Clayton breaks single-game FDSH rushing record
Dodgers beat East for first time since '98
SERGEANT BLUFF — Early in the fourth quarter, with the Fort Dodge football team leading and Sioux City East wobbling, a train rumbled on the tracks behind the stadium at Sergeant Bluff-Luton High School.
It was both an ideal metaphor and perfect timing for what was happening on the field at that exact moment.
Dayson Clayton put on another locomotive-like show, breaking the single-game school record for rushing yardage as the Dodgers battered and bruised their second consecutive opponent for another convincing victory here on Friday, 36-20.
The 220-pound Clayton punished the Black Raiders with run after run until East’s will was all but broken. Fort Dodge’s four-year starter then showed off his vision and speed for two long touchdowns in the final period to cap a 35-carry, 354-yard, five-TD performance that was somehow even better than his monster effort a week ago.
Not bad for a player and a program that didn’t even know if they’d be active some 30 hours earlier.
“We were just trying to stay physically and mentally ready, even though we weren’t sure what was going to happen,” said Clayton, referring to Mason City’s COVID-19 cancellation and the Dodgers adding the East contest on Thursday around lunchtime. “Not just me, but all of the captains and the seniors were trying to keep us prepared if we were lucky enough to get another game.
“We were down a couple of guys and some linemen up front, but everyone stepped up on both sides of the ball. I’m really proud of how we handled this situation, the adversity, and took care of business on the field.”
Fort Dodge’s first victory over East since since 1998 was never really in doubt. The Dodgers (2-0 overall) rushed 59 times for 470 yards overall, as the Black Raiders (1-1) simply had no answers for the visitors defensively.
East didn’t fare much better when it had the ball, managing only 210 yards of total offense – with 120 coming on two long touchdown passes.
“I tell you what: given what happened this week and the circumstances, which were obviously less than ideal, these young men showed a ton of maturity and class. Once they took the field, they really got after it,” FDSH head coach Nik Moser said. “We were landing body blow after body blow, and then Dayson comes in with those two knockout punches (on 38- and 74-yard TD bursts in the fourth period).
“He’s a man, and he’s locked in. I don’t want to hear he isn’t fast enough to play at a high level (collegiately), either. Watch the film of this game if that’s the conclusion (coaches and scouts) want to draw. Those two runs were something special.”
Moser was also bullish on his defense, which dominated for the most part. The Black Raiders only rushed for 30 yards on 19 carries, and for the second consecutive week, senior safety Sam Daniel intercepted a pair of passes.
“Maybe I just got tired of hearing we played a basketball game (in an 81-54 win over Ames last Friday),” Moser said. “I have a ton of confidence in our defense, and I knew they’d bounce back. They really attacked and swarmed to the ball; we just made those two mistakes (55- and 65-yard touchdown passes from Luke Longval to Terrick Thompson). We didn’t give them anything on the ground.
“We haven’t been flashy the last two weeks, which is kind of a change from what we’re used to around here (in recent years). But as long as Dayson keeps doing this and our line performs the way it has, we’re going to keep playing to those strengths.”
Clayton racked up 275 yards in the second half alone. He had four rushing scores and another TD on a screen pass from junior quarterback Carson Peterson.
In two games, Clayton has rushed 58 times for 679 yards and nine touchdowns. He’s hit paydirt 11 times total from scrimmage.
Dodger all-state great Sam Cook, the program’s universal rushing king, held the old Fort Dodge single-game mark with a 352-yard performance versus Des Moines North in 2013. Cook was the only back ever to eclipse the 300-yard mark heading into 2020; Clayton has now done it twice in as many weeks.
“We just showed a lot of toughness, which is what I’m most proud of,” Moser said. “We didn’t lose our cool and we didn’t sulk about having to throw a gameplan together at the last minute. “The past 30 hours is the hardest I’ve ever seen our staff work. They were literally coaching kids up on the bus during (the two-hour drive) to put them in position to win.”
Clayton added, “Coach Moser and (FDSH administrators) were working hard trying to just find us a game. That’s all we wanted: an opportunity. I know four or five other teams said no. So I think once we heard (East was on board), it really motivated us and brought us together.”
The Dodgers will face a stern test this week, as third-ranked Ankeny visits Fort Dodge. The Hawks were upset in the final minute at Waukee last night, 21-17.
First Downs 23 9
Rushes-Yards 59-470 19-30
Passing 7-13-0 10-22-2
Passing Yards 68 181
Total Offense 538 211
Punts-Avg. 2-30.0 3-38.3
Penalties-Yards 9-65 3-15
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 2-0
Fort Dodge 14 8 0 14 — 36
SC East 0 14 0 6 — 20
Fort Dodge — Dayson Clayton (27-yard pass from Carson Peterson), 5:37 left first quarter. Pass failed.
Fort Dodge — Clayton (1-yard run), 3:50 left first. Jon Presswood run.
SC East — Kyler Peterson (2-yard run), 9:44 left second. Jacob Schroeder kick.
Fort Dodge — Clayton (3-yard run), 2:34 left second. Sam Daniel run.
SC East — Terrick Thompson (55-yard pass from Luke Longval), 2:21 left second. Schroeder kick.
Fort Dodge — Clayton (38-yard run), 10:58 left fourth. Tyler Schreier run.
SC East — Thompson (65-yard pass from Longval), 7:09 left fourth. Pass failed.
Fort Dodge — Clayton (74-yard run), 5:27 left fourth. Run failed.
Rushing — Fort Dodge: Dayson Clayton 35-354, Jon Presswood 9-47, Tyler Schreier 5-35, Sam Daniel 4-31, Jace Ulrich 3-5, Carson Peterson 3-(minus-2). SC East: Kyler Peterson 11-36, Luke Longval 4-10, Taejon Jones 2-7, Tyson Helseth-Bryan 1-4, Team 1-(minus-27).
Passing — Fort Dodge: Carson Peterson 7-10-0-68, Dayson Clayton 0-3-0-0. SC East: Luke Longval 10-22-2-181.
Receiving — Fort Dodge: Tyler Schreier 4-31, Dayson Clayton 1-27, Bradley Vodraska 1-8, Javion Jondle 1-2. SC East: Terrick Thompson 2-120, Kelynn Jacobsen 1-20, Easton Voigt 2-16, Kyler Peterson 1-12, Zach Peplinski 1-9, Nick Fehl 1-5, Taejon Jones 1-2, Davares Whitaker 1-(minus-3).