Van Meter forced five turnovers and beat Mount Ayr 14-0 in a battle of unbeatens on Oct. 4.
With the win, the eighth-ranked Bulldogs improved to 6-0 on the season, the first time they have reached that mark in head coach Eric Trudo’s nine years at the helm.
"The defense played awfully well and executed the game plan to shut out such a powerful team," Trudo said."
Van Meter held Mount Ayr to 233 total yards, while Ben Flaherty and Ben Trent recorded interceptions, and Spencer Benton, Zach Forret and Parker Suckow recovered fumbles. Through six games, the team has forced 10 more turnovers than it has given up.
"Our team has done a good job of forcing turnovers and taking care of the ball," Trudo said.
Grant Hoppes got the Bulldogs on the board midway through the second quarter when he caught a 15-yard outside Brandon Brittain and made a diving stretch to get the ball over the goal line.
The Bulldogs added another touchdown with 11 seconds left in the half after a fumble recovery on a Mount Ayr punt return. Brittain hit Logan Crawford on an 11-yard pass to increase the margin to two scores.
"Their average starting position was their own 20," Trudo said. "Ours was our own 40. That’s invaluable."
Brittain completed 12-of-19 passes for 136 yards and ran for another 49. Cody Blackwell carried 18 times for 89 yards, while Crawford led the receivers with four catches for 51 yards.
Chase Wyant collected a team-high 10 tackles, while Hoppes finished with eight. Suckow and Benton each had six tackles, including a sack apiece.
With each passing week and each successive win, the bullseye on Van Meter seems only to increase. But Trudo shrugs off that notion, choosing instead to focus on the upcoming opponent. This week that is Pella Christian. The Eagles are 3-3 overall and 1-2 in district play after a 14-13 loss to Ogden last week.
"I don’t know whether it does or not because that’s what other people are talking about," Trudo said of the increased expectations. "What we’re talking about is Pella Christian. They are a strong team, well coached and play hard. We’re focused on that next team right now."
The Bulldogs sit at the top of Class 1A District 7 with a 4-0 district record. Ogden is 3-1, its only loss to Van Meter, and Mount Ayr fell to 2-1.