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Gimbel starts by passing with flying colors

Bobcats go to DM North as junior QB looks to build off first start

August 26, 2011
By MARK PAWLAK - Assistant Sports Editor ( , Times-Republican

The numbers speak for themselves: 26-for-39 passing for 381 yards with four touchdowns and an interception - in a win.

Blake Gimbel turned in the top passing yardage performance for a Marshalltown High School quarterback in his first start as the Bobcats defeated Des Moines Roosevelt, 52-13, last week.

"The coaches put together a good gameplan," Gimbel said. "It's up to us to come in and practice to get it to perfection. Everyone is working hard to do their part in the game, we perfect the gameplan then we do it on the game field."

Article Photos

Marshalltown quarterback Blake Gimbel (14) rolls out to pass during the Bobcats’ 52-13 win over Des Moines Roosevelt to open the football season last Friday night. Marshalltown travels to Des Moines North tonight.

The big night from the Marshalltown passing attack was good, but there still is room to grow as the Bobcats take their 1-0 record to Des Moines North (0-1) tonight.

"There were times we were real sharp and there were other times we were really sloppy. When you step back and gain a little perspective it was a pretty typical opening game, not real sharp in a lot of areas and gave us a lot to work on this week," said Marshalltown head coach Dave Holdiman.

The junior quarterback Gimbel is No. 5 on the single-game MHS passing chart behind a pair of performances by both Chanse Creekmur and Tyler Peschong (both of whom were first team all-staters during their respective careers).

Fact Box

Top Single Game Passing Yardage Totals in Marshalltown Football History

Name Yards Opponent, Year

Chanse Creekmur 441 Waukee 2008

Tyler Peschong 424 Newton 2007, playoffs

Chanse Creekmur 388 Ames 2009

Tyler Peschong 385 CB Thomas Jefferson 2007

Blake Gimbel 381 DM Roosevelt 2011

Gimbel had a run of seven straight completions in the first half as the Bobcats totalled 498 yards of total offense on the night.

The first starting varsity test goes down as an A-plus, Gimbel said, as MHS won the game.

"It's a team effort. The linemen definitely gave me all the time in the world for me to stand back there and pass. I only got brought down two times," Gimbel said.

"The receivers did everything they can to get open and I just found them."

The Bobcat receivers showed elusiveness and an ability to get open all night.

"Once you see them streaking down the field, you just know it going to be a touchdown," Gimbel said. "It's the greatest feeling in the world."

Ty Steffensen led the wideouts with his 11 catches for 166 yards and three touchdowns. Tad Steffensen finished with seven receptions for 92 yards - he also had a kickoff return score - while Brandon Pettigrew had three catches for 81 yards and a score.

"We saw a lot of good things out there, but we still left a lot of things to be desired. We want to keep doing well what we were doing well and improve in those areas where we need improvement," Holdiman said. "We're looking for a big jump this week. Most teams improve quite a bit from game one to game two. We need that type of improvement as we head down the road."

Gimbel attempted 50 passes as a back-up last year, seeing extended action against Ames, Mason City and in the playoffs against Dowling Catholic.

"I went to a few camps and I just really tried to get smarter with my decisions and smarter reading a defense," Gimbel said.

Gimbel is no stranger to the MHS sidelines as he was a ballboy for past Bobcat teams. The current Southwest Minnesota State QB Peschong was someone that Gimbel grew up watching and has stayed in contact with.

"Tyler Peschong is someone I really admired because I used to ballboy, I did it for four or five years, and just seeing him grow up as a player," Gimbel said. "I've learned a lot from him. Now for him to give me tips and pointers, that's meant the world to me."

The Bobcats have started the year 2-0 in four consecutive seasons going into tonight.

"We just have to keep pushing," Gimbel said. "Everyone has to work hard for us to get the job done."