Roland-Story falls at No. 2 West Marshall, 50-21: Norsemen hurt by rough second quarter

Joe Randleman
Ames Tribune
Roland-Story linebacker Hesston Johnson brings down West Marshall ball carrier Ben Gonzalez as Luke Patton (19) and Kale Lande (9) come in for support during the Norsemen's 50-21 loss to the No. 2 Trojans Friday at State Center.

The Roland-Story football team started strong, but couldn't withstand a brutal second quarter in a 50-21 loss to No. 2 West Marshall during a Class 2A District 7 game at State Center Friday.

The Norsemen (3-4 overall, 2-2 in the district) led the Trojans (6-1, 4-0) 7-6 after the first quarter. But West Marshall erupted for 29 points in the second quarter to go up 35-14 at the half and Roland-Story couldn't recover.

"Obviously, I was happy with how we started the game," Roland-Story head coach Matt Finn said. "You know, at the end of the first quarter things were clicking and we had some momentum. That second quarter got away from us and we stubbed our toe a few times."

Here is what we learned from Roland-Story's loss:

The Norsemen don't back down

Roland-Story showed how far it has come this season after winning just one game over the previous two seasons combined. The Norsemen actually led a high-rated team after one quarter and even after falling behind big at the half they managed to hang right with the Trojans in the second half.

Isaiah Naylor runs back a kickoff for Roland-Story versus No. 2 West Marshall Friday at State Center.

"I'm encouraged by our team's fight," Finn said. "We'll just keep working to find ways to keep drives alive when we're on offense and lock in defensively when we have an opportunity to stop a drive.  We'll get there. I really think guys are taking personal responsibility to bring their game along, and it's encouraging to see us fighting the way that we are."

Ante, Bunn putting up big numbers

Roland-Story quarterback Quin Ante and receiver Will Bunn both had big nights to keep up their record-setting seasons.

Ante completed 17 of 29 passes for 206 yards and three touchdowns. Bunn caught five passes for 114 yards and one score.

Ante is now Roland-Story's single-season leader for completions (111), yards (1,823) and touchdowns (18). Bunn holds the school single-season mark for receptions (33) and yards (809).

Running game still needs work

After a solid 139 yards rushing against Chariton three weeks Roland-Story has struggled running the ball.

The Norsemen only had 66 yards rushing against West Marshall. Roland-Story only ran for 36 36 two weeks ago during a 46-28 loss to Iowa Falls-Alden.

Nick Butler led Roland-Story on the ground against West Marshall with 32 yards on seven carries.

Too much Pope

West Marshall running back Preston Pope was a big thorn in Roland-Story's side Friday.

Pope ran for 243 yards and three touchdowns on 25 carries. Pope leads all of 2A in rushing by a wide margin with 1,255 yards.

Norsemen wrap up season Friday

Roland-Story will end its season Friday at Kerry Van Winkle Field in Story City. The Norsemen host perennial 2A power Prairie City-Monroe.

PCM is just 3-4 this season after reaching the 2A state semifinals a year ago. Friday's game is set to start at 7:30 p.m.

West Marshall 50, Roland-Story 21

Roland-Story     7            7            0            7 — 21

West Marshall    6          29          15            0 — 50

Individual statistical leaders

Rushing: West Marshall — Preston Pope 25-243. Roland-Story — Nick Butler 7-32.

Passing: West Marshall — Peyton Hart 7-9-0-114. Roland-Story — Quin Ante 17-29-0-206.

Receiving: West Marshall — Parker Reese 3-73. Roland-Story — Will Bunn 5-114.

Tackles: West Marshall — Caden Vellinga 6.5. Roland-Story — Hesston Johnson 11.

Sacks: West Marshall — Austin Pfantz 1.