OTTUMWA — Isaiah Cox hadn’t experienced anything like this before.
The sophomore running back and defensive end stepped onto the field at Schafer Stadium for his first varsity edition of Ottumwa’s annual “Meet The Bulldogs” football scrimmage. How Cox, and some of the other new players in this annual season-opening showcase would enjoy the night, was one of the many questions that needed to be answered on Friday.
So what was the verdict, Mr. Cox?
“It was pretty fun,” Cox said. “I liked it.”
You would too if you ran in three touchdowns. More than just the scoring runs, however, Cox got to outrun some of the jitters that can come with stepping on the gridiron in front of so many Bulldog fans before a varsity football showcase.
“For my first varsity night, I showed I want to come out here and play,” Cox said. “I really can’t wait now until the season happens.”
Cox, Isaiah Hutchinson and Grieg Duo all showcased the positive aspects of the option-friendly “pistol” offense. All three rushed for multiple touchdowns, ducking and dodging defenders throughout the scrimmage as Ottumwa fans oohed and awed with each impressive move that led to a scoring run.
“Three positives came out of the night. We stayed healthy, we made some good things happen and we made some mistakes,” Pfantz said. “It’s good to make mistakes on a night like this. We can only learn from them, but we did a lot of things well and the kids can learn a lot from what we can see on film.”
“We’ve been going after it hard ever since we started practice. We just needed a night like this to get out in full pads and bring up the level of intensity in front of our fans.”
Cox, for one, hopes he can deliver the same kind of intensity next Friday night when the Bulldogs welcome in its first opponent of the 2013 season, the Keokuk Purple Chiefs.
“I was nervous at first. Now I’m not,” Cox said. “I like this new offense. It’s all very exciting. I’m pretty pumped up. I can’t wait for next Friday night.”
Fans were introduced to the Bulldogs fall sports teams, including the OHS girls swimming, cross-country and volleyball teams. The Bulldog boys’ golf and cross-country teams also were introduced after scrimmages featuring the OHS freshman and JV football squads were held. The entire day began with fans getting the opportunity to tour the new walk-in facilities at the northeast corner of Schafer Stadium as well.
“We had some good food to eat, we got to show off the new building,” Pfantz said. “It was just a really fun night all the way around. I think you always remember that first time out on the field each season. There were definitely a lot of positives from this night.”