September 4, 2015

Record crowd to watch Iowa State host UNI

Jack Trice Stadium

Jack Trice Stadium

A record crowd will be in Jack Trice Stadium on Saturday night when the Iowa State Cyclones open the season by hosting Northern Iowa. It will be the first game with the newly remodeled south endzone that will increase the capacity to 61,500 fans.

Cyclone coach Paul Rhoads says it adds to the anticipation of opening night.

 

“We work 365 days for 12 recognizable days of work that are guaranteed and we fight like heck to get a 13th out of that”, said Rhoads. “The feeling is always one that is hard to describe. This year it will be even better.”

 

Iowa State will be out to snap a streak of two straight losses to FCS foes to open the season when they play a UNI team that beat them 28-20 in the 2013 season opener.

 

#8 Urbandale tests two-time defending 4A champs

Sam Anderson

Sam Anderson

Eighth ranked Urbandale takes on the two-time defending champions in class 4A when the J-Hawks collide with fourth ranked Dowling Catholic in a non-district contest.

Urbandale opened with a 68-7 win over Des Moines Hoover and coach Sam Anderson says while the Maroons have a bunch of new starters this season they don’t lack experience.

“These kids got a lot of experience, the ones that will be starting this year for them because they played a lot of second half football”, said Anderson. ” They are very talented at all positions. They have great competition and it obviously shows with their track record.”

This will be the season opener for Dowling. The Maroons traveled all the way to Cedar Rapids last Friday only to have their game against Xavier cancelled due to severe storms.

“You try to make your most improvement from week one to week two and for us there was no week one”, said Dowling coach Tom Wilson. “Really, we still don’t know what we have and obviously have to play a good Urbandale team. I think our kids understand that and they’ve just gone back to work and tried to focus on Urbandale.”

After leading Dowling to back-to-back state titles quarterback Ryan Boyle is now a freshman at Iowa. Wilson has not settled on a replacement and will rotate two quarterbacks against the J-Hawks.

Excessive heat greets week two of high school football

ihsaaLast Friday night it was the rain. This Friday it will be the heat. Iowa high school football coaches and athletic directors will be keeping a close eye on the weather heading into this week’s contests.

Todd Tharp is with the Iowa High School Athletic Association and says heat has been a factor at all levels of competition there may be some schools that will change the start time to avoid the worst of it.

“If they are playing just a single game and instead of playing at seven o’clock and want to move it to eight o’clock that certainly is a school’s prerogative”, said Tharp. “They don’t need to have our permission to do that, they just need to communicate with everybody.”

 

Tharp says they have encouraged coaches to focus on proper hydration this week and calls it a gradual process.

“You can’t just start guzzling the water on Friday to be prepared for that night”, said Tharp. “It is a weekly process.”

Pat Powers at KQWC in Webster City contributed to this story

 

 

 

#1 Pella moves on without All-State linebacker

Jay McKinstrey

Jay McKinstrey

Class 3A top ranked and defending champion Pella will play the remainder of the season without All-State linebacker Austin Schulte. The Iowa commit suffered an ACL injury in last week’s season opening win against Washington.

Dutch coach Jay McKinstrey says Schulte will undergo surgery Friday morning. Pella visits second ranked Dallas Center-Grimes in a non-district game on Friday night.

McKinstrey calls football the greatest sport to teach young men to become a young man but says injuries are a difficult part of it.

“It certainly has impacted our team this week and trying to prepare for the game against DC-G. It has been a challenging week”, said McKinstrey. “Our kids I know will respond well and we will come out in play but it is hard to lose a quality player like that. As far as just the leader he is and the type of young man and the family he comes from it is a little bit of a grieving process with the loss of him.”

McKinstrey says it is a big early test but a win over Dallas Center-Grimes won’t make their season and a loss won’t break it either.

Cyclones view opener as ‘tone setter’

Sam Richardson

Sam Richardson

The first game can set a tone for the season and the Iowa State Cyclones hope the correct tone is set on Saturday night when they host Northern Iowa. Iowa State has dropped season openers to FCS foes the past two years and it was a sign of things to come as the Cyclones won only five of 19 games during that span.

Iowa State quarterback Sam Richardson says it is important to perform well in an opener and build confidence.

“It’s the start of everything”, says Richardson. It definitely builds confidence and sets the tone for the rest of the season.”

Sophomore receiver Allen Lazard says the Cyclones are motivated for a quick start after losing 34-14 to North Dakota State in last year’s opener.

“Losing that first game is a downer”, said Lazard. “It starts up some negativity you don’t need.”

Lazard says FCS teams always come into games with “a chip on their shoulder” and UNI will be no different. The Panthers beat the Cyclones 28-20 to open the 2013 season.

Beathard ready for opening test

C.J. Beathard

C.J. Beathard

The Iowa Hawkeyes open the new season with a new quarterback when they host Illinois State on Saturday in Kinnick Stadium. It will be their first game since junior C.J. Beathard was given the keys to the offense just days after a Taxslayer Bowl loss to Tennessee.

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz says the move has allowed Beathard to assume a leadership role on the team.

“The whole idea is for him to go out and play his best football and it’s not to follow up in anybody’s footsteps”, said Ferentz. “The bottom line is he’s his own guy and his own player and that’s what I have encouraged him to do is to go out and just do your best.”

Beathard says the Hawkeyes are anxious to erase the memories of last year’s three game skid to end the season.

“It’s been a long process but a process we needed to get better as a team”, said Beathard. “Come Saturday we’ll get to show what we have been working on and working towards this whole off season.”

Not only will Beathard’s family be at the game but his uncle, Kurt Beathard, is the offensive coordinator for Illinois State.

Photo by Joe Danielson.

Farley not ready to name starting quarterback at UNI

Mark Farley (file photo)

Mark Farley (file photo)

UNI coach Mark Farley may wait until right before Saturday’s kickoff at Iowa State to name a starting quarterback. Sawyer Kollmorgan, Aaron Bailey, Dalton Demos and Eli Dunne are all vying for the job.

 

Dunne is a redshirt freshman from Grinnell who Farley says has stepped up his game while Kollmorgan has started 27 games over the past three seasons.

“I don’t know if I can weed out a guy which means that nobody has stood out enough to say that’s the guy”, said Farley. The other side of that is they have all competed very well.”

 

Farley had said he wanted to trim the competition down to two quarterbacks by game week. If he has done that he’s not letting on.