Third ranked Dowling Catholic looks to take another step toward a second straight class 4A title when the Maroons take on fifth ranked Waukee in Friday night’s semifinal round in the UNI-Dome. Dowling rolled to a 45-14 victory over the Warriors in their first meeting back in week three.
Dowling coach Tom Wilson has urged his team to forget about the first game as he said everything went well, but this is the state semifinals and you have to earn another victory. He says kids have a tendency to feel good about themselves and that can come back to bite you.
Dowling has won eight straight lopsided games since suffering its only loss to West Des Moines Valley in week four. “I think our team has learned a lot from that, and I think they learned they certainly aren’t invincible,” Wilson says. He says the coaches new that, but sometimes with teenagers it’s hard to keep the focus.
Waukee earned its first trip to the 4A semifinals after shutting out Valley in the quarterfinals. “It was a big moment for our kids to break through that against a very good Valley team that has gotten better and better throughout he season,” Waukee coach Scott Carlson says. He says while they broke a barrier in advancing, they have bigger goals ahead.
The Warriors need a better start than in the first meeting as he says Dowling starts games well and if they get rolling, it is hard to get them stopped. A key in the game will be Waukee’s defensive line against Dowling’s offensive line. “They are a formidable group of kids, they are tough, tough minded, so we will definitely have our hands full up front,” Carlson says.