MOUNT AYR — Back on Oct. 12, the Mount Ayr Raiders went into Ogden and, thanks to several big scoring plays, came away with a 19-7 victory to stay undefeated.
The Raiders went on to finish the regular season undefeated at 9-0, and pulled away from West Central Valley in the second half of Wednesday’s Class 1A playoff game for a 28-7 victory.
Meanwhile, Ogden finished the regular season 5-4 and traveled to Tri-Center, Neola on Wednesday. The Bulldogs pulled off a 43-34 win, earning a rematch at Mount Ayr on Monday.
Back in that first meeting, Ogden pulled out to a 7-0 lead midway through the second quarter. But, Mount Ayr answered before the end of the half on a 43-yard touchdown strike from quarterback Jacob Sobotka to Lincoln Martin.
The Raiders added two more scores from Sobotka in the second half — a 24-yard run and an 81-yard run — to pull away with the 19-7 win.
Sobotka finished with 150 rushing yards in the game to go with 81 passing yards.
“I think probably both teams feel good about the way they played that first game,” Mount Ayr co-head coach Delwyn Showalter said. “There was really just a couple of big plays that shifted the way the game was going. I don’t know that we’ll see a lot different from what we saw the first time. I think it’s going to be one of those games that field position will play a big part of it.”
And if Showalter doesn’t expect to see much different from the first meeting, then he probably expects a steady dose of Ogden senior running back Cody Good.
Good carried the ball 33 times in that first meeting, running for 136 yards. He also lined up as quarterback several times in a wildcat formation, completing 2-of-6 passes for 14 yards.
“They’ll play a little bit of wildcat,” Showalter said. “They’ll slip into a wildcat type of look, and you’re not always sure who’s going to carry the ball or who’s going to be the one to throw it. They keep you off balance that way.”
For the season, Good has 1,144 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns on 174 carries.
In the win against Tri-Center on Wednesday, Good went off for 258 yards and five touchdowns on 33 carries.
“He’s a strong runner, but he’s shifty,” Showalter said. “He really is a nice running back because I think he combines those two different styles really well. We’ve got to keep him contained, not let him get to the corner on us. I think we’ve got to have a lot of people in on the tackle. We can’t get in situations trying to bring him down one-on-one. He’ll make you miss and make you look kind of foolish.”
Junior quarterback Caleb Fry also proved to be a big threat in the Tri-Center game, completing 24-of-38 passes for 304 yards and one touchdown, spreading the ball out to five different receivers.
Monday’s game should be another good contest between two good teams. But for Showalter, the key to Mount Ayr being victorious, yet again, is simple.
“I think we need to just relax and play our style of football,” Showalter said. “I thought Wednesday night we were a little tight, and maybe worried too much about the other team. I think once we relaxed, we were able to do a lot of things, and I think that’s going to be the key for Monday night. We’ve proven we can play with anybody. If we get caught up in the fact it’s a postseason game, or we’re trying to be too perfect, I think it’s going to be difficult for us to do the things we want to do.”
Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday in Mount Ayr. The winner will take on the winner of the Council Bluffs St. Albert and Van Meter game.