OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa football team was at the wrong end of a convincing 34-7 defeat to undefeated Indianola Friday at Schafer Stadium.
“We got our tails kicked in just about every way you can get it kicked,” Ottumwa coach Zach Pfantz said.
“We just played tight, we weren’t necessarily loose enough,” Andrew Altfillisch added. “We were too worried and nervous before the game. We have to get more focused.”
The Bulldogs suffered from an admixture of turnover problems, offensive stagnation and a very efficient Indian offense. And, for the first time this season, the Bulldogs were never able to establish a running attack. Ottumwa’s promising sophomore running back Isaiah Cox, who had been so effective in the Bulldogs previous three games, was mostly held in check by the Indians. Despite a tremendous effort, Cox had few holes to run through most of the night.
“I think it was a combination of things,” Pfantz said about his team’s inability to establish a run game. “They played really well on defense and we just made a lot of mistakes offensively.”
Nothing went Ottumwa’s way at the start of the game. Early in the Indians’ first offensive series, Indianola quarterback Trey Bunting got loose on a quarterback keeper and, seeing plenty of daylight in front of him, took it 54 yards to Ottumwa’s 5-yard line. A couple plays later, Cameron Bunting ran it in from two yards out for a touchdown.
Then, at the genesis of Ottumwa’s first turn on offense, Indianola’s defense picked up a Bulldog fumble and took it in for a touchdown. And, just like that, the Bulldogs were suddenly down 14-0 with over eight minutes still remaining in the first quarter. The Bulldogs next offensive series didn’t render positive results, and Ottumwa was forced to give the ball back to the Indians.