Spencer Zinn might have rushed for 121 yards and four touchdowns, but the Western Dubuque football team only needed one of those touchdowns as the defense kept the Marion wolves off the scoreboard in a 41-0 victory at Marion, Sept. 24.
“I was really happy with how the defense played and proud that they bounced back so well after allowing 35 points against Hempstead last week. They took a big step forward,” said Justin Penner, head coach. “All these kids are starting to get it. They have had several weeks of really good practices and they are getting a feel for us playing fast. They are all buying into the system and to what we are trying to accomplish on the football field.”
Playing at a quick pace has been the key to the Bobcats’ turnaround after starting 0-2. They are riding high on a three-game winning streak as they improved to 3-2 for the season and are 1-0 in Class 4A District 2 play. During that three-game stretch, the Bobcats have outscored their opponents 127-45.
The Bobcats’ most recent game was the first time this season that they have dominated on both sides of the football. The offensive line and Zinn helped Western Dubuque take a quick 7-0 lead and Dominic Frost’s first interception of the game gave the Bobcats a short field that Zinn cashed in for another touchdown run. The extra point was no good, but the Bobcats still held a 13-0 lead with 7:20 left in the first quarter.
After another defensive stop, quarterback Jack Clemens led his team on another scoring drive capped by Zinn’s third rushing touchdown of the game.
Clemens began to mix things up with the run and the pass as the Bobcats focused on getting other players involved. Clemens started to find Nick Bryant and that loosened things up even more for the running game. Western Dubuque marched down the field and scored its fourth touchdown of the game, this one on an eight-yard run by Grant Glausser. Caden Abresh’s kick for the extra point was good as the visitors held a 27-0 lead with just over nine minutes to play before halftime.
The next time the Bobcats were in the red zone, they turned to the air as Clemens hooked up with his favorite target, Andrew Oltmanns, for a 17-yard catch and a 34-0 lead heading into halftime.
“Jack has made big strides the past few weeks and is doing a great job running this offense,” said Penner about his senior signal-caller. “He is a very good decision-maker and that is exactly what is needed to run our uptempo offense. He also has a very accurate arm which helps me sleep better at night.”
Even though Clemens had another solid night throwing the football, completing nine-of-14 for 267 yards and one touchdown, it was the Bobcats’ running game that really controlled this game. Zinn reappeared in the third quarter when he plowed into the end zone on a one-yard touchdown run that gave Western Dubuque a 41-0 lead and started the continuous running clock with 8:20 left in the third.
Next up for the Bobcats are the Decorah Vikings (3-2) who will come to Epworth Oct. 1 with kick-off scheduled at 7:30 p.m. Both teams are tied for the top of Class 4A District 2 at 1-0.
WD’s leaders were: passing — Clemens 9-of-14, 267 yards, one TD; rushing — Zinn 18-for-121 yards and four TDs, Grant Glausser 8-for-55 and a TD, Kaleb Reed 6-for-13 and Clemens 1-for-4; receiving — Bryant 6-for-164 yards, Oltmanns 1-for-17 and a TD, Daviyon Gaston 1-for-67, Caleb Klein 1-for-19; extra points — Abresch 5-for-6; punting — Tanner Nauman 2-for-57 yards; interceptions — Frost 2-for-40 yards, Glausser 1-for-9; tackles – Grayson Gardner five, Nauman 3.5, Eric Deutmeyer and Frost three, Ryker Staudenmaier, Glausser, Nevin Pins and Max Klein 2.5, Ian Fagan and Lucas Ingles two, Oltmanns, Caleb Klein, Dakota Hoffman and Evan Surface 1.5, Connor Maiers, Zach Gehl, Carson Burger, Anthony Mallers, Chase Boulting, Mitchell Gudenkauf, Conner Krogman and Steven Theisen one, Bryn Vantiger, Ryan Klostermann and Zayden Steven 0.5.