Second-ranked Van Meter hands Hawks first loss

Bulldogs limit SH?to just 82 yards of total offense

South Hamilton receiver Cole Berg (23) is dropped by Van Meter’s Derek Golwitzer (63) and Owen Jones during Friday’s game. DFJ photo/Tracy Runneberg

VAN METER — It was a reality check, but one that plenty of other teams have faced and will face down the road.

South Hamilton isn’t alone.

Looking to pull off an improbable upset, the Hawks were pushed back onto their heels early on and they could never recover in a 42-0 whipping at the hands of second-ranked (Class 1A) Van Meter Friday night.

The Bulldogs (4-0, 2-0 District 6), who have reached the state semifinals in each of the last two seasons, picked up their 21st consecutive regular season victory by dominating at the point of attack and utilizing a balanced offense that previously unbeaten South Hamilton (3-1, 1-1 District 6) was unable to stop.

“They’ve put together a nice team,” South Hamilton head coach Corey Klemp said of Van Meter. “They’ve got the size, they’ve got the athleticism and on top of that they are very physical.”

South Hamilton linebacker Logan Klemp (20) breaks up a pass intended for Van Meter’s Jack Trudo during Friday’s Class 1A District 6 game in Van Meter. The No. 2-ranked Bulldogs won, 42-0. DFJ photo/Tracy Runneberg

Van Meter compiled 418 yards of total offense — 214 on the ground and 204 through the air. But Klemp says the Bulldogs really won the game at the line of scrimmage.

“Whether they run or throw, the difficult thing is their line play,” he said. “They’re just really good on the offensive line. But we definitely helped them look even better. We knew size-wise we wouldn’t match up, but, physically, we thought we could. But we just couldn’t.”

Van Meter pocketed three first-quarter touchdowns to build a 21-0 lead and any momentum South Hamilton had hoped to seize vanished for good.

Bulldogs’ quarterback Blake Fryar put his team in front less than five minutes into the first quarter when he beat the Hawks’ secondary deep and found JJ Durflinger on a 36-yard touchdown pass.

Durflinger was just one of seven Bulldogs to catch a pass in the contest. Fryar also rifled in a 10-yard touchdown to Owen Crawford in the second quarter and, after the intermission, hooked up with Crawford again on a 45-yard TD with 5:50 remaining in the third quarter.

Van Meter’s JJ Durflinger (20) runs under a long pass that resulted in a touchdown as South Hamilton’s Marco Balderas defends on Friday. DFJ photo/Tracy Runneberg

Fryar connected on 11 of 14 passes for 199 yards. Even backup signal caller Anthony Potthoff got in on the fun in the fourth quarter with a 5-yard touchdown toss to Kasey O’Brien.

But it wasn’t like Van Meter was pass happy.

All-state running back Carson Rhodes provided plenty of pop on the ground, as he lumbered for 137 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 17 carries. Quinn Corcoran also picked up 38 yards on six totes.

Rhodes broke free on a 39-yard touchdown run with 1:23 remaining in the first quarter, and just 52 seconds later he lunged across the goal line from two yards out to give the Bulldogs’ a three-touchdown lead.

“We just never got momentum on our side and before you knew it we were down in a deep, deep hole,” Klemp said.

DFJ photo/Tracy Runneberg

Meanwhile, South Hamilton’s offense was stuck in neutral.

Van Meter limited the Hawks to just 82 yards of total offense and forced five punts. The Bulldogs also picked off quarterback Marco Balderas once.

Fullback Grant Evans led the Hawks with 37 yards rushing on 14 carries. Logan Klemp was limited to just eight yards on six attempts.

South Hamilton played without starting running back Tanner Volkmann, who was injured in the Hawks’ Week 3 win over Manson-Northwest Webster. DJ Klonglan started in his place and gained 14 yards on five carries.

Balderas completed just 4 of 10 passes for 22 yards. Cole Berg had two of the receptions covering 18 yards.

Defensively, Evans made six tackles. Sam Lewis was in on 51⁄2 stops.

The good news for South Hamilton is that its playoff hopes weren’t drastically altered. Van Meter will be favored to roll through its district schedule unbeaten.

“Looking at the district, most people would have said Van Meter was the head and shoulders favorite,” Corey Klemp said. “So we’re still more than capable of achieving what we want to achieve.”

But the competitiveness of the district could also mean the Hawks won’t be afforded any more hiccups.

“Looking at the scores in the district, every game is going to matter,” Corey Klemp said. “We’ve really got to get our minds on what’s ahead of us.”

Van Meter 42, South Hamilton 0

Friday at Van Meter

South Hamilton 0 0 0 0 — 0

Van Meter 21 7 7 7 — 42

First Quarter

VM — JJ Durflinger 36 pass from Blake Fryar (Sam Bardwell kick), 7:25.

VM — Carson Rhodes 39 run (Bardwell kick), 1:23.

VM — Rhodes 2 run (Bardwell kick), 0:31.

Second Quarter

VM — Owen Crawford 10 pass from Fryar (Bardwell kick), 6:38.

Third Quarter

VM — Crawford 45 pass from Fryar (Bardwell kick), 5:50.

Fourth Quarter

VM — Kasey O’Brien 5 pass from Anthony Potthoff (Bardwell kick), 8:03.

Individual Statistics

Rushing — SH: Grant Evans 14-37, DJ Klonglan 5-14, Logan Klemp 6-8, Marco Balderas 1-5. VM: Carson Rhodes 17-137, Quinn Corcoran 6-38, Jackson Wilcox 5-22, Blake Fryar 8-20, Anthony Potthoff 1-(-3).

Passing — SH: Mar. Balderas 4-10-1 22. VM: Fryar 11-14-0 199, Potthoff 1-2-0 5.

Receiving — SH: Cole Berg 3-18, Klemp 1-4. VM: Sam Thompson 3-56, Owen Crawford 2-55, JJ Durflinger 1-36, JJ Richards 1-20, Cole Lauterbach 1-14, Rhodes 2-11, Jack Trudo 1-7, Kasey O’Brien 1-5.

Tackles — SH: Evans 6, Sam Lewis 51⁄2, Klemp 41⁄2, Klonglan 3, Wes Wynkoop 3, Mar. Balderas 21⁄2, Mateo Balderas 21⁄2, Cade Flaugh 11⁄2, Jeremiah Smith 11⁄2, Zeke Balderas 1, Berg 1, Brandyn Feighner 1, Jacob Kooker 1, Teagan Risetter 1, Jared Ullestad 1, Brayden Evans 1⁄2, Ryan Sporing 1⁄2, Alex Titus 1⁄2.