In most cases, if you were to hold a three-time state champion to just 14 points, you would come out with a sure victory. Unfortunately for the Dallas Center-Grimes Mustangs, while the defense was strong, the offense just couldn’t find the end-zone in a 14-0 loss to the Little Dutch in Pella Friday night.
The loss marked the second time in two years that the Mustangs were unable to find the end-zone in a shutout loss to the Dutch.
Even with the shutout loss, the Mustangs put up quite the fight, holding a Pella team who averaged over 340 yards per game last season to a mere 191 Friday night. It was a feat that few teams have been able to accomplish over the last few years and it really impressed the likes of 15 year head coach Scott Heitland.
“We felt good about our defense heading into the game and after seeing that our guys could hold up against the offensive style of Pella, we felt even better after,” said Heitland. “Our kids matched the intensity that was being brought towards them and utilized their speed. We used that speed to limit their big plays for the most part. I was most pleased with our defensive backs who did a great job with exceptional coverage.”
The Mustangs themselves posted 173 total yards of offense against the stingy Pella defense. The majority of that offense came through the air as junior quarterback Ty Walker posted 113 passing yards on 66 percent passing. Walker sure did have his struggles against arguably one of the better defenses in the state suffering a three-interception night.
Despite the successes and faults of both offenses, it was all about the defense Friday night and the defensive battle was on full display as the first quarter came to a close with a scoreless tie. The only damage to the Mustang defense came in the second quarter where Pella touched up the end zone on a 13-yard passing score and a one-yard touchdown run. From there on out, however, no offense could find the end-zones and unfortunately for the visiting Mustangs, that meant a 14-0 defeat.
With the passing attack, Ty Walker led the Mustangs with 113 yards on 66 percent passing for the night. Despite a three interception performance with no touchdowns, it was an outing that both he and coach Heitland were pleased with following the game.
“When you break it down Ty was just trying to make plays and ultimately you can’t fault a guy for that,” said Heitland. “He did a good job going through his reads and progressions nicely and did the best he could to put us in positions to be successful.”
That was all done despite a first quarter injury at center as Brennan Anderson suffered a high ankle sprain early in the first quarter. The line still came together and helped orchestrate was was one of the better statistical games against Pella in recent seasons.
Another beneficiary of the great offensive line play was Zach Brand who broke the 100-yard rushing mark with 107 yards on 24 carries as he paced the Mustangs on the ground. Leading the way receiving was Cody Hall who drew six receptions for 43 yards. Hall was one of three receivers to earn at least three receptions on the night.
Ultimately, one of the big focal points for head coach Scott Heitland was to limit the mistakes and penalties, and for the most part, the Mustangs suffered just four penalties for 30 yards.
The loss marks just the second season-opening loss over the past seven years for Mustang football. They will seek to regroup and pick up their first win of the season next week when they travel to Norwalk. Kick-off from Norwalk Warrior stadium is set for 7:30 p.m.