PANORA — Mount Ayr seems to have gotten back to “Raider football” the past two weeks.
The Raiders demonstrated their power game in a 30-7 win over the two-seed from Class 1A District 8 here Wednesday in the first round of the Class 1A playoffs.
“I thought we played a very physical game,” Mount Ayr co-head coach Delwyn Showalter said. “We got stronger as the game went on. We did a nice job of taking advantage of some opportunities. We created some opportunities and then took advantage of them.”
The Raiders started the game with a three-and-out, but Panorama muffed the punt and Kyle Dolecheck recovered for the Raiders on the Panorama 26-yard line.
After a fumbled snap, Jacob Sobotka hit Jacob Taylor on a quick slant for 24 yards, setting up a Sobotka 2-yard touchdown run.
Panorama’s ensuing drive ended quickly as Dolecheck made a highlight-reel one-handed interception.
But the Mount Ayr drive stalled out and Casey Paxton’s punt was returned 91 yards for a touchdown by Gabe Richey.
That would be the final highlight of the game for the Panthers, though.
Mount Ayr outscored Panorama 23-0 from that point on. The Raiders scored on two safeties, touchdown runs by Riley Weehler and Sobotka, and a touchdown pass from Sobotka to Dolecheck.
It was Mount Ayr’s power running game between the tackles that gave Panorama’s defense fits. Mount Ayr finished with 194 rushing yards on 50 carries, led by Sobotka’s 132 yards.
“Our guys have really bought into being a power football team right now,” Mount Ayr co-head coach Derek Lambert said. “Even though we’ve got all this athleticism and speed, we’ve still got size and strength as well. And we were able to show that tonight. We were able to handle the line of scrimmage well on both sides of the ball.”
The Raider defense played stout all night long, holding Panorama to just 59 total yards of offense — including only 1 yard rushing.
The Panthers entered Wednesday’s contest averaging 232 rushing yards per game. Mount Ayr also forced six turnovers.
Weehler led the defense with eight total tackles, including two tackles for loss. He also recovered a fumble. Defensive lineman Mason Mercer finished with six total tackles, including three sacks.
“Riley, I thought he did an outstanding job, and our whole defense did an outstanding job,” Showalter said. “We rotated people on our defensive line, they did a nice job. I thought our guys communicated really well and worked together well tonight.”
With the win, Mount Ayr improved to 8-2 for the season, while Panorama finishes its season at 7-3.
The win also gives the Raiders a rematch with District 8 top seed Van Meter, which defeated Mount Ayr 14-0 on Oct. 4.
“We’re excited about the opportunity to play them again,” Showalter said. “We left the field up there that night, that was the thing we said, we wanted to get another shot at them.”
“We’re going to be the road warriors now,” Lambert said. “We’re going to be on the road quite a bit now. That’s what we’ve got to buy in to. We’re going to go to Van Meter and give them everything we’ve got.”
Mount Ayr travels to Van Meter on Monday. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Mount Ayr 30, Panorama 7
MA 9 15 6 0 - 30
Pan 7 0 0 0 - 7
MA — Jacob Sobotka 2 run (Zach Vanderflught kick), 9:39
P — Gabe Richey 91 punt return (Kick successful), 6:36
MA — Gavin Richey sacked by Caleb Schnoor for safety, 4:38
MA — Kyle Dolecheck 14 pass from Sobotka (2-pt. failed), 5:48
MA — Riley Weehler 1 run (Vanderflught kick), 1:30
MA — Safety, :46
MA — Sobotka 4 run (Kick failed), 5:28
Rushing: MA - Jacob Sobotka 28-132, Erik Freed 8-16, Riley Weehler 5-15, Grant Staats 5-14, Cody Stackhouse 2-12, Caleb Schnoor 2-5. P - Alex Llanes 10-27, Chase Hennen 4-14, Luke Webner 2-1, Gavin Richey 14-(-41).
Passing: MA - Jacob Sobotka 3-14-0 for 42 yards. P - Gavin Richey 7-19-3 for 52 yards, Chase Hennen 1-1-0 for 6 yards.
Receiving: MA - Jacob Taylor 1-24, Kyle Dolecheck 1-14, Erik Freed 1-4. P - Alex Llanes 4-23, Luke Webner 3-30, Chase Hennen 1-5.
Tackles (solo-assists): MA - Riley Weehler 5-3, Caleb Schnoor 2-5, Mason Mercer 1-5, Kyle Dolecheck 5-0, Cody Stackhouse 2-2, Joe Ricker 1-3, Jake Ricker 1-2, Casey Paxson 0-2, Grant Staats 0-2.
Sacks: MA - Mason Mercer 3, Caleb Schnoor 1, Jake Ricker 1.
Fumble recoveries: MA - Kyle Dolecheck 1, Riley Weehler 1, Ryan Parrott 1.
Interceptions: MA - Kyle Dolecheck 1, Cody Stackhouse 1, Erik Freed 1.