The championship in class 4A district 1 will go to the winner of tonight’s game in Ankeny where the seventh ranked Hawks host Southeast Polk. The Rams overcame early injuries and an 0-3 start against a tough schedule.
“I think you look back during the summer when you bring your kids in and try to develop them, our goal is to make sure at the end of the season the last game you play has some meaning. And I think we’ve been able to to day,” Southeast Polk coach Denny Muller says. He says a new offensive system has taken time to develop and they are continually improving on it and adding things when the players were ready for it. Muller says they can now do multiple things without changing their overall philosophy of wanting to run the football.
Muller says the Ankeny offense will be tough to stop and defensively he says they have improved drastically over last year and they will have to handle a tough defensive front.
In another class 4A game, Urbandale hosts Fort Dodge and the winner claims the runner-up spot in district four and a home playoff game. After starting the season 1-3 the J-Hawks are in search of their third straight win.
“We really preach to our kids the whole year to get into district play and compete every week, and we’re trying to compete for an opportunity to get into the playoffs,” Urbandale coach Sam Anderson says. He says defense must try to slow down class 4A’s second leading rusher in the Dodgers’ Sam Cook. “He’s a tremendous back, we’ve seen him for years, it seems like he should be a senior, but he’s not. He’s a great runningback, he can beat you on the inside, he can beat you on the outside, he can throw the ball, he does it all,” Anderson says.
Cook has nearly 1,200 yards of rushing but Anderson says he is not the only weapon that Fort Dodge can use as he says their quarterback does a good job of distributing the ball to some explosive receivers.
Anderson says they started with a lot of young kids and they have hopefully gotten better and will peak at the right time.
Fort Dodge coach Matt Miller says they have a lot of weapons on offense and have strived to improve every week and he says with a strong running game it allows them to mix in some play-action passing.
Miller says the Dodgers have made strides on both sides of the ball as they were also a young team at the start of the season.
Miller says the goal for tonight is to get the win and come out of the game healthy so they can turn around in a short week and play at home Wednesday. “Everything is out there for both teams,” Miller says.