LAST MEETING — It did not take long for things to get out of hand, with Van Meter receiving five turnovers, rushing for 215 yards and passing for 180 more in a 47-0 statement. The Bulldogs returned two interceptions for touchdowns in the rout while limiting the Panthers to 73 passing and 71 rushing yards.
ABOUT THE PANTHERS — The Panorama ground game is stuck in low gear, averaging less than 50 yards per game in their four district losses. That has allowed defenses to concentrate on stopping the passing attack, and is part of the season quarterback Luke South has been picked off eight times.
South is 73-of-139 for 958 yards and five TDs despite the pressure and has rushed 66 times for 231 yards and three scores.
Blaine Barber (27-304, 1 TD), Conner Meinecke (21-239, 1 TD), Tanner Godfrey (9-138, 1 TD) and Spencer Hunt (5-133, 2 TDs) lead the receiving corps.
Brody Rickheim’s 364 yards and six TDs on 54 rushes still leads the ground attack. Barber has added five TDs and 184 yards on 23 runs, with Gunnar Grunsted carrying 40 times for 176 yards and a score.
Grunsted had 55.5 tackles and Trey Cobb 51 to lead the defense, which has intercepted 10 passes (returning two for scores) and recovered seven fumbles.
ABOUT THE BULLDOGS — A semifinalist last season, the Bulldogs look to every bit as good again this year. Van Meter has scored 243 points in district play and allowed only six — a late TD by Ogden. The team escaped Earlham, 21-20, in Week One, but since a 31-3 win over Woodward-Granger in Week Two has not allowed an opponent to finish with 37 points.
Blake Fryar is 70-118-2 for 933 passing yards and 14 scores and has rushed 41 times for 274 yards and five TDs.
Sam Thompson (18-265, 6 TDs), J.J. Durflinger (13-245, 4 TDs), J.J. Richards (13-189, 1 TD) and Carson Rhodes (10-82) have been the chief receiving targets.
Rhodes has been spectacular on the ground again this season, have 1,193 yards and 12 TDs on 127 carries.
The defense has feasted on knowing teams must pass, creating 20 sacks and nearly 50 tackles for a loss of yards. The Bulldogs have made eight interceptions and fallen on three fumbles.
Sam Bardwell has kicked two short field goals and is a sparkling 39-of-39 on PAT kicks.
OUTLOOK — The Panthers know it will take a supreme effort to pull an upset, especially as Van Meter’s game Oct. 20 with Madrid will have none of the serious implications of last year; thus the Bulldogs are unlikely to be looking ahead.
Staying close at the half will be key, and doing that will require dodging penalties, not turning the ball over and maintaining long, clock-chewing drives.
|West Central Valley||1||4||0||2||5||0||-7.20|
Panorama at No. 4 Van Meter
Eagle Grove at Ogden
NW Webster at Madrid
South Hamilton at West Central Valley
Oct. 20 Games
(End regular season)
West Central Valley at Panorama
Eagle Grove at South Hamilton
Madrid at No. 4 Van Meter
Ogden at NW Webster