116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
MARION — The stats for Western Dubuque’s Spencer Zinn were impressive.
The Bobcat senior tailback tallied four touchdowns for the second straight game and rushed for 124 yards on 16 carries in Friday night’s 41-0 triumph over Marion in the Class 4A District 2 opener for both teams at Thomas Park.
That didn’t stop Western Dubuque quarterback Jack Clemens from giving his teammate a little dig after the game.
“We gave him a little bit of a hard time because he stole two of our receivers’ touchdowns,” Clemens said with a smile on his face. “They got tripped up just short of the goal line but it is what it is.”
Zinn had the table set twice on long completions from Clemens to Daviyon Gaston for 67 yards and another of 66 yards to Nick Bryant.
“I’m going to thank (the receivers), that’s for sure,” Zinn said.
After starting the season 0-2, the Bobcats have found their rhythm over the last three games. They won a tough battle against Iowa City Liberty before hanging 65 points on Dubuque Hempstead last week.
Much of the credit for the turnaround belongs to Clemens. The senior quarterback connected on 9-of-14 passes for 283 yards and a touchdown in just a little over one half of action.
“I’m really proud of him,” said Western Dubuque Coach Justin Penner. “He’s growing an awful lot in each game and his completion percentage continues to go up as his decision-making becomes better and better.”
Six of Clemens’ nine completions went to Bryant. After not playing football the past two seasons, Bryant, a standout basketball player, elected to play in 2021. He had 161 receiving yards and made three tough catches with Marion defenders challenging him.
“I think Nick has really come into his own,” Penner said. “We know what he can do on the basketball court and not having played the last two seasons, he’s come on and developed into a really top-flight receiver.
“That allows us to distribute the ball a little bit more. That forces teams to play more base coverages because we can be effective with both the run and pass.”
Marion (1-4, 0-1) had its moments. The Wolves drove inside the 20 twice, and reached the Bobcat 2 before turning it over on downs.
“We don’t look at the yards, we look at the results,” Penner said. “Marion did a good job of moving the ball at times, but we were able to make some big plays to keep them off the board.”
Marion quarterback Alex Mota completed 6-of-20 passes for 125 yards, but was intercepted three times. He also rushed for a team-high 62 yards.