While week one did not go as planned for the Dallas Center-Grimes football team, the Mustangs are as confident as ever searching for their first win in 2018.
Throughout all the trials and tribulations of last week’s game, Mustang head football coach Scott Heitland still felt positive after the game, mainly due to what he saw out of his players.
“I left the game more encouraged than discouraged,” started Heitland. “Of course we would have liked to have come out with a win but the way our kids battled with what we had coming into that game is encouraging.”
Coach Heitland is a master of being calm and some of that has to do with good strategy. Even though the Mustangs are still finding themselves, Heitland mentioned that these first few games are exactly the games to do so.
“With the four non-district game set up to start the season, I feel that’s the time for our team to find their rhythm and find out what works best for the team,” began Heitland. “I’m not sure how other coaches are viewing it but if even if we take four games to find our identity as a team, as long as we take care of business once district play comes we’ll be fine. If you go 5-0 to end the season, you’re district champs and you’re moving on.”
The desire for a season opening win was surely there for the Mustangs, a school who’s taken the win in game one the last five years straight. Even with that desire and the history behind winning game one, there were more goals than just winning, and more positives that were seen by coach Heitland last Friday.
“A win to start the season is nice but it’s not everything,” started Heitland. “It takes more than just one game to get into a good rhythm and be the team that you will be at the end of the season. With a group that hasn’t seen much varsity time in the past, we needed a game whether we were ready or not because we were getting to a point where we needed four quarters of pressure packed situations to figure out where we’re at. In that game we learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t work for our team and we took a step closer to finding our identity.”
Defense has always been a strength with DC-G football, especially over the last few seasons. Over the last three seasons, the Mustang defense has allowed just eleven points per game.
Now while the defense of 2018 opened up the season giving up 28 points, there was a lot of defensive positives beyond the scoreboard.
“The defense showed a lot of drive and did a good job at getting to the ball carrier collectively,” said Heitland. “You can spin scores anyway you want but what I liked about the defensive effort is that they were put in tough situations often but they hung in there. The score could have been bigger but the defense held their own in some tough situations. The score might not show it but our defense constantly put Pella in third down and long, even fourth down situations, they just happened to capitalize on most of them.”
Coach Heitland did find some good points to work on defensively as the Mustangs head into week two.
“The thing I think the defense and even the whole team can work on is making the right choices that will keep drives alive or stop drives on defense,” said Heitland.
Speaking offensively, coach Heitland took a few things away from last Friday’s game and looks to continue those positive aspects today.
“I think when you look at us offensively, it was an inconsistent night but we showed sparks of just what we could become come district play,” began Heitland. ” The line gave Fistler a chance to make big play, despite five guys who’ve never played varsity ball before. They saw a lot of different defensive formations and for the first time out they handled it well which is something I feel they will be able to replicate against Norwalk.”
The Mustangs unfortunately start the season 0-1 but will aim to grab their first tonight as they welcome in non-district foe Norwalk. Dallas Center-Grimes will be looking to break a loosing trend against the Warriors as the Mustangs have faltered in each of the last three appearances against Norwalk. Game time will begin from DC-G stadium beginning at 7:30 p.m.