Norwalk used two fourth-quarter touchdowns to spoil Dallas Center-Grimes’ home opener with a 24-14 victory on Sept. 6.
Freshman quarterback Brady Brandsfield threw touchdown passes of 12 yards to Neil Hanson and 20 yards to Luke Greenslade to give the Warriors a 24-7 lead in the final frame.
"It was a really well-played game on both ends," DC-G coach Scott Heitland said. "When you get two teams that are well-matched, it comes down to which team makes two or three big plays. Norwalk made a few more plays than we did that night."
The Mustangs answered on the next drive with a touchdown pass from Andrew Kramer to Austin Winter that pulled the team within 10.
Kramer was 23-of-41 passing for a career-high 244 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Dakota Clausen in the first quarter.
Clausen caught seven passes for 129 yards, playing through an ankle sprain he suffered in the second quarter. Doug Heritage had five catches for 50 yards, and both Winter and Keaton Means had four catches.
Austin Kloewer had a team-high 15 tackles. Justin Gardner collected 12, including a sack, and Jack Kelly added 10.
"I was really happy with how our kids battled for four quarters, and never gave up," Heitland said. "They were fighting and clawing to get the ball back right up until the final horn sounded.
"As I told them, if that’s the way you play four quarters all year, we’re going to win some games over the course of the season."
The Mustangs play host to South Tama on Friday, with a 7:30 p.m. kickoff. Despite being the first district contest, the game is already brimming with playoff implications. DC-G lost a 26-24 decision to the Trojans last season. Had the Mustangs won, they would’ve reached the playoffs with South Tama falling short.
"We gave up two or three big pass plays last year and that was the difference," Heitland said. "It’s important to put ourselves in a position to make plays this week, because had we pulled out a win last year, we would’ve been in the playoffs and they would’ve been home."