Van Meter football remains perfect in shutout win over Panorama

Andrew Brown
Dallas County News
Van  Meter quarterback Jack Pettit passes the ball Friday, Sept. 4 against Earlham.

Near perfection for the Van Meter football team as they blanked Panorama on the road Friday, Sept. 11. 

The Bulldogs nearly matched the all-time series number blanking the Panthers 30-0 in the 31st year of the series. It marked the second straight season and third time in the last five years that Van Meter has muted the Panorama offense scoreless. En route to striking 316 yards of total offense, the Bulldog defense limited the host Panthers to a mere 116 total yards of offense. 

All but eight of Van Meter's 30 points scored were centered in one singular quarter of action. Following a scoreless first, in which the Bulldogs held a team without a point in the first quarter for the past 29 games, they broke the scoring silence with a loud presence, sporting 22 points in the second quarter alone. All 22 of those points came within a 6:26 time frame. 

Similar to how the game ended, the scoring efforts for Van Meter actually began defensively as the Bulldogs pushed the Panthers back to their own goal line. A bad snap occurred which Van Meter took advantage of, pouncing for a two-point early lead. 

As for the offense itself, the Bulldogs first touched up the end zone following a two play drive that ended in a 55 yard rushing score by Dalten Van Pelt. That was the first of many highlights from Van Pelt who totaled 199 yards on the ground, the most from a single runner in a single game for the Bulldogs since 2018. 

From their 8-0 lead, the defense helped out the offense once more by providing a short field for the offense. The Bulldog offense took advantage and capped off a four play drive (their second longest of the night) with a 10-yard touchdown run by Van Pelt for his second score of the game. Those two scores helped to highlight an overall strong rushing attack once more that produced 199 yards and two scores. All of that captured by Van Pelt marked a record for a Panorama vs Van Meter game.

The rest of the scoring efforts came through the air for Van Meter, including a 10-yard touchdown connection from Jack Pettit to Gannon Archer with 3:51 left in the first half. That bumped the score up to 22-0. 

The final score for the entire game came on Van Meter's longest drive of the night, a six-play, 89 yard drive in the fourth quarter. That marked the longest drive of the night for the Bulldogs. 

In total, the win for Van Meter continues their historic run of now 47 straight regular seasons wins. It's their eighth straight win dating back to 2003 and continues the longest active district winning streak of 31 games. 2014 was the last time the Bulldogs lost a district battle, which was against Central Decatur.

The Bulldog defense kept up their dominance by forcing Panorama to be a one dimensional team as the Panthers touched up just 20 rushing yards for the entire game. That in itself made history as those 20 yards marked a program low for Panorama dating back to the 2018 campaign.

A big part of that had to do with forcing Panorama off the field on third and fourth downs. The Bulldogs limited Panorama to just 2-of-10 on third downs and one-of-five on fourth downs. In total, the defensive power that is Van Meter limited Panorama to an average of just 2.5 yards per snap. 

The Bulldogs have once again ran out to a 3-0 lead and now have nine straight district opening wins under their belts. 

Next up for the Bulldogs will be a homecoming match-up on Friday, Sept. 18 against West Central Valley.