Pella delivers early season wake-up call
The scene was all too familiar for Washington and Pella, a low-scoring game with little offense, and in the end another late touchdown by the Dutch decided it.
In last year’s meeting Pella came out a winner in overtime, 16-10.
The running attack for the Demons stalled the entire night with 15 yards. This after putting up 348 yards against 2A foe Mid-Prairie, No. 4 and 3A Pella was another animal that Washington was unable to match.
"I think it's obvious, we weren't ready," said head coach Randy Schrader. "We didn't match their speed especially up front."
The offensive line of Washington was perpetually blanketed and penetrated.
"They were stunting a lot of backers on our offensive line," said running back Alex Coker. "They had a tough game. All the backs were trying to find a hole and [Pella] were hitting every hole. Our line has got to step it up."
Pella's aggressiveness and numbers on the line ultimately dictated the flow of the game. The Demons had several 3 and outs.
"On average they were sending seven in the box and two in the backfield every play," Coker said.
Schrader said the nuances and basics of the game would be stressed in practice this week.
"Fundamentally we were not sound tonight, which is disappointing. We work on them every day," he said. "We got to get that fixed. Our coaches will get that fixed."
While defense only gave up 14 points — one score was a 57-yard run— it could have been worse had Pella not put the ball on the ground three times. It lost one fumble and had an interception.
"Defensively we didn't play poorly, but we really had some busts," he said. "We didn't put a quality product on the field tonight. That's what I'm most disappointed with. That's not us, that is not what we do."
Washington may have forced takeaways, but it didn't mean much as it couldn't convert them into points.
"We got some turnovers that gave us some opportunities but can't go 3 and out on offense and turn the ball right back over to them," he said.
Washington pulled a hurry-up offense out of its arsenal for the final three minutes during its most fluid drive of the night.
"There is no doubt," Schrader said. "We made some plays against a prevent. We had a chance to tie it at the end of the game. We have that formation in our play book, but we normally don't have to do those types of things."
Washington put together a solid sequence that should give them some confidence the rest of the regular season and specifically if they see the Dutch again.
"Pella is a good team,” Coker said. “I'm sure we will see them later down the road. Hopefully we will get them next time. They are on our list."