OTTUMWA —The Ottumwa football team takes on Class 4A, Division 3 opponent Des Moines Hoover today with its playoff aspirations on the line.
The Bulldogs find themselves locked in a tie for fourth place with Hoover and Marshalltown going into the final game of the regular season — each team has garnered one division victory this season. With a victory today, the Bulldogs guarantee themselves a berth in the Class 4A playoffs.
"It's kind of a pre-playoff playoff game," Ottumwa coach Zach Pfantz said.
Hoover goes into today's game after being trounced by Class 4A, Division 3 Goliath Dowling 62-7. The Huskies' sole Division 3 victory this season came against Marshalltown — 28-17; the exact same score of Ottumwa's victory over Marshalltown earlier this season.
The Bulldogs take on the Huskies on the heels of a 31-29 loss at Ankeny Centennial last Friday that might have been Ottumwa's best offensive outing of the season. The boys were able to supplement their solid run game with a dynamic passing attack spearheaded by wide receiver Zach Bowling, who had a whale of a game against the Jaguars last week. Not only were the boys able to successfully execute a dual-threat offense, but they were able achieve this feat against a solid opponent. And, with their playoff hopes on the line, Ottumwa's offense couldn't have blossomed at a more opportune time.
"I think that's the best offense we've played since I've been here considering the quality of opponent we were playing against," Pfantz said.
Brock Larsen will be under center for the Huskies. He's completed 120 of 161 passes this season for an average of about 16 yards per completion. Larsen has thrown for 17 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. The Husky quarterback, however, can also tuck the ball away and run with it if the situation warrants. He's gained 133 yards and rushed for three touchdowns on 69 carries.