Indians Dominate Chiefs in Non-District Finale

Oskaloosa defeated Keokuk on Friday night to go 4-0 on the season. (photo by Mandy Hafner)

Oskaloosa defeated Keokuk on Friday night to go 4-0 on the season. (photo by Mandy Hafner)

by Wade Steinlage

Keokuk–The Oskaloosa football team did not let a long road trip nor a weather delay deter it from its mission of staying undefeated as it powered past Keokuk 49-7 in non-district play Friday.

The Indians (4-0) rolled from the opening kickoff, outgaining the Chiefs (1-3) by a 360-174 margin, which makes the game look closer than it actually was.

OHS won the coin toss, opted to receive the kickoff, and immediately made it clear which team was better. The visitors used four plays of 11 yards of more to score first, just 2:19 into the evening as Keaton Flaherty hooked up with Cade Kelderman from 28 yards away. Flaherty had a nearly perfect outing, completing 11 of his 14 passes for 247 yards, while Kelderman ended up with two catches for 37 yards.

A quick three-and-out gave the ball back to the offense, but Oskaloosa put itself in a huge hole with back-to-back penalties to make it 1st-and-36 from its own 23-yard line. After a six-yard rush by Darryl Fane, the Indians dug right out of said hole with a 38-yard completion from Flaherty to Eli Molyneux. Five snaps later, Fane broke free and hit paydirt on a 10-yard rush. The senior runningback topped the ground game with 85 yards on 14 rushes.

Keokuk appeared poised to cut into Oskaloosa’s lead with a drive that reached OHS territory. The Indian defense fortunately stiffened and returned the ball to its offensive counterparts after a failed fourth-down attempt.

The Indians had few blemishes on the night, but one came in the ensuing possession as Fane lost a fumble on the Keokuk side of the field. The Chiefs were unable to take advantage, though, and returned the pigskin back immediately.

At midfield, Oskaloosa went for the jugular as Flaherty launched a ball to Waylon Bolibaugh who had gotten past his defender. Bolibaugh, who managed three receptions for 135 yards, caught it in stride and finished the run for a 48-yard touchdown to extend the advantage to 21-0.

The Chiefs tried valiantly to get on the board, moving down to the Oskaloosa 21-yard line, but a breakup by Ryan Hafner closed the door. The Flaherty-Bolibaugh pairing hooked up again on the next OHS drive, this time for 57 yards. A balanced attack followed with eventually Flaherty throwing his third TD of the game, finding Molyneux for six yards and a 28-0 halftime advantage.

Molyneux posted two grabs for 44 yards against the Chiefs.

Special teams plays made a huge impact in the third quarter, beginning with Dallas Braden blocking punt and recovering the loose ball deep in Keokuk territory. Flaherty connected with Bolibaugh from 26 yards out and the Indians scored for the second time on their initial play of the drive.

Another defensive stop presented Oskaloosa with another chance to make some special teams noise and Bolibaugh provided, receiving the next Chiefs’ punt at their 35-yard line and eluding all would-be tacklers for the score and a 42-0 OHS lead. Bolibaugh now has two punt return touchdowns in 2021.

Molyneux then set up the Indians for their final score by intercepting a Keokuk pass near midfield and returning it down to the Chief 13-yard line. JaShaden Baker accounted for the next 13 yards over two rushes, including a six-yard carry to cap off OHS’ scoring at 49-0.

The Chiefs scored an inconsequential touchdown in the fourth quarter to crush any hopes the Indians may have had of a second shutout this fall.

Jonathan Linder capped the defensive effort with 11 tackles, including two for loss. Collin Snitker also found his way into much of the action with eight stops.

“Our guys had great focus tonight,” Head Coach Brett Doud said. “We preach the importance of making the best of every opportunity we have. This past week was a chance to look at ourselves on film and find areas that we needed to improve upon if we want to be playing at our highest level coming into our matchup versus Keokuk. I was proud of our focus this week and the effort given tonight.”

“The guys are really bought into the importance of winning in all three phases of the game,” Doud added. “Our offense got off to a great start. The defense and special teams followed suit. This was a great team effort. We will celebrate it for a day and then look to get back to work in preparation for our next matchup.”

Next Up: Oskaloosa travels to Tiffin next Friday as faces Clear Creek-Amana in its Class 4A District 4 opener at 7:30 p.m.

Posted by on Sep 19 2021. Filed under Local News, School Activities. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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