In their toughest test of the season to date, second-ranked Pella went to Mount Pleasant in a battle of the top two undefeated teams in the district and used a big second half to earn a 21-6 win and gain control of Class 3A District seven.
The first half was a defensive battle on both sides and despite some impressive drives, Pella was unable to finish and find the end zone. Meanwhile the Little Dutch defense shut down the Panthers until late in the first half when a little luck on Mount Pleasant’s side led to their first score. A deep pass that was almost intercepted got tipped straight up in the air and eventually into the hands of a Panther receiver at Pella’s 35 yard line, the Panthers then drove to Pella’s 11 yard line and settled for a 28 yard field goal with :59 remaining in the first half and held a 3-0 halftime lead.
After Pella was forced to punt on the opening possession of the second half Mount Pleasant put together another impressive drive all the way to the Pella 16 yard line. A third down pass near the goal line appeared to be intercepted by Spencer Boeyink to end the drive, however it was ruled that his foot came down out of bounds and Mount Pleasant maintained possession. The Panthers then extended their lead to 6-0 on the next play on a 33 yard field goal with 5:51 remaining in the third quarter.
Pella fired right back catching Mount Pleasant off guard on the first play of the ensuing drive when Spencer Boeyink connected with Josh Pringle on a 51 yard halfback pass to the Panthers 18 yard line which eventually led to Pella’s first score, a two yard pass from Teag Klyn to Grant Gustaffson that put Pella ahead 7-6 with 4:06 remaining in the third quarter. The Little Dutch added two more scores in the fourth quarter, a three yard run by Sam Davis and an impressive 48 yard connection from Klyn to Travis Ewing. Coach Jay Mckinstrey credited his defense for bending but not breaking, adding that the halfback pass that set up their first score was a big difference-maker. He said that’s something they’ve been working on and they needed a big play that would swing momentum their way and they thought it would be open with the defense Mt Pleasant was showing and the kids executed it perfectly.
Pella finished with 387 yards, 296 of which came in the second half. Spencer Boeyink led the rushing attack with 10 carries for 92 yards, Teag Klyn completed seven of 16 passes for 121 yards and two touchdowns, Josh Pringle was the leading receiver with three catches for 73 yards. Pella improved to 6-0 and 4-0 in district play and travels to Keokuk next Friday night.