WELLMAN — Hitting the highway for their longest road trip of the 2016 campaign, the Anamosa football team showed signs of jet-lag, or actually bus-lag, in their contest at Mid-Prairie Friday, Oct. 14.
“It was a long bus trip down to Wellman, and it seemed like we just never mentally got off the bus,” said Raider football coach Ryan Streets, as his team was handed a rough 49-7 setback.
“We didn’t play with emotion all night long, and you could even see it in warm-ups. I knew right away we were going to be in trouble. It almost seemed like we were going through the motions, and you aren’t going to beat anyone at this level doing that.”
On paper, the game seemed to be a contest between two very evenly matched teams.
Both Anamosa (3-5, 2-4) and Mid-Prairie boasted solid running games and both came into the contest with identical 2-3 district records.
“Coming in I really felt, if we played the way we’re capable of on both sides of the football, we could win this game,” Streets said. “We found out right away Mid-Prairie wanted this game a lot more than we did.”
It was Senior Night in Wellman and the Golden Hawks wanted to make a statement in front of their home fans for the final time.
“We sure seem to catch teams on the wrong night,” Streets said. “Mid-Prairie played with emotion all night long, and took control of the game very early.”
The Golden Hawks scored on seven of their eight offensive possessions in the game, including the first four in the first half building a commanding 27-0 advantage at the break.
“Defensively, we struggled to stop their running game all night long,” Streets said. “I was happy with the way we were able to move the football offensively, but we’d always do something to shoot ourselves in the foot that would keep us out of the end zone.”
Anamosa received the kick to open the second half, and on the opening play from scrimmage fumbled.
One play later the Golden Hawks were back in the end zone again, and led 34-0.
The Raiders answered with their lone touchdown of the game on the ensuing drive, as Michael Martensen bolted 59 yards through the Mid-Prairie defense and into the end zone.
“When things go bad early, confidence becomes a real issue for us,” Streets said. “That’s on me. We needed to come out ready to play, and we didn’t. That’s on me, too.
“This team has made some nice strides this season. I don’t want to see that all come to an end here in the final couple of weeks.”