October 26, 2014

Southeast Polk, Ankeny, Urbandale, Fort Dodge fight for district position

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.


High School football playoff pairings will use a new format this year

The pairings for the upcoming high school football playoffs will have a much different look this season. Gone is the format from the past few years where the entire bracket is released for all six classes and instead the pairings will be put together after each round. Todd Tharp of the Iowa High School Athletic Association says the new format is designed to limit travel.

He says school administrators were worried about having to travel so far and they talked with it and decided they needed to go back to the 125 mile limit for travel.

Tharp says the new system won’t change the pairings when it comes to seeding but there could be district rematches in the first two rounds. Tharp says the district champion will still play the 4th place team and the district runner-up will still play the 3rd place team. “Unfortunately in some areas of the state there might be some district rematches on that first Wednesday night,” Tharp says.

Tharp says they will no longer be automatically matching teams from neighboring districts. He says there could be combinations of 3 or 4 different districts to get the games in for the first round.

Tharp says they should have all 192 qualifiers and their seeding on the association website before midnight. It will then take a couple of hours to complete the pairings, and he says it could be between 2 or 3 a.m. by the time they have all the pairings posted.

The first round for all six classes is Wednesday night.


Graceland football team turns record around with more turnovers

Patience is paying off for the Graceland football team where the Yellowjackets are riding a three game winning streak heading into Saturday’s matchup against Benedictine of Kansas. Graceland is 4-3 overall and 2-2 in the Heart of America Conference after finishing 1-10 last year and 0-9 in league play.

Graceland coach Jeff Douglas says turnover margin is a major factor in their success. They lead the conference with a plus-seven margin as he says the defense has been playing well and the offense has been taking care of the ball.

Benedictine is ranked 24th in the latest NAIA poll and Douglas says they have to face ranked teams every year and Benedictine is one of them that is always tough.

Benedictine has the Heart of America’s top rushing attack. “We’ve got to try to stop the run…they can throw the ball a little bit, but their bread and butter is running the ball,” Douglas says.


Final Dunkerton football game canceled in the wake of player protest

While high school football teams across Iowa preparing to play their final regular-season games this week, the 2014 campaign has already ended at a northeast Iowa school near Waterloo.

Dunkerton has canceled the final game of the season Friday against English Valleys of North English. The cancellation is comes in the wake of a boycott to force the forfeiture of the Don Bosco football game, which was canceled last week after the suspension of a player. The player was suspended for allegedly taping a fight between two other students on October 15th.

The suspension was upheld after the school board meeting last Thursday. The team was down to 8 players and some planned to sit out the Don Bosco game because they disagreed with the punishment given the suspended player, and the game was ultimately canceled.

By Elwin Huffman, KOEL, Oelwein

Iowa football team looks to fix some things for stretch run

Kirk Ferentz

Kirk Ferentz

The Iowa Hawkeyes need to use the off week to shore up a couple of areas as they head toward the toughest portion of their schedule. Iowa’s run game continues to struggle and ranks 11th in the Big Ten while the run defense has been torched for 528 yards the past two weeks.

The Hawkeyes are 5-2 after a 38-31 loss at Maryland. “The film just pretty much reconfirmed what we suspected on Saturday, we just didn’t play well enough to win and they did, so the credit goes to them,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. “We’ve got to improve if we expect to win in our next 5 ballgames, that’s the challenge ahead.”

Ferentz is giving his team a few days off this week. They will practice Wednesday and Thursday and then have a couple of days off before returning to practice on Sunday.

Iowa returns to action on November 1st at home against Northwestern.


Radio Iowa High School Football Poll 10/20/14

Football-poll-headerClass 4A
1. Bettendorf (8-0), LW #1 @ Davenport West
2. Cedar Rapids Washington (8-0), LW #2 @ Burlington
3. Dowling Catholic (7-1), LW #3 @ DSM North
4. WDM Valley (7-1), LW #4 vs DSM Lincoln
5. Waukee (7-1), LW #5 vs Mason City
6. Linn-Mar (7-1), LW #7 vs C.R. Jefferson
7. Ankeny (6-2), LW #8 vs S.E. Polk
8. North Scott (6-2), LW #9 @ Davenport North (Thur)
9. Ankeny Centennial (6-2), LW #6 @ C.B. Abe Lincoln
10.Lewis Central (7-1), LW (X) @ DSM Roosevelt

Class 3A
1. Pella (8-0), LW #1 @ Chariton
2. Solon (7-1), LW #5 vs Dubuque Wahlert
3. Sioux City Heelan (7-1), LW #4 vs LeMars
4. Dallas Center-Grimes (7-1), LW #9 vs Glenwood
5. Carroll (7-1), LW #6 @ Greene County
6. West Delaware (7-1), LW #2 vs Decorah
7. Humboldt (7-1), LW #7 vs Perry
8. Waverly-Shell Rock (6-2), LW #8 vs Charles City
9. Clear Creek-Amana (7-1), LW #10 @ Fairfield
10.Cedar Rapids Xavier (5-3), LW #3 vs Marion

Class 2A
1. Clear Lake (8-0), LW #1 @ Garner-Hayfield/Ventura
2. Spirit Lake (8-0), LW #2 vs MOC/Floyd Valley
3. Williamsburg (8-0), LW #3 @ West Liberty
4. Collins-Maxwell/Baxter (8-0), LW #4 vs Centerville
5. North Fayette Valley (7-1), LW #7 vs New Hampton
6. Sioux Center (7-1), LW #5 vs Okoboji
7. Albia (7-1), LW #9 @ Clarke
8. Cascade (7-1), LW (X) vs Anamosa
9. Hampton-Dumont (7-1), LW #8 @ Forest City
10.Mediapolis (7-1), LW #10 vs Mid-Prairie

Class 1A
1. Iowa City Regina (7-1), LW #1 vs Pella Christian
2. South Winneshiek (8-0), LW #2 vs Hudson
3. Fort Dodge St. Edmond (8-0), LW #3 vs South Hamilton
4. West Branch (8-0), LW #4 vs Alburnett
5. St. Ansgar (8-0), LW #5 @ Pocahontas Area
6. IKM-Manning (8-0), LW #6 @ Underwood
7. West Lyon (7-1), LW #7 @ HMS Hartley
8. Ogden (7-1), LW #8 @ South Central Calhoun
9. North Cedar (7-1), LW #9 vs Wilton
10.Dike-New Hartford (6-2), LW #10 vs Jesup

Class A
1. Maquoketa Valley (8-0), LW #1 vs Postville
2. Logan-Magnolia (8-0), LW #2 @ Westwood (Sloan)
3. Pekin (8-0), LW #3 vs Winfield-Mount Union
4. Gladbrook-Reinbeck (7-1), LW #4 @ Wapsie Valley
5. Nashua-Plainfield (7-1), LW #5 vs North Butler
6. Montezuma (8-0), LW #6 @ BGM (Brooklyn)
7. AGWSR (6-1), LW #7 vs West Fork
8. Algona Garrigan (6-2), LW #8 @ West Hancock
9. Mt. Ayr (7-1), LW #9 vs S.E. Warren
10.Woodbury Central (7-1), LW #10 @ Sioux Central

1. Don Bosco (8-0), LW #1 @ Tri-County
2. Fremnont-Mills (8-0), LW #2 @ Essex
3. Janesville (8-0), LW #3 vs North Iowa
4. Central Elkader (8-0), LW #4 @ West Central (Maynard)
5. Glidden-Ralston (8-0), LW #5 @ N.E. Hamilton
6. HLV (Victor) (7-1), LW #6 @ Colo-Nesco
7. Lamoni (8-0), LW #7 vs Wayne (Corydon)
8. Turkey Valley (7-1), LW #8 @ Central City
9. Coon Rapids-Bayard (7-1), LW #9 vs East Union
10.Marcus MMC (7-1), LW (X) vs West Bend-Mallard


Cyclones and Hawkeyes have a Saturday off after road losses

Paul Rhoads

Paul Rhoads

Iowa State and Iowa have this week off after road losses. The Cyclones fell to 2-5 with a heartbreaking 48-45 loss at Texas. The Longhorns won it on a 21 yard field goals with three second remaining. the ISU offense rolled up 524 yards, including 345 yards of passing from quarterback Sam Richardson who had three touchdown strikes.

It was another near miss in Big 12 play for the Cyclones who nearly upset league leader Kansas State earlier this season. If the Cyclones are much better than their 2-5 record the exact opposite can be said of the Hawkeyes, who opened 5-1 against a soft schedule before being exposed in a 38-31 loss at Maryland that was not as close as the score indicates.

The Terrapins dominated up front on both sides after the Hawkeyes raced out to an early 14-0 lead and the final two Iowa touchdowns came after Maryland put the game away by jumping out to a 38-21 lead late in the fourth quarter.