Prep Football

Iowa high school football rewind: MFL MarMac out to prove it's more than a 1-hit wonder

Bulldogs now 2-0 after beating Alburnett, meet No. 4 Wapsie Valley next

MFL Mar-Mac's Cullen McShane (5) rushes to the end zone for a touchdown in the fourth quarter at a high school football
MFL Mar-Mac's Cullen McShane (5) rushes to the end zone for a touchdown in the fourth quarter at a high school football game with Edgewood Colesburg at MFL Marmac High School in Monona on Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. MFL Mar-Mac won the game, 28-23. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

MFL MarMac heard the naysayers.

The questions about whether they could continue last season’s success have provided a little power to the Bulldogs’ engines.

“Our camp shirts say, ‘Fueled by Doubters’ and we have a gas tank with the gauge on full,” MFL MarMac Coach Dan Anderson said. “There are a lot of people that said we lost a lot of guys, didn’t expect much from us and that really fired up some of our kids that played last year.”

The Bulldogs have posted consecutive decisive victories for a 2-0 start with a Week 3 contest against Class A fourth-ranked Wapsie Valley up next. MFL MarMac has totaled 100 points through two games, including a 35-13 triumph Friday night at Alburnett.

“We had a lot of guys that weren’t starters that played almost as much as our starters,” Anderson said. “They got a lot of quality reps. They helped contribute to those wins.

“The teams we’ve had before us the last couple teams really built a sturdy foundation for these young guys. They expect to win. It doesn’t matter who they play.”

The Bulldogs were stocked with quality skill players, but were without a single starter on the offensive line when the lone returner moved away before the start of the season. They have risen to the challenge, rushing for four scores against the Pirates.

“We knew we were going to be young and all of a sudden we’re even younger,” Anderson said. “We have 100 percent new faces across the (offensive) line. We had some challenges these first couple weeks to put together a solid offensive line and we’re working them hard.”

Gabe McGeough leads the way with 173 rushing yards and Cullen McShane is right behind with 153. McShane and sophomore Karter Decker are tied with a team-high three TDs on the ground. Max Havlicek, who has transitioned from wide receiver back to his normal QB role, has thrown for 192 yards and two scores.

“Our skill positions are really strong,” Anderson said. “We have lots of good skill guys.”

MFL MarMac has had a boost from the special teams, scoring three TDs in the first two games. In the opener, McShane’s blocked punt and scoop-and-score and Decker’s 68-yard punt return for a score gave the Bulldogs a 13-0 lead before the offense took a snap in a 65-28 victory over Maquoketa Valley.

Decker added a 75-yard kick return TD against Alburnett.

“Our special teams are the best I’ve ever seen,” Anderson said. “Our guys understand we don’t have the 230- to 240-pound experienced kids up front. We have to win in different ways and we’ve been doing that.”

Wapsie Valley (2-0) will be a tough test. The Warriors beat East Buchanan, 33-8, on Friday and trounced Denver in the opener.

“This is a big one,” Anderson said. “I anticipate a really good football game. Very competitive and hard-hitting ... I think everybody will get their money’s worth.”

Eddie Burgess busts out for 10 TDs

Montezuma’s Eddie Burgess had a hand in all 10 of the team’s touchdowns in a 73-32 rout over Winfield-Mount Union on Friday at home. The junior quarterback passed for five scores, rushed for four more and added a 65-yard kick return for a TD.

Burgess finished 19 of 24 with 375 passing yards without an interception. He rushed for 91 yards on 10 carries. Burgess even contributed on defense with two tackles for loss.

The Braves are 2-0 this season. Burgess has passed for 682 yards with eight TDs and rushed for 200 and seven scores. Montezuma travels to New London for Week 3.

Jahsiah Galvan posts another best

West Liberty’s Jahsiah Galvan recorded a second straight personal best in the Comets’ 20-7 victory at West Branch Friday.

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Galvan rushed for 272 yards, surpassing his opening week total of 244 in a 24-14 win over Mediapolis. He has 516 yards overall on the ground this season.

Comments: (319) 368-8679; kj.pilcher@thegazette.com

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