second half. First, Foster hit Kelton Gourley cutting across the middle of the field in the third quarter. Then Foster hooked up with Drew Massner on a slant pattern for a first down. But, just when it looked a drive was beginning to take shape for Mediapolis, Ryan Sarver came through with a big sack on Foster. Mediapolis was able to muster some more offense after the sack, but the Bulldogs' drive eventually fizzled out.

After the Bulldogs were forced to relinquish the ball back to Albia, the Blue Demons' next offensive series ended in disaster when Seth Bietz picked off Brett Leshen's pass with less than a minute left in the third quarter. Once again, Mediapolis offense got things clicking in the fourth quarter. This time, however, the Bulldog drive detonated when Albia fumbled the ball away to the Blue Demons.

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