The fastest on grass show started with a defensive score and then the offensive onslaught followed.
Marshalltown overpowered Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln 55-10 on Wednesday in the first round of the Class 4A state football playoffs at Leonard Cole Field.
The 'fastest pass on grass' offensive attack of the Bobcats - as senior Ty Steffensen called it after the game - saw quarterback Blake Gimbel set the Iowa high school single-season passing yardage record. Running back Dominick Osborne finished with three touchdowns, while Austin Hauser and Steffensen both had two scores.
T-R PHOTO BY MARK PAWLAK
Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln defenders Dylan Garner (22) and Tyler Woolsoncroft (10) try unsuccessfully to bring down Marshalltown running back Dominick Osborne (13) during Wednesday’s Class 4A playoff football game at Leonard Cole Field.
T-R PHOTO BY MARK PAWLAK
Marshalltown quarterback Blake Gimbel looks downfield before passing, which he did to the tune of 338 yards and five touchdowns in the Bobcats’ 55-10 victory.
T-R PHOTO BY MARK PAWLAK
Marshalltown wide receiver Austin Hauser, right, prepares to take on Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln defender Cleo Harris after making a catch during Wednesday’s Class 4A playoff opener.
"We just came out on fire. We had a great week of practice," Gimbel said. "We were excited it being a playoff game at home and we were ready and came out great."
West No. 6-seed Marshalltown (8-2) advances to the second round where the Bobcats will travel to Southeast Polk (9-1) on Monday. The No. 3-seed Rams downed Sioux City North 67-7 in the first round. No. 11-seed Abraham Lincoln ends the season with a 5-5 mark.
Marshalltown's defense created six turnovers on the night - four fumble recoveries and two interceptions. The first drive of the night for the Lynx saw Bobcat safety Bennett Mann pick off a pass and return it for a 61-yard score.
Marshalltown 55, Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln 10
CBAL 0 10 0 0 - 10
MHS 21 13 21 0 - 55
MHS - B. Mann 61 interception return (Gimbel kick), 9:43.
MHS - Ty Steffensen 33 pass from Gimbel (Gimbel kick), 6:47.
MHS - Osborne 20 pass from Gimbel (Gimbel kick), 4:56.
CBAL - Harris 2 run (Mohr kick), 5:51.
MHS - Osborne 47 run (kick failed), 4:46.
MHS - Hauser 31 pass from Gimbel (Gimbel kick), 3:59.
CBAL - FG Mohr 27, :02.
MHS - Osborne 3 run (Gimbel kick), 9:57.
MHS - Ty Steffensen 30 pass from Gimbel (Gimbel kick), 7:25.
MHS - Hauser 13 pass from Gimbel (Gimbel kick), 3:27.
The MHS offense then took its turn, converting four of its five first-half possessions into touchdowns to gain a 34-10 halftime advantage.
"Bennett's play was a big play. His work in track has really helped his speed, you can see that," said Marshalltown head coach Dave Holdiman. "I don't know if he could have outrunned those guys a year ago. That got us off and the offense took over and got some separation right away."
The junior Gimbel finished the night 22-for-29 passing for 338 yards and five touchdowns. Gimbel's final pass of the night, a 13-yard scoring strike to Hauser with 3:27 remaining in the third quarter, moved his season yardage total to 3,734 to break the Iowa high school record.
"My name gets on paper but what it really means is a team effort," Gimbel said. "We've all come together all season, done our jobs and it stands for the team."
The previous mark was 3,729 yards by James Vandenberg of Keokuk in 2007 over the course of 13 games. Gimbel needed only 10 games to pass the current University of Iowa quarterback.
"I'm a big Iowa fan, big Vandenberg fan," Gimbel said. "It's cool to see him out there on Saturday and knowing I'm up there on that level competing."
Wednesday marked the third five-touchdown game of the season for Gimbel.
"Blake made some really good throws," Holdiman said. "What I liked is he threw the ball on time especially with the deep throws. That's critical on deep throws, you can't hold the ball or the safeties recover and make a play on the ball."
"He saw the opportunity tonight, got it out on time and the result is a big play and a score," Holdiman added.
Osborne rushed for 115 yards on 10 carries and had touchdowns of 47 and 3 yards. He also had six receptions and a 20-yard scoring catch.
Hauser finished with a game-high 114 receiving yards on four catches and had touchdown catches of 31 and 13 yards. Tad Steffensen had six catches, while Ty Steffensen had five receptions for 91 yards and two TDs (33 and 30). Ty Steffensen came into the night tied and is now the sole owner of the school and Class 4A single-season reception mark (90).
The Bobcat defense was led by Kyle Carnahan's 12 total tackles. The school's career tackle leader had nine solo and three assisted stops.
Bryer Mason, Brock Pappas, Colton Fuller and Kluver each had a fumble recovery, while Jordan Dean forced two fumbles. Zach Moore joined Mann as having an interception as Marshalltown had a plus-six turnover differential.
"Turnovers kept (Abraham Lincoln) at bay the course of the game and we were able to capitalize on most of them," Holdiman said.
Two of the Lynx' biggest gains of the night turned into positives for the Bobcats. Dean forced running back Cleo Harris to fumble at midfield in the third quarter, while Dean took the ball away from Alex Barret later in the quarter after a 49-yard reception.
Southeast Polk is third in the final Associated Press Class 4A rankings and it won a share of the CIML Central championship.