Pleasant Hill, Ia. — Two of the top quarterbacks in the state met in the second round of the Class 4-A playoffs Monday night in a rematch from a year ago.
When Marshalltown and Southeast Polk played each other in the second round of last year’s playoffs, the Rams showed no mercy, defeating the Bobcats 60-20.
This year wasn’t much different, with Southeast Polk ending Marshalltown’s hopes of advancing to the next round of the playoffs by defeating the Bobcats 52-17.
Senior quarterback Kyle Starcevich was a perfect 12-for-12 passing with 190 yards in the first half, setting the tone for the Rams’ offense as Southeast Polk led 38-7 at the half.
“The offensive line blocked great,” Starcevich said. “Our receivers ran great routes. They were open and I hit them.”
Starcevich threw for 307 yards in the game. Starcevich hit his main receiver, senior Phil Velez, for all three of his touchdown passes. One throw was for 71 yards, another from 59 yards.
Velez recorded nine receptions for 224 yards.
Seniors Dalton Sanford and Jordan Beem combined for 138 rushing yards, opening up the field for Starcevich to display his accuracy.
“A great running game helps a good passing game. The play-action pass really worked well for us,” Starcevich said.
Marshalltown senior quarterback Blake Gimbel had 24 completions in the game, passing former St. Ansgar quarterback Matt Sherman to rank third on Iowa’s all-time completions list. Gimbel threw two touchdowns against the Rams, putting him in a tie for eighth on the all-time touchdown list for Iowa preps.
Starcevich said the Rams (9-2) don’t have much to change as they head into the next round to face Dowling Catholic (9-2) on Friday.
“We’re going to keep doing what we’re doing. We are going to keep running well, blocking well and throwing well,” Starcevich said.
Southeast Polk lost to Dowling in the first game of the season this year, 35-12.
First downs 20 19
Rushes-Yards 12-34 32-142
Passing 247 307
Comp-Att-Int 24-56-0 15-16-0
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 2-0
Penalties-Yards 7-57 7-54
Marshalltown 0 7 7 3 — 17
Southeast Polk 14 24 7 7 — 52
S — Beem 4 run
S — Lawler 1 run
M — Fuller 9 pass from Gimbel
S — Velez 71 pass from Starcevich
S — Starcevich 1 run
S — Velez 8 pass from Starcevich
S — Babcock 27 FG
S — Beem 1 run
M — Pettigrew 14 pass from Gimbel
S — Velez 59 yard pass from Starcevich
M — Gimbel 28 FG
Rushing–Marshalltown: Gimbel 5-19; SEP: Beem 13-72.
Passing–Marshalltown: Gimbel 24-56-0, 247 yards; SEP: Starcevich 15-16-0, 307 yards
Receiving–Marshalltown: Pettigrew 8-117; SEP: Velez 9-224