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—Photo by Chris Zoeller/Waterloo Courier Fort Dodge’s Tucker Pederson runs the ball against Waterloo East on Friday in Waterloo.

WATERLOO – For the first two weeks of the season, the Fort Dodge football team was painfully close to victory.

The Dodgers finally had their feast on Friday night against Waterloo East.

The hungry and determined FDSH dominated the first half, scoring 44 points before the break at Memorial Stadium en route to a 50-6 win over their old conference rivals.

The Dodgers (1-2 overall) dropped tight decisions against eighth-ranked Mason City and Ames (Class 5A) to drop nine points combined to start the year on the wrong foot. They turned the tide in a hurry against the overwhelmed Trojans (0-3), who were torn apart by Fort Dodge’s offense in the first half while they were just 99 yards from the scrum.

“We came here to win. That was the only thing we thought about.” said Dodger head coach Nik Moser. “You never want to start 2-0, but a team that’s come as close as we have will be a lot more focused and determined to get it right. That was us (last night). We’ve done a lot of good things, built some confidence and believe me, no dressing room in the state is going to appreciate (a win) like we do right now.

Senior Javion Jondle took the opening kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown and slid down the right side of the field to pay paydirt. The Dodgers were on their way.

Senior Connor Carver threw for 179 yards, classmate Orion Larson-Trott ran for 88 more, and Jondle caught eight passes for 110 yards. All of those stats were accumulated in the first half alone, when the Dodgers activated the continuous-clock rule by taking a 44-6 lead in the second quarter on a Nate Opande touchdown catch at 1:16.

Carver had TD strikes on Jondle and Opande while Larson-Trott scored twice. Tucker Pederson also contributed a short touchdown.

The FDSH defense, which at times fought back against the Riverhawks and Little Cyclones, put on their ears and set the tone. Senior defensive end Kaleb Lynch had a sack, forced a fumble and returned another loose ball for a score and the lone points of the second half. Larson-Trott pounced on a pair of fumbles, junior Isaiah Caldwell recorded three first-half sacks and classmate Cal Hartman intercepted a pass.

“I saw a lot of guys flying to the ball” said Moser. “Six, seven, eight (defenders) right there. It was really positive and a confidence boost to watch our defensive swarm and have fun.”

East had 18 carries as a team for a total of minus 20 yards. Eleven Trojan Rush attempts ended behind the line of scrimmage.

Carver, a Bemidji State University recruit, has now thrown for 623 yards and eight touchdowns in the Dodgers’ first three games. Jondle has 29 receptions for 319 yards and four points. Both seniors are returning All-Staters.

Carver passed Johnny Bice and is now fourth on the program’s all-time passing chart (2,968 yards). Only Drake Miller, Randy Reiners and Andrew Stover have surpassed the 3,000-yard mark in their FDSH careers.

“I thought we had good balance again, running the ball effectively (137 yards on 26 attempts) but keeping our passing game strong.” said Moser. “We’re still a long way from where we need to be. The focus needs to get better every day. The effort was good, the intensity was good… now it’s time to be more consistent with our execution. This was a step in the right direction. It’s time to really get started.”

Fort Dodge has narrowed the gap on its all-time streak with East — which dates back to 1932 and includes old Big 6 and Big 8 days — to 35-29. The Dodgers have defeated the Trojans 169-12 overall in their four encounters since 2014.

With four of its last six regular-season contests at Dodger Stadium, Fort Dodge meets Marshalltown at home this Friday (1-2) in its final vote before the district. The Bobcats were beaten by Newton last night, 28-21.

FD WE

First downs 17 10

Rush Yards 26-137 18-(-20)

Passing 16-32-0 10-28-1

Drive-by yards 179 119

Total offenses 316 99

Punts Avg. 2-33.0 3-42.0

Fumbles Lost 0-0 5-3

Penalty Yards 6-50 8-62

Fort Dodge 15 29 6 0 – 50

East 0 6 0 0 – 6

Review Summary

Fort Dodge – Javion Jondle (89-yard kickoff return), 11:46 left the first quarter. Jondle matches Connor Carver.

Fort Dodge – Orion Larson-Trott (13-yard run), 10:13 first left. Kick by Parker Schillerstrom.

Fort Dodge – Safety (ball snatched from end zone by East), 10:28 left second.

Fort Dodge – Jondle (36-yard pass by Carver), 9:21 left second. Kick blocked.

Waterloo East — Jameel Montgomery (24-yard pass from Landen Sewell), 8:34 left second. Pass failed.

Fort Dodge – Tucker Pederson (1-yard run), 6:57 left second. Schillerstrom kick.

Fort Dodge – Larson-Trott (10-yard dash), 3:02 left second. Schillerstrom kick.

Fort Dodge – Nate Opande (9-yard pass from Carver), 1:16 left second. Schillerstrom kick.

Fort Dodge — Kaleb Lynch (14-yard fumble recovery), 3:20 left third. Kick failed.

CUSTOM STATISTICS

Rushing – Fort Dodge: Orion Larson-Trott 9-88, Tucker Pederson 8-23, Connor Carver 4-23, Jesus Gutierrez 1-5, Javion Jondle 1-3, Jace Johnson 1-(minus-1), Jase Nekvinda 1 -(minus-2), Constancio Gomez 1-(minus-2). East: Davarrion Clark 3-38, Shakur Wright 6-(minus-3), William Clark 2-(minus-6), Team 1-(minus-6), Landen Sewell 6-(minus-43).

Passing Game – Fort Dodge: Connor Carver 15-28-0-179, Jase Nekvinda 1-4-0-0. East: Landen Sewell 10-28-1-119.

Reception – Fort Dodge: Javion Jondle 8-110, Grant Williams 2-28, Nate Opande 3-25, Orion Larson-Trott 1-9, Kyron Wilson 1-7, Ty Adams 1-0. East: Jameel Montgomery 4-63, Davarrion Clark 1-16, William Clark 1-15, Tariq Moore 1-12, Ahdan Muhammad 1-10, Jah’Khi Parker 1-4.



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