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Mount Ayr 41,
The Raiders entered Friday night’s contest looking for a little revenge for last year’s 29-26 loss to Riverside.
Last season, Mount Ayr gave up 29 points to the Riverside Bulldogs in the first half, while heading into halftime down 29-6. The Raiders scored 20 in the second half, but fell to the Bulldogs 29-26 in a game that coach Ryan Victor felt they could have won.
“Riverside for me has been a familiar opponent for a long time,” said coach Victor. “They are a well coached football team, Darrell Frain is a good football coach and has put together a great staff.”
Coach Victor was able to coach his team to a victory over the Bulldogs after getting a quick start in the game with a first quarter touchdown by senior wide receiver Drew Ehlen.
The Raiders faced 4th and seven and deep in Bulldog territory, quarterback Jaixen Frost found Ehlen who stiff-armed the last defender at the goal line for his first career touchdown.
Ehlen hauled in two catches for 63 yards and two touchdowns in the win who couldn’t be happier after the game.
“It’s about darn time,” said Ehlen with a laugh. “I do this all for my teammates and I’m just proud for the win. Our motto this week was it was 29-6 and coach Victor never wanted us to feel that again so we decided to do it all for this town that we love.”
The Raiders and Bulldogs traded turnovers in the first half with Frost throwing an interception and then on the Bulldog drive, they fumbled and Mount Ayr took back over.
The Raiders added cushion with Ehlen hauling in a catch at midfield that saw him bob and weave through defenders on his way to the endzone before the Riverside Bulldogs finally got on the board to trail Mount Ayr 14-8.
“Drew is a grinder, he’s a great kid and works hard. He does a lot of little things that people don’t see. He’s a good tackler at corner. He may give up plays but he never gives up,” said coach Victor. “He comes to practice every single day, he has a good attitude. I am super happy for him and he deserves it. Those were curl routes, so he wasn’t going deep, he was able to make plays off short yardage pass plays and his teammates blocked for him. That also shows you that we aren’t a one man band.”
The Raiders answered back off the legs of senior running back Braydon Pierson who had just come off a big game against the Cardinals with 234 yards on 28 carries.
Pierson saw a slightly less workload this week than in week two, but still managed a respectable 14 carries for 112 yards and three touchdowns.
“Preparing this week was a lot of taking care of my body, but still going hard in practice but icing and stuff to take care of my body,” said Pierson. “This felt good, I love doing this and football is my love.”
Mount Ayr led 21-8 at halftime.
Riverside received the ball to start the second-half and made the most of it, scoring a touchdown after a nice catch in the endzone and following point after put the Bulldogs within six.
The Raider defense continued to be a wall after the score and didn’t allow any more points to the Bulldogs.
The Raider offense knew what was at stake and pounded the ball down the field and scored on a two-yard carry before adding two more touchdowns in the contest, taking a 41-15 victory over the Bulldogs.
The Raiders outpaced the Bulldogs 335 yards to 211 yards with the majority of the Raiders yards coming from the ground, rushing 174 yards and throwing 161 yards.
The Bulldogs went backwards on the ground, rushing for negative two yards and passing for 213.
“It feels amazing and I’m glad we got to play them on our home turf.” said Pierson about the win.
Coach Victor was all smiles after the game and was happy to beat an old foe of his from his time at Missouri Valley.
“Any win is a good win,” said coach Victor. “The fact that we were able to separate ourselves in the second-half that felt good. I feel like with Riverside no lead is a sure lead.”
The game was hard-fought that saw frustration throughout the Riverside team which produced a few flags.
Mount Ayr saw seven flags go towards them, penalizing them 45 yards, while Riverside caught eight flags for 66.5 yards.
“One of the things we talk about all the time is being tough, both physically and mentally but we also talk about being the standard,” said coach Victor. “That’s not just on the field but in character. In football games emotions are high and people talk to each other. I understand that as a coach and as a former player but we have to reiterate that isn’t who we are. Was there chatter from both sides, absolutely, I’m not saying our kids are innocent either, but I think our kids saw that there was a point in time it might get out of hand and that we were on top. We are going to make sure we can represent our community, our school and our families to the utmost of our abilities.”
The win gives Mount Ayr a 1-0 record against the district, while Riverside drops to 0-2 in the district after falling to St. Albert a week prior.
It was helped by a few different formations that the Raiders put out on the field, such as the wildcat, the first time it has been seen by the Raiders this season.
“We have to mix some things up too and that’s the fun part of being the offensive coordinator and having guys,” said coach Victor. “We can kind of play around. Jaydon Knight is probably one of our top two football players and we would be foolish to not try to get him the ball. We figured that would be one of the ways. We didn’t get big plays but we got a few first downs and some yards here and there and now have something on film that coaches are going to have to prepare for.”
Another point coach Victor wanted to make was the field goal game has improved tremendously over how things went week one against Nodaway Valley.
Jaixen Frost was five-for-six on points-after-touchdowns, showing he has worked to be the best kicker he can be.
“It showed you how that kid grinds and how he’s not going to settle for something sub-par,” said coach Victor. “He’s challenged by a lot of guys, I can’t believe how many guys want to be kicker on our team, but he doesn’t like being not very good at something and he knows how important those points can be.”
1 2 3 4 F
RIV 0 8 7 0 15
MA 7 14 14 6 41
7:59 – MA – Frost to Ehlen 24-yd pass. PAT good.
7:02 – MA – Frost to Ehlen 39-yd pass. PAT good.
5:37 – RIV – Jeppesen to Rieken 41-yd pass. 2pt good.
1:39 – MA – Pierson 6-yd rush. PAT good.
Jeppesen to Bell 7-yd pass. PAT good.
4:14 – MA – Pierson 2-yd rush. PAT good.
0:16 – MA – Pierson 2-yd rush. Pat good.
11:04 – MA – Tate Dugan fumble recovery in endzone. PAT no good.
1st Downs MA RIV
Total 18 9
Rushing 11 0
Passing 6 7
Penalty 1 2
Attempts 35 23
Gained 188 40
Lost 14 42
Net 174 -2
Completions 12 13
Attempts 25 26
Percentage 48 50
Intercepted 1 1
Net 161 213
Total Offense 335 211
Punts 3 3
Average 36 25
Punt Return 0 14
Kickoff 14 92
Int. Returns 0 2
Fumble Ret. 0 0
Fumbles 0 0
Fumbles lost 0 3
Penalties 7 8
Yards lost 45 66.5
Comp Att Yds
Frost 12 23 161
Ehlen 0 1 0
Knight 0 1 0
Att. Gain Avg
Pierson 14 112 8
Martin 6 18 3
Frost 6 19 3.2
Dugan 6 20 3.3
Swank 1 1 1
Knight 2 4 2
Rec Yds Avg
Ehlen 2 63 31.5
Stark 1 7 7
Pierson 3 32 10.7
Knight 4 49 12.3
Main 2 10 5
S A Loss
Ehlen 2 2 0
Fooken 1 2 0
Stark 1 0 0
Pierson 2 0 0
Martin 4 0 0
Frost 1 1 0
K.Dugan 2 0 0
T.Dugan 0 0 0
Knight 4 2 0
Fleharty 3 0 0
Yoder 0 1 0
Larson 3 0 0
Dredge 1 1 1
Barnes 3 4 0
Knox 1 0 0
Main 0 1 0
Knight 7 295
Pierson 3 108
Fleharty 2 14
Pierson 1 0