DES MOINES — The Ottumwa football team picked up the biggest win of the Zach Pfantz era Friday, when it knocked off former CIML Metro Conference rival Des Moines East 22-14.
The Bulldogs played well in all facets of the game and came through in clutch situations. Ottumwa's offensive attack was once again spearheaded by Isaiah Cox, who had another huge day running the ball. The sophomore running back rushed for 214 yards and one touchdown on 29 carries. The breadth of Cox's runs — 18 of them — came in the second half when Ottumwa was trying to battle back from a 15-7 deficit.
"The thing I really like about him is he's a very focused, very driven young man," Coach Zach Pfantz said about Cox. "The improvement he makes on a week-to-week basis is pretty awesome. He just runs so hard and is so determined. He's doing a lot of good things for us right now."
In an inspired effort, Cox consistently shed, broke and dragged tacklers with him as he moved Ottumwa's offense into Scarlet territory. Not that Cox had to do it alone — he had plenty of help from his offensive line. Ottumwa's offensive line played superbly in the second half, creating holes to run through on a regular basis.
"I think those guys can take a lot of pride, especially in that last quarter in a half; about how we ran the football," Pfantz said.
Defensively, the Bulldogs kept the Scarlets' high-tempo, big play-friendly offense from scoring during most of the third quarter and all of the fourth quarter. Ottumwa was led by linebacker Chris Peden, who recorded a team-high 11 tackles. In addition, Zach Bowling and Sam Kramer compiled six tackles each. The play of the night for the defense came when the boys stopped the Scarlets on fourth and inches with less than five minutes left in the game.