Keokuk ended Pella’s five game streak of not allowing a touchdown when Elliot Vandenberg scored on a three yard run with under a minute to go in the first quarter, but that’s all they would get as Pella pulled away for a 48-7 win to improve to 7-0 on the season and maintain their lead in Class 3A District seven.
Early on it was a battle as Pella scored on a 15 yard pass from Teag Klyn to Ryan Lanke with 7:30 remaining in the first quarter. Keokuk then tied it on Vandenberg’s run and that’s the way the first quarter ended. Pella regained the advantage with 6:26 to play in the first half when Klyn connected with Josh Pringle from 13 yards out. On the ensuing kickoff, a strange, but game changing play worked to Pella’s favor, as the Little Dutch simply tried to squib it down the field to avoid a big return, but the ball bounced off a Keokuk player back to Pella and the Dutch offense was right back on the field and scored three minutes later on a 23 yard run by Spencer Boeyink putting Pella in control with a 20-7 halftime lead.
Coach Jay Mckinstrey said they talked at halftime about coming out strong in the second half and really putting the game out of reach, and the guys responded scoring three times in the third quarter on a 25 yard run by Boeyink, a 33 yard pass to Pringle, and a 15 yard interception return by Jace Versteeg putting Pella comfortably ahead 41-7. The Little Dutch second team offense added one final score with 8:48 to go in the game when backup quarterback Josh DeWaard scored on a three yard run.
The Pella defense, who led the state allowing an average of just 3.3 points per game coming in, again was stellar holding Keokuk to 169 total yards, including just 38 yards rushing for Vandenberg, and held the Chiefs top receiver to one catch late in the game. Meanwhile the Little Dutch racked up 449 yards, including 298 on the ground, despite not having a single running back over 100 yards. Boeyink led the rush attack with 92 yards on 10 carries with two touchdowns, Alan Pfadenhauer carried seven times for 66 yards, Teag Klyn added nine carries for 60 yards and Sam Davis gained 52 yards on nine carries. Klyn was impressive throwing the ball completing 10 of 12 passes for 138 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions, while Josh Pringle led the receiving core with two catches, both touchdowns, for 46 yards , Ryan Lanke caught three for 44 yards and Travis Ewing snagged three passes for 38 yards.
With the win, Pella also secured no worse than a top three finish in the district and can clinch the district title with a win at home next week over Fairfield.
On a side note, with Solon beating top ranked Williamsburg last night, it’s likely Pella, who was ranked second in last week’s AP poll will be the top ranked team in that poll this week.
In other 3A District seven action last night, Fairfield blanked Centerville 53-0, Mount Pleasant beat Chariton 32-15, and Oskaloosa pounded Fort Madison 62-26. Heading into next week’s games, Pella, Mount Pleasant and Oskaloosa have all secured top three finishes in the district and playoff berths, while the fourth spot is up for grabs between Fairfield and Fort Madison. There are a few key games remaining as Pella hosts Fairfield next week, then heads to Fort Madison for the regular season finale, and Oskaloosa will host Mount Pleasant in the final regular season game in two weeks .