Most teams would be more than thrilled with a 9-0 season.
For the Dowling Catholic Maroons of the 2010 football team, it is just a beginning.
They want to add 5 more wins to make a perfect 14-0.
They took another step Friday night with a 30-6 win over the hard-hitting Indianola bunch. The Indians played like there was no tomorrow and were not intimated by the state’s top-rated team. The Indians already took out the giant Ankeny earlier this season and started the game with Dowling playing error-free football.
Coach Eric Kluver said before the game he was planning on starting Kody Foust and Brad Boden at running back to keep Ryan McCoy and Branden Abernathy fresh for defense. That plan worked early, but it was starting QB Kale Render who was the big playmaker, both with his arm and feet. Coming into the game, Render only rushed the ball 27 times for 10 yards. He had 3 yards in two of the first 7 plays on the first drive of the game. Render would finish with 14 carries for 18 yards.
Indianola had started a few games with trick plays, but it was all basic football. The risk-taking came on 4th down. Facing a 4th and 5 from the Dowling’s 39, Coach Kluver ran Render for 9 yards. But the Indians would face 4th down again and this time the Dowling D would hold. 3 plays later the Maroons were celebrating in the end zone with a 62 yard touchdown pass from Connor Bravard to Eric Lee running a post across the middle of the field. That was after two passes to Amara Darboh went incomplete.
The Indians would run another sustained drive would end with a 39 yard pass play to Brennan Davey. The point after attempt would hit the uprights and the Maroons clung to a 7-6 lead. But the Indians would try the on-side kick and succeed, but on a fake punt, Eric Lee would step in front of a Render pass to stop the drive.
Not long after that score, Coach Tom Wilson called timeout to give his team a chewing. Our sideline reporter Brian Morris reported that Wilson called the time out. Wilson said later he was trying to help deliver an attitude adjustment to his team.
Ben Boesen would make a great defensive play to take the ball away from the Indians. The drive would be on a short field that the Maroons cashed in for points on a Bravard one yard run, but Mac Chapman, who didn’t start because of illness, would miss his first point after attempt of the season that left the Maroons leading 13-6 at halftime.
The Maroons got the ball to start the second half and would open up their bag of tricks for a half-back pass from Dalton Parrott to Eric Lee for another score. The senior combo made it 20-6 with 5:31 to play in the 3rd quarter.
Chapman added a 23 yard field goal and senior Connor Bravard would scamper 27 yards for a score to put the Maroons up 30-6.
The fresh defense strategy appeared to have worked in the first half as Abernathy seemed to be everywhere in the second half. The Indians would hold the Maroons to their 2nd lowest offensive point output since the SE Polk game. Dalton Parrott has had his lowest output of the season with 39 yards on 16 carries. The defense only gave up 210 yards, but offense only gained 255. No individual Maroon rushed, passed or received more than 100 yards, the first time all season that’s happened.
The Indianola fans gave their team a standing ovation coming off the field following the game. As Dave Marcoulier pointed out, its likely the coaching staff was telling their players they can hang with anyone. That speech could come in handy if the playoff pairings and seedings stick, the Indians could get their rematch with Dowling in the playoffs.
Meanwhile, the off-week comes at a good time for Dowling. It gives the boys a break from football, a chance to clear their heads, heal their bodies and regenerate their interest in football.
The seniors at DCHS are now 39-1. That means as freshman, that freshman team didn’t lose, as sophomores, no loses and the only loss on their resume is 2009’s 4A IAHSSA state semi-final game against Marshalltown. 31 seniors suited up Friday night.
The Maroons will likely be the top seed in the western side of 4A. The first playoff game will be Wednesday night at 7p. That game will be on AM 1150 KWKY, but will not be streamed live if the IAHSSA stands by their previous on-line streaming policy. We’ll have in-game updates on Twitter.com/KWKYSports.