There aren’t many ways to end the regular season better than what Dallas Center-Grimes football did as they defeated Carroll at home for the Class 3A District-2 title Friday night.
In front of the hometown crown the Mustangs were engaged in a low scoring battle the ended up in DC-G’s favor 14-7. It was a slow start offensively for both teams as neither the Mustangs nor the Tigers could find the endzone as the opening quarter came to a close. The Mustangs had quite the strong rushing attack and it was highlighted by Zach Brand who gave the Mustangs their first lead of the game on a 13-yard touchdown run. That began a strong night for the junior who totaled 89 total yards on the ground with two scores on just 21 carries from scrimmage.
The score for Dallas Center-Grimes came in the late goings of the first half as Brand punched in the score with 1:35 left before halftime. With no answer by Carroll, the Mustang gridiron stars took to the halftime break with a 6-0 advantage.
It nearly took the entire third quarter for either team to find the scoreboard once more. Thankfully for Mustang fans, their team kept Carroll off the scoreboard as Zach Brand punched in his second score of the game with 2:56 left in the third quarter. That (along with a Ty Walker two-point conversion) not only put the Mustangs up with a commanding 14-0 lead but gave the junior his sixth overall rushing score of the 2019 season.
Carroll made it a game as they found the end-zone with 4:11 left in the game and cut the DC-G lead down 14-7. Once again for the Mustangs, the coveted defense stepped up big and had a strong night that included a pair of interceptions from senior Gabe Jorgensen who now leads the team with five total interceptions on the season. It was yet another performance with at least one forced turnover for Jorgensen, one that head coach Scott Heitland saw coming.
“Gabe does a great job seeing the field and paying attention to the quarterback,” said Heitland earlier in the season. “He knows how to elevate his game when things are on the line and with it elevate the play of those around him.”
While DC-G was nearly guaranteed a playoff spot heading into the game, it was a win that felt extra special for coach Heitland and the Mustangs.
“To go 1-8 after a ten-win season was a pretty big thud for our players and coaches,” started Heitland. “It’s been really satisfying to see the kids really put in the work and see them reap the rewards of that which includes a shot at a district title. Last year was a trifecta of a lot of things but this year the kids were extremely motivated and to go from 1-8 to a possible district title was something they were shooting for.”
The win indeed gives DC-G football their second district title in three years. It also marks as one of the few in the past five years a team has gone from 1-8 to a playoff-bound team the next season. The District 2 title gives DC-G a playoff trip and the chance to host at least one playoff game. Overall, it was a game of efficiency for the DC-G offense who managed just 125 yards of total offense, their lowest total of the season. Despite that, the Mustangs captured two scores and the win. Ty Walker paced the passing game with 34 yards on 5-of-11 passing while Isaac Boley led the receiving efforts wit 19 yards on one reception, one of four Mustangs to earn at least one reception on the night.
They will now battle the storied Harlan program from DC-G Stadium in Grimes Friday, Nov. 1.