Dodgers can't slow No. 9 Le Mars

Messenger photo by Britt Kudla: Jamarius Gibbs-Green of Fort Dodge scores a touchdown against Le Mars on Friday inside Dodger Stadium. For more photos, please visit CU.messengernews.net

The Fort Dodge football team’s mercurial ways continued on Friday, as the Dodgers were simply no match for ninth-ranked (Class 4A) Le Mars.

The Bulldogs topped the 40-point mark for the fifth time this season, while holding a fifth opponent to two scores or fewer in an impressive 42-7 victory. Le Mars looks more than comfortable in the District 1 driver’s seat at 3-0 in the league and 6-1 overall.

Head coach Nik Moser’s squad, meanwhile, struggled again to sustain success. A week after appearing to have turned a corner in a rout of Storm Lake, Fort Dodge (3-4, 1-2) managed just 152 yards of total offense and five first downs.

“We have to do a better job of handling adversity and digging out of a hole when things don’t go our way,” Moser said. “Both the first and the second half started really poorly, and it ended up setting the tone as far as how things were going to go. We had a few chances to change (the momentum and the narrative), but we just didn’t fight our way through it.

“Le Mars was the more physical team. Period. We weren’t very good (last night), from myself and the coaches on down. We have to keep working and keep fighting to shake this every-other-game stigma (the Dodgers have alternated wins and losses since Week 1). It’s up to us now, again, in terms of how we respond.”

Veteran quarterback Teagen Kasel continued to play well, throwing for 108 yards and running for 90 more. Kasel had an almost even distribution between passing and rushing yards coming into the contest, with nearly 900 yards of total offense.

Kasel had only two incomplete passes all evening, and scored on three short TD jaunts.

Fort Dodge, meanwhile, had only six total receptions for 80 yards through the air. The Bulldog defense was unrelenting, giving up just a 35-yard touchdown run by Jamarius Gibbs-Green in the second quarter.

“They beat us in all three phases of the game,” Moser said. “Offense, defense and special teams were won by (Le Mars). They’re a solid 6-1 ballclub, but I just feel like we are better than what we showed (Friday). We have to start proving that on a more consistent basis.”

The Bulldogs, who start 16 seniors to the Dodgers’ eight, immediately set the tone on an interception return down to the FDSH 1-yard line less than two minutes into the first quarter. Ahead 21-7 at intermission, the third period started in a similar fashion, as Le Mars returned the kickoff into Dodger territory and scored almost immediately.

Four Bulldog touchdown drives started on the Fort Dodge side of the field, including two in the red zone.

“They don’t do anything fancy,” Moser said of Le Mars. “They’re just tough up front and fundamentally sound.”

Gibbs-Green rushed for 74 yards. Senior Grant Williams had a 38-yard catch, a 17-yard completion on a fake punt, and four punts of over 40 yards.

Fort Dodge senior Cal Hartman recovered a fumble on a muffed punt to set up the Gibbs-Green score. Senior Zeke Pineda had a fumble recovery as well.

The Dodgers were without two-way start Dreshaun Ross, who sprained his ankle at Storm Lake and missed most of that contest as well. Ross is expected to be back at Sioux City West this week.

Fort Dodge faces the Wolverines (0-7, 0-3) at 7 p.m. inside Olsen Stadium on Friday.


First Downs 5 16

Rushes-Yards 21-72 39-161

Passing Yards 80 108

Comp-Att-Int 6-25-1 15-17-0

Total Yards 152 269

Punts-Avg. 7-32.0 2-20.0

Fumbles-Lost 1-0 3-2

Penalties-Yards 3-45 3-20

Le Mars 14 7 14 7 — 42

Fort Dodge 0 7 0 0 — 7

Scoring Summary

Le Mars — Jude Dougherty (1-yard run), 10:33 left first quarter. Jovany Kabongo kick.

Le Mars — Teagen Kasel (7-yard run), 1:03 left first. Kabongo kick.

Fort Dodge — Jamarius Gibbs-Green (35-yard run), 8:12 left second. Parker Schillerstrom kick.

Le Mars — Kasel (1-yard run), 6:23 second. Kabongo kick.

Le Mars — Dougherty (18-yard run), 9:35 left third. Kabongo kick.

Le Mars — Kabongo (4-yard run), 5:17 left third. Kabongo kick.

Le Mars — Kasel (1-yard run), 9:24 left fourth. Kabongo kick.


Rushing — Fort Dodge: Jamarius Gibbs-Green 17-74, Royce Pederson 3-3, Team 1-(minus-5). Le Mars: Teagen Kasel 15-90, Jude Dougherty 12-61, Jovany Kabongo 6-8, Evan Pratt 1-3, Jami Sitzmann 2-2, Andrew Grant 3-(minus-3).

Passing — Fort Dodge: Jase Nekvinda 1-6-0-38, Royce Pederson 4-18-1-25, Grant Williams 1-1-0-17. Le Mars: Teagen Kasel 15-17-0-108.

Receiving — Fort Dodge: Grant Williams 1-38, Cal Hartman 2-23, Jesse Egli 1-17, Tytrell Mosley 2-2. Le Mars: Evan Pratt 6-48, Nolan Kass 3-23, Jami Sitzmann 1-17, Andrew Fifita 1-15, Bowen Rieken 1-5, Jovany Kabongo 1-4, Levi Schnetzer 2-(minus-2).


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $2.99/week.

Subscribe Today