ANAMOSA - Playing probably their toughest opponent since week two at Iowa City Regina, Anamosa football coach Lucas Stanton knew his team was in for an extremely tough test hosting class 2A fifth-ranked Waterloo Columbus Friday, Oct. 4.
He was proven to be exactly right.
“We did like our game plan going into the game and we started off well on defense forcing them to punt a few times,” said Stanton, as his team forced the Sailors to punt on their first two possessions before the Waterloo Columbus offense came to life scoring touchdowns on four of their next five possessions keying a 42-0 victory over the Raiders.
“Unfortunately, we stalled out on offense a couple times and couldn’t produce points or get field position flipped. I thought we actually played well in the first and third quarters though, but really the game came down to turnover margin and time of possession. We were minus-2 in turnover margin and they scored off of two of the three that we had in the game. When we forced a fumble and had great field position, we gave the ball right back to them. That was a big momentum swing.”
Anamosa (0-6, 0-2) trailed 14-0 at the first quarter horn and 28-0 at the break as Ben Sinnott hauled in a 14-yard scoring toss from Waterloo Columbus quarterback Carter Gallagher to get the scoring started.
Kobe Nobis extended the advantage in the first quarter with a long 42-yard run and the visitors led 14-0.
“Defensively, we were able to force them out of their base stuff, but unfortunately when they went to their spread offense, which was similar to Beckman’s, we had some alignment and assignment issues getting out of the fronts we were using to stop their heavy stuff,” Stanton said. “We have to be able to get in and out of those on defense and I take the blame for not having us ready to do that.
“The rushing yards they had they had out of their ‘other’ stuff.”
Waterloo Columbus finished with 433 yards of total offense in the game while 353 of those game on the ground with a punishing rushing attack.
“We were down 28-0 at the half, but it felt like the game was a lot closer than that,” Stanton said. “We gave up a cheap one toward the end of the half. Again, Columbus is ranked fifth-in the state for a reason, and at times we played them and had them pressing a bit, but the difference right now is that they capitalized on our mistakes and we didn’t on theirs.
“Ranked opponents just take advantage of those extra opportunities, and thrive.”
The Raider offense did manage some successful drives against an extremely talented Sailor defense, even producing an 18-play, 71-yard drive that ended on downs deep in Waterloo Columbus territory.
“This probably sounds like a broken record here, but it’s about sustaining our drives more and doing more with the opportunities we have,” Stanton said. “Obviously, taking care of the ball had to be No. 1, and having positive plays on first down.
“Again, we have been pretty good from the 30-to-30 yard-line, and we have bright spots and bright moments, but it’s just not consistent yet.”
The Anamosa offense was held to seven drives of three plays or less, including the first three of the game, one of which ended with an interception. An eight-play drive in the second quarter resulted in a fumble that set up another Sailor score.
The Raiders finished with 217 yards of total offense, and were led by Grahm Humpal who completed 17-of-32 passes for an impressive 193 yards. Seth Schoon was Humpal’s main target as the two hooked up seven times for 96 yards while Trae Klatt tallied five receptions for 49 yards.
“They ran 59 plays to our 56 on offense,” Stanton said. “But they had the ball for 30-minutes to out 10. We had too many quick 3-and-outs and on defense we had chances to get off the field on third and mediums and shorts and didn’t get the job done.”
Levi Ehresman led the Anamosa defense coming up with 12 tackles while Colton Borst and Connor Andresen added six more each.
“We’re ready to move on to Monticello now,” Stanton said. “What better way to turn our season around by bringing the Cowbell back to Anamosa.”