After having never made the state football playoffs – ever – and coming off a 3-6 season, this year’s 13-0 record and berth in the state championship game was a big treat for Marshalltown.
Twenty minutes before game time, this is what the Marshalltown side of the UNI-Dome looked like.
This is what the Iowa City side of the dome looked like. The fairy-tale season ended with a loss, but was a great run for this team with undersized numbers and size, but oversized heart. The front page of the Des Moines Register led with this story – the first few lines reproduced below.
Marshalltown, Ia. – This city loves to surprise you.
Think Marshalltown is all about factories and smokestacks, pork processing and furnace manufacturing? Think again. The city has a sparkling, $20 million YMCA, an international virtual-reality company, a surprising arts scene and a Main Street district filled with businesses.
Think the city of 26,000 is as white-bread as most of the rest of Iowa? Think again. The school district is nearly 40 percent Hispanic, and the city boasts sizable Bosnian, Ukrainian and Sudanese populations as well.
And think Marshalltown is a place where the high school football team never plays in November?
Think again about the 13-0 Bobcats, who have played the role of underdogs all season – much like their city. The UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls will be a sea of blue and red tonight, filled with about a third of the city’s population watching the school’s first state championship game when the Bobcats face No. 1 Iowa City High at 7:05 p.m.