Sioux City East exact revenge to ruin Dodgers' Homecoming
A team that thrived on energy and emotion for the better part of the last five weeks showed very little of either here on Friday, as listless Fort Dodge lost its rematch with Sioux City East by a final score of 20-6 inside Dodger Stadium.
Nik Moser’s squad returned home after consecutive intense road trips to Marshalltown and Urbandale, ready to right the ship on Homecoming in front of a COVID-controlled capacity crowd of 2,000. By the end of the night, it was the Black Raiders (5-1 overall) celebrating their fourth consecutive victory as an impressive fireworks display illuminated the night sky just south of the field.
“I failed our team,” said Moser, the first-year head coach who had previously lauded FDSH’s spirit and fight when push came to shove against what has become an arduous regular-season schedule. “It’s my job to have them ready to play, and they weren’t ready to play. You have to be passionate and put everything into the 48 minutes you’re on the field, because you only get so many chances in this sport.
“We just brought nothing to the table and showed zero sense of urgency. That ultimately falls on me. It’s my responsibility.”
On Sept. 4 in Sergeant Bluff, the Dodgers (3-3) battered and bruised East at the point of attack, rushing for 470 yards and racking up 23 first downs in a 36-20 victory. The script was flipped yesterday evening, as a suddenly-stalled Fort Dodge offense produced only five first downs, 55 rushing yards and 109 yards of total offense.
The Dodgers had been averaging 449 yards and 39.6 points, which placed them among the most productive attacks in Class 4A before Friday’s near-donut.
“We just couldn’t get anything going,” Moser said. “No momentum. We didn’t execute, and turning the ball over four more times obviously didn’t help.”
Leg injuries to senior tailback Dayson Clayton and junior quarterback Carson Peterson didn’t help matters. Both suited up and played, but got hurt again early and looked like shells of their former selves the rest of the way. Clayton rushed for only 59 yards on 13 carries, and Peterson threw for a season-low 19 yards.
Still, Fort Dodge wasn’t out of it until late. Trailing 13-0, senior James Daniel intercepted a pass and returned it 29 yards into East territory. On the next play, junior Bradley Vodraska hit Peterson on a double pass for a 31-yard touchdown, and it was suddenly a one-score contest.
Junior Jake Erickson then recovered an on-side kick, giving the Dodgers the ball in East territory with signs of life. A hold stalled the drive, however, and after punting the ball away to the Black Raiders, East delivered the knockout punch when Fort Dodge fumbled on a punt return of its own.
The Black Raiders tacked on an insurance touchdown four snaps later with three minutes remaining.
“The defense did its job, but then we have that special teams breakdown,” Moser said. “And we’d run into the punter (on 4th-and-2) even before the fumble (which would’ve given East a fresh set of downs). Just too many mistakes that showed a lack of concentration and discipline. Frustrating. The defense did its job for the most part, but we allowed a number of drives to continue out of 3rd-and-long situations.”
The Black Raiders weren’t spectacular offensively, but they were much more effective on the ground than in the first meeting with FDSH. East finished with 205 yards on 46 carries — led by 230-pounder Kyler Peterson, who rushed for 125 yards — after managing just 30 on Sept. 4.
The visitors took the second half and sealed the win despite not completing a single pass after the intermission. Quarterback Luke Longval — already a 1,000-yard passer through the first five weeks — was just 5 of 18 for 75 yards.
After turning the ball over four times total in the first four weeks, Fort Dodge has 10 in the last two. And the Dodgers had only three plays go for over 10 yards in 37 offensive snaps.
Junior Pry’Shayn Mosley blocked both a field goal and an extra point for the Dodgers.
Moser’s team now heads to No. 2 West Des Moines Dowling (5-1) on Thursday in the regular-season finale. The Maroons are the seven-time defending 4A state champions.
“We have a short week, and we’ve got to figure out a way to rally around each other and handle our own camp first,” Moser said. “Dowling’s not going to feel sorry for us. No one is. This is on us to get figured out, starting with practice on Sunday.”
First Downs 5 13
Rushes-Yards 25-55 46-205
Passing Yards ˜˜«54 75
Comp-Att-Int 7-14-2 5-18-1
Total Offense 108 280
Punts-Avg. 15-33.4 3-41.0
Fumbles-Lost 2-2 3-1
Penalties-Yards ˜ 4-31 8-70
SC East 0 13 0 7 — 20
Fort Dodge 0 0 0 6 — 6
Sioux City East — Ethan Breyfogle (10-yard run), 11:50 left second. Jacob Schroeder kick.
Sioux City East — Bennet Vanderloo (3-yard pass from Luke Longval. Kick failed.
Fort Dodge — Carson Peterson (31-yard pass from Bradley Vodraska), 8:14 left fourth. Kick failed.
Sioux City East — Kyler Peterson (12-yard run), 3:01 left fourth. Schroeder kick.
Rushing — Fort Dodge: Dayson Clayton 13-59, Sam Daniel 6-29, Jon Presswood 1-0, Antonio Prates 1-(minus-3), Javion Jondle 1-(minus-8). SC East: Kyler Peterson 24-125, Luke Longval 6-42, Davares Whitaker 2-31, DeVante Simmons 4-17, Carter Siebersma 2-15, Taejon Jones 5-5, Team 3-(minus-30).
Passing — Fort Dodge: Bradley Vodraska 1-1-0-31, Carson Peterson 5-11-2-19, Connor Carver 1-2-0-4. SC East: Luke Longval 5-18-1-75, Carter Siebersma 0-1-0-0.
Receiving — Fort Dodge: Carson Peterson 1-31, Javion Jondle 2-21, Jace Ulrich 2-6, Tyler Schreier 2-(minus-4). SC East: Bennet Vanderloo 2-23, Terrick Thompson 1-22, Davares Whitaker 1-21, Taejon Jones 1-9.