MEDIAPOLIS — Football is often described as a brotherhood.
For the Mediapolis High School football team, it literally is a brotherhood.
Jacob Darbyshire and Drew Foster played on playoff teams for the Bulldogs. In fact, Foster played on the the 2012 Mediapolis football team which finished as the Class 2A state runner-up. Their little brothers, Josh Darbyshire and Klay Foster, were on the sidelines back then, wide-eyed, cheering on their brothers and dreaming of the day they would one day be Bulldogs and chasing their goals.
Those roles were reversed on Friday night as Josh Darbyshire and Klay Foster led Mediapolis to a 46-7 win against rival West Burlington-Notre Dame at the Mediapolis Athletic Complex.
With Jacob Darbyshire and Drew Foster on the sidelines cheering them on, Josh Darbyshire and Klay Foster scored two touchdowns each and helped the Bulldogs' first-team defense pitch a shutout against the Falcons.
It was a case of brotherly love.
"He's been a big influence on me. He's probably the one who pushes me the most. He always gives me some crap that I'm not going to be as good as he was. But at the end of the night I think he's pretty proud of me," said Josh Darbyshire, who intercepted a pass and returned it to the 1-yard line, returned a fumble 17 yards for a score and scampered in from 15 yards out for another score. "I remember sitting over at Archer Field on the sidelines. I was right there on the sidelines. I can remember him running those deep routes and Jesse (Ertz) throwing him the ball. I lived for that when I was younger and now I get to do it."
"It's cool. It's really cool to see my little brother succeed. A lot of times in the yard we're throwing the ball around or just working together. So it's fun to sit here to watch him succeed and do well," said Jacob Darbyshire, who was recently married and is in his fifth year as an assistant coach at his alma mater. "On his pick I had to give my little brother crap. I told him, 'Six years ago I would have got in the end zone on that one, not come up short on the one-yard line.' Just some tough love there. I am very proud of him."
"Really big influence. He's always been there trying to help me learn and improve my way of running the ball and playing defense. He did it in 2012 and 2013, so he knows the game pretty dang well," said Klay Foster, who scored on runs of 19 and 10 yards and seemed to be everywhere on defense. "I always remember seeing him play defense. I didn't really pay much attention to offense. But playing defense it was always fun to watch him go up and hit some guys. I remember after the Columbus game his senior year he said he made some guy's teeth powder. I was like, 'Dang, I want to try to do that.'"
"Just a couple weeks ago we were running through the routes, throwing them. I don't have a good arm. I don't know if I ever had a good arm. But we throw back and forth here and there when I'm home," said Drew Foster, who quarterbacked Mediapolis in the 2012 state championship game and was the NCAA Division I national wrestling champion at 184 pounds in March. "It was really cool. He was running hard. It's a little bit different offense, but it was really cool to see him have some big, explosive plays and just having fun."
"It's fun to have your younger guys follow in the footsteps of their brothers. It's different. It doesn't look like the same offense that those guys played with," Mediapolis head coach Brian Borrison said.
Mediapolis (1-0) drove 80 yards in 10 plays on its opening possession, with senior quarterback Briar Johnson scoring the first of his two touchdowns to give the Bulldogs a 7-0 lead.
Mediapolis' offensive line opened big holes for Johnson, Darbyshire and Foster. Foster rushed for 131 yards and outgained WB-ND, 115 yards to 97 in the first half. Darbyshire added 69 rushing yards as the Bulldogs ground out 308 rushing yards in its version of the single-wing offense.
"I had a busy night tonight. I just love leading the team, stepping up as a junior and playing a big role this year. Scoring on both sides of the ball and having multiple defensive stops," Josh Darbyshire said.
"I was just going out there trying to do my best, filling in the big shoes that Zach (Osborne) and Brennan Swafford and Levi Eberhardt and all those guys left behind. Just trying to help fill them in," Klay Foster said. "(The offensive line) did an amazing job. On every carry I had an open hole almost every time. It's great having them be able to get those blocks for me."
"I was happy with how we ran the ball. Our offensive line did a heck of a job. As the game wore on we kind of wore them down a little bit," Borrison said.