A setback against Urbandale wasn't the loss on the Fort Dodge football players' minds after a long night of action here Friday.
Junior linebacker Adrean Johnson was injured late in the fourth quarter of the Dodgers' 25-14 defeat, and while all initial reports were optimistic, the situation threw a serious scare into both sidelines as the contest was delayed for nearly 20 minutes.
Johnson was taken off the field on a stretcher and transported to Trinity Regional Medical Center for precautionary reasons. According to FDSH athletic and activities director Tom Kinseth, Johnson suffered a neck injury. He was, however, able to move all of his extremities by the time he left Dodger Stadium in an ambulance.
Messenger photo by Dale Wooten
Fort Dodge's Adrean Johnson records a sack on Friday inside Dodger Stadium. For more photos, please visit CU at www.messengernews.net
Urbandale's ground game trumped Fort Dodge's passing attack as the J-Hawks (2-0 overall) churned out a CIML cross-conference victory. Dodger quarterback Sam Edwards threw for 265 more yards - giving him 619 in the first two weeks - but Urbandale picked him off four times and rushed for 242 yards on offense in the win.
Edwards had 207 yards in the second half, and again found classmate Isaac Lehman a handful of times to move the chains. The J-Hawks came up with three interceptions after a long, lightning-delayed intermission, though, including two by Terrance Gaye in the final six minutes to keep Fort Dodge at bay.
Six different Urbandale players balanced the carries and push the Dodger defense off its stride. Fullback Cory Moore (13 rushes, 70 yards) and tailback Markell Colemon (11 for 65) led the way, as the J-Hawks had 21 totes for 150 yards in the second half.
Fort Dodge led 7-6 until late in the second quarter when Urbandale - a state quarterfinalist in each of the past two seasons - pieced together a time-consuming 13-play, 79-yard drive to go up 12-7. The rain intensified after that, and lightning kept the players in the locker rooms for 50 minutes longer than the scheduled period of time at the intermission.
The weather delay, combined with Johnson's injury, pushed the final horn to 11:20 p.m. - nearly four hours after kickoff.
Lehman came up with a 25-yard scoring strike into double coverage on a delicate toss from Edwards with 2:50 left in the third, but that would account for the final points of the evening. Edwards drove the Dodgers to the Urbandale 11-yard line on an 86-yard possession in the fourth quarter, but Gaye stepped in front of an errant toss in the end zone to squash the rally.
Fort Dodge (1-1) forced a three-and-out, then Gaye intercepted Edwards again in J-Hawk territory and Urbandale whittled the clock down.
Lehman had eight more catches for 137 yards, with seven for 112 after the break. Edwards also found juniors Wesley Castro (2 for 46) and Tyler Vaughn (4 for 38) for nice gainers in the second half.
The air strikes couldn't mask the Dodgers' continued struggles on the ground, though. After managing just 41 yards in a win at Des Moines East last week, Fort Dodge carried 19 times for a negative-2 yard net against the J-Hawks.
Johnson and Jalen Mosley recorded sacks for the Dodgers. Edwards caught the other TD on an eight-yard trick play toss from senior Cole Jarrard.
The rain sent most fans to the exits, and when play resumed, most of the life had left what had been a capacity crowd on the FDSH side.
The Dodgers continue a three-game homestand this Friday against Sioux City North (1-1). The Stars suffered a 14-2 setback to No. 1 (Class 3A) Sioux City Heelan last night.
Contact Eric Pratt at (515) 573-2141, or by e-mail at email@example.com