OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa High football team (3-4, 1-2) will try to snap a two-game losing streak when it travels to Ankeny to take on Ankeny Centennial tonight.
The Jaguars, the newest addition to the Class 4A, Division 3 division; boast a 4-3 record going into their first ever game against the Bulldogs. Their record, however, is a bit deceptive. Ankenny Centennial's three losses have come against high-caliber competition, which includes two teams that ornament the top five of the Class 4A rankings. The Jaguars have suffered defeats to top-ranked Dowling and third-ranked Ames, who are both still undefeated. Their only other loss came against seventh-ranked West Des Moines Valley.
The Jaguars picked up a convincing 50-14 victory over winless Marshalltown last week. Ankeny Centennial's offensive efforts were spearheaded by Jackson Dobesh, who ran for 116 yards on 11 carries and rushed for two touchdowns, including one from 40-yards out. Isaiah Kramme completed 11 of 19 passes for 227 yards against Marshalltown and fired one touchdown pass. In addition, Jaguar Bryce Evans ran for 98 yards on seven carries — an eye-popping average of 14 yards per carry. Brent Jones also had a huge game for the Jaguars, making five catches for 146 yards. Meawhile, Jack Higgins led Ankeny Centennial with 10 tackles.
Although the Bulldogs had a quiet game on the ground last week against Dowling, Ottumwa still generates most of its offense from its running attack. Isaiah Cox was effectively neutralized by the Maroons' defense last week, but the talented Ottumwa runner is still the Bulldogs most potent threat on the ground. But with defenses focused on shutting down Cox, the Bulldogs may need other talented runners like starting quarterback Andrew Altfillisch and Isaiah Hutchinson to divert the defense's attention from Ottumwa's star runner.
"Getting other people involved in our offense will help," Ottumwa coach Zach Pfantz said.