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High-scoring Bobcats are striking quick

Marshalltown has scored 112 points through two games in 2011

September 1, 2011
By MARK PAWLAK - Assistant Sports Editor (mpawlak@timesrepublican.com) , Times-Republican

Score a lot and score fast.

Marshalltown amassed 52 points against Des Moines Roosevelt in Week Zero of the high school football season.

The Bobcats then put 60 points on Des Moines North last Friday.

Article Photos

T-R FILE PHOTO
Marshalltown junior wide receiver Tad Steffensen runs after making a catch during the Bobcats’ season-opening victory over Des Moines Roosevelt on Aug. 19. Marshalltown has scored a combined 112 points in winning the first two games of the year.

Points are coming in bunches for Marshalltown (2-0) as it prepares for Friday's matchup at Johnston (2-0).

One of the most impressive parts of the Bobcats' 112-point two-week scoring bonanza has been how quickly they've done it.

Marshalltown has eight scoring drives of less than 1 minute. The Bobcats had a scoring drive of 5 seconds at North. Additionally, MHS has another three scoring drives that spanned over a minute, but less than 2 minutes.

Fact Box

Marshalltown (2-0) at Johnston (2-0)

Friday, 7:30 p.m

"We want to play quick tempo," said Marshalltown head coach Dave Holdiman. "Whatever it takes to get it there, if it's two plays or it's 15 plays, we're going to keep playing up-tempo and trying to put pressure on the defense.

"The idea is the pace of the game is such that people not accustomed to that pace wear down."

The Bobcats' point total is already ahead of several season totals in program history. The 112 points are the third-most in MHS history over a two-game span.

The scary part for how good the Bobcats can be? Marshalltown was better offensively from game one to game two.

"We were a lot more consistent both running the ball and throwing and catching," Holdiman said. "We were able to put drives together and some of them were just two-, three-play drives.

"This team has a lot of big-play potential."

The last time MHS has scored more points over a two-game span? 1923.

The Bobcats had a total of 135 points in its 2-0 start to the 1923 season - 89-0 against Belle Plaine and 46-0 against Eldora Industrial School.

Speeding up the already fast tempo is something the MHS offense is trying to do.

"I think we're settling in to it and we can get better at it," Holdiman said. "We can improve our tempo and obviously we're going to look to do that and we're going to have to play very, very well this Friday."

Junior quarterback Blake Gimbel has passed for nine touchdowns already this season. Wide receiver Ty Steffensen has 13 receptions with five going for scores.

The big-play offense has been lent a big hand by the special teams and defense.

Marshalltown has created six turnovers, blocked three punts, scored two safeties and returned a kickoff for a touchdown in 2011.

"We executed quite well on offense (against North), same thing on defense. The defense had three blocked kicks and two safeties," Holdiman said.

"That's about as complete a ballgame from a statistical standpoint as you're going to find," he added.

Johnston is 2-0 after defeating Ottumwa (45-20) and Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln (28-0).

Dragon running back Marcus Montgomery rushed for 115 yards and two scores in last week's win at Abraham Lincoln. Quarterback Michael Kinning threw two touchdowns to Connor Yocum.

"They have some weapons offensively that really put some pressure on you," Holdiman said. "They will be a handful."

Montgomery also had a 100-yard, three-TD game against Ottumwa.

"He's a very physical runner. He'll drop his pads and break tackles," Holdiman said. "We have to be good at gang tackling and try to limit the yards after contact because he's good at that."