VAN METER — Third-ranked Van Meter raced a 28-0 lead after just one quarter of play en route to a 55-14 win over visiting Panorama Friday.
The Bulldogs (8-0, 6-0) were a Class 1A semifinalist last season and appear on track to again challenge for a state title. The hosts ran for 308 yards and four touchdowns on only 33 carries while passing for 142 yards and four scores while holding the Panthers (3-5, 1-5) to 116 aerial yards and only 23 rushing yards on 19 carries.
Carson Rhodes ran 20 times for 185 yards. He scored the first of his three TDs on a 64-yard spurt early in the game, with Anthony Lowman grabbing a 21-yard scoring strike from Blake Fryar minutes later for a quick 14-0 lead. Jack Trumbo’s 18-yard TD catch and a nine-yard scoring toss to Lowman pushed the score to 28-0 after only 12 minutes of play.
Panorama’s Luke South scooped up a fumble and raced 65 yards to put the guests on the board in the second quarter, but Van Meter answered with a two-yard Rhodes TD dive and a 66-yard scoring sprint from Rhodes.
Sam Bardwell had connected on his first five PAT kicks, but missed the sixth, leaving the score at 41-7 at the half. Bardwell would hit 7-of-8 kicks in the contest to put his season mark at 46-of-47.
That meant the second half would not start with a continuous clock, but the hosts quickly enforced the rule when Trumbo scored on a 37-yard pass from Fryar. A 15-yard Fryar run later in the period moved the score to 55-7.
South found Spencer Hunt for a 28-yard scoring connection in the fourth quarter to set the final score. Gracen Wellberg booted both point-after kicks for the Panthers.
Fryar was 10-of-15 for 142 yards and four TDs, with Hunter Coyle 1-2-1 for two yards. Tumbo (2-55, 2 TDs) and Lowman (2-30, 2 TDs) led the Bulldog receivers.
Fryar added 98 yards and a score on eight carries to add to the rushing numbers for the home team.
South was 17-31-1 for 116 yards and the 28-yard scoring flip to Hunt. Wellberg caught seven passes for 42 yards, Blaine Barber eight for 39 yards and Trey Cobb one pass for seven yards.
Conner Meinecke (2-19), Gunnar Grunsted (4-4) and Barber (1-15) were the only Panther rushes with positive yardage in the game.
Meinecke added a four-yard return of an interception to South’s long TD fumble recovery to account for both turnovers produced by the defense. Grunsted had 8.5 tackles, Cobb 6.5 and Barber 5.5 to lead the unit.
Panorama will conclude their season by hosting West Central Valley Friday.