If variety is the spice of life, then the Dallas Center-Grimes football team has it all as they were able to capture a 7-0 victory Friday, Sept. 13 in Grimes.
It was their home opener and they bested visiting Ballard by that slim margin, something the Mustangs haven’t been able to accomplish in over a season. It was a defensive stronghold that included one turnover by the Mustang defense without a single turnover by the offense marking an overall performance that head coach Scott Heitland was proud of.
“This game really showed how capable this team is of riding the ups and downs and figuring out ways to win ball games,” began Heitland.”Last year this team would have imploded but this year we didn’t let things get out of hand.”
Another big thing that highlighted the growth and maturity of the 2019 Mustang squad was the ability to overcome injuries. Without leading rusher Zach Brand, DC-G still combined for over 100 yards on the ground. The Mustangs were still faced with more adversity across the Ballard game as leading receiver Isaac Boley left the game with a leg injury. Compounding things even further, despite a 100-yard passing performance, Ty Walker also suffered an injury putting him in the concussion protocol which will likely render him out of tonight’s game.
Never-the-less, the Mustangs are still ready to tackle their final non-conference contest of the season with a team still prepared to take a win. What lacked a year ago has been revamped as depth now lies as a significant strength for the Mustangs. That includes the backfield where Luke Busby Jake Lego combined for 55 yards and the only score of the game last Friday. As for the quarterback position, the honor will go to sophomore standout Huston Halverson.
With a mixup on the offensive line, the Mustangs will be looking slightly different from week one but that won’t change anything as coach Heitland explained.
“We have a lot of guys who are hungry to get playing time and are ready to go,” began Heitland. “Our depth has and will play a big role in our success this season. Huston is a very athletic individual who has the talents to go far in this league. We have guys who have proven they can step up to the plate and I have no doubt that will happen again.”
The Mustangs will have quite the test ahead of them as they take to the road for the third time in four weeks. They will take the long drive to Glenwood to face off against the Rams. They’ll be matched up against a Rams team that has averaged 36 points through three weeks and outscoring their opponents 108-34. A large part of that has come through the air as Glenwood has averaged 244 yards and just shy of three scores per game.
Unlike the last three opponents, the air attack by Glenwood is the primary workforce behind the Ram offense. The prime suspect behind most of the offensive production has come from one singular source. Accounting for all of the passing attack and 177 yards on the ground, senior quarterback Zach Carr has been responsible for 68 percent of the total offensive yards produced. He has also accounted for over 50 percent of all touchdowns earned by the Rams.
While that may scare some teams, that’s exactly the type of challenge the Mustangs are ready for.
“We’ve been able to win the games we have in large part to our secondary,” said Heitland. “The opposing quarterbacks haven’t been able to utilize their weapons downfield and we’ve limited their big plays. We’ve forced them to beat us in other ways and we’ve been just as strong with our line and linebacking core. That’s what we’re aiming for against Glenwood. We need to force them to beat us in other ways that with the passing attack.”
Glenwood does have a two-pronged attack on the receiving end with junior Ryan Blum and his 273 yards receiving along with senior John Palmer and his 305 yards earned. Combined, the pair have accounted for six of the eight passing scores.
Even with that being the case, the DC-G secondary has allowed a mere 283 passing yards through three weeks, an average of just 94 passing yards per game.
All of that will be on the line tonight as the Mustangs take on the Rams on the road with kick-off set for 7:30 p.m.