October 10, 2015

St. Ambrose enjoys first 4-0 start since 2006

St. Ambrose coach Mike Magistrelli

St. Ambrose coach Mike Magistrelli

Off to it’s best start since 2006 the 23rd ranked St. Ambrose football team is getting ready for a Mid-States Football Association Midwest League showdown at home against 22nd ranked St. Francis of Illinois. The Fighting Bees are 4-0 after last week’s victory over Trinity International.

“Anytime you start the season 4-0 the guys are excited and the coaches are excited and looking forward to each and every challenge”, said St. Ambrose coach Mike Magistrelli.

The offense has featured a balanced attack that is averaging 38 points per game but that will be a tougher task against a St. Francis defense that is giving up only 71 yards on the ground per game.

“They definitely look to take away the run first and force you to have to throw the ball”, said Magistrelli. “The run a 3-3 stack and are not fancy in what they do but are very good at it.”

St. Francis is 4-1.


No love lost as UNI gets set to visit North Dakota State

unindsuThe Northern Iowa-North Dakota State series always produces emotional, hard hitting games and Saturday should be no different as the 10th ranked Panthers visit the second rated Bison in a Missouri Valley Football Conference contest.

UNI coach Mark Farley says turnovers will play a major factor in the outcome.

“You know this is going to be a pretty intense football game. This is going to be a very hard hitting football game as it always is and it is going to be a very intense environment”, said Farley. “I am more concerned about how to defend them and how to attack them.”

The Panthers beat then top ranked North Dakota State 23-3 in Cedar Falls last season but this game will be in the Fargodome where the Bison have won 25 straight games.

Ferentz says consistency the key in B1G race

Kirk Ferentz

Kirk Ferentz

Iowa is off to a great start but coach Kirk Ferentz says to have a special season the Hawkeyes will need to be consistent. Iowa is 5-0 after a heart stopping 10-6 victory at Wisconsin and The Hawkeyes will host an Illinois team on Saturday that is also considered a surprise at 4-1.

“If we are going to be a successful football team and want to play in November in games that are really significant one thing we are going to have to do is have the ability to turn our attention quickly to our next opponent and another big challenge”, said Ferentz. “That’s really what conference play is all about.”

Interim Illini coach Bill Cubit took over the program a week before the start of the season and he has experienced success at Kinnick Stadium. His 2007 Western Michigan squad beat the Hawkeyes 28-19.

The Illini are coming off a 14-13 victory over Nebraska in their Big Ten opener.

Radio Iowa High School Football Poll 10/5/15

Class 4A
1. Dowling Catholic (5-0), LW #1 vs #9 Johnston
2. Bettendorf (6-0), LW #2 @ North Scott
3. WDM Valley (5-1), LW #3 @ Sioux City West
4. Cedar Rapids Kennedy (6-0), LW #4 vs Waterloo East
5. Cedar Falls (5-1), LW #5 vs Linn-Mar
6. Fort Dodge (6-0), LW #6 vs Marshalltown
7. Ankeny (5-1), LW #7 @ Sioux City North (Thur)
8. Cedar Rapids Washington (5-1), LW #8 vs CR Prairie (Thur)
9. Johnston (5-1), LW #9 @ #1 Dowling Catholic
10.Waukee (4-2), LW (X) vs Indianola

Class 3A
1. Pella (6-0), LW #1 vs Newton
2. Cedar Rapids Xavier (5-0), LW #2 vs Dubuque Wahlert
3. West Delaware (6-0), LW #3 @ Central DeWitt
4. Dallas Center-Grimes (5-1), LW #4 @ Winterset
5. Webster City (6-0), LW #5 vs Humboldt
6. Independence (6-0), LW #6 @ Charles City
7. Norwalk (5-1), LW #7 @ Oskaloosa
8. Harlan (5-1), LW #8 @ Creston
9. Sergeant Bluff-Luton (5-1), LW #9 @ LeMars
10.Glenwood (6-0), LW #10 @ ADM Adel

Class 2A
1. Albia (6-0), LW #1 @ CMB (Maxwell)
2. South Tama (6-0), LW #2 @ #4 Williamsburg
3. Spirit Lake (6-0), LW #3 vs Sheldon
4. Williamsburg (5-1), LW #5 vs #2 South Tama
5. Anamosa (6-0), LW #7 @ #8 Mount Vernon
6. Aplington-Parkersburg (5-1), LW #8 vs South Hardin
7. PCM (Monroe) (5-1), LW #9 @ Clarke (Osceola)
8. Mount Vernon (5-1), LW #10 vs #5 Anamosa
9. Cherokee (5-1), LW (X) @ Central Lyon/GLR
10.Mid-Prairie (5-1), LW #6 vs Central Lee

Class 1A
1. Iowa City Regina (6-0), LW #1 vs West Marshall
2. Hinton (6-0), LW #2 @ Western Christian
3. Dike-New Hartford (6-0), LW #3 @ #6 South Winneshiek
4. West Branch (6-0), LW #5 @ Wapello
5. Underwood (6-0), LW #7 vs AHSTW
6. South Winneshiek (5-1), LW #9 vs #3 Dike-New Hartford
7. Saint Ansgar (5-1), LW #10 vs Central Springs
8. Madrid (6-0), LW #4 vs #9 South Central Calhoun
9. South Central Calhoun (5-1), LW (X) @ #8 Madrid
10.Van Meter (5-1), LW (X) vs Southwest Valley

Class A
1. BGM (Brooklyn) (6-0), LW #1 vs Belle Plaine
2. Algona Garrigan (6-0), LW #2 vs Lake Mills
3. West Sioux (6-0), LW #3 @ Woodbury Central
4. Pleasantville (6-0), LW #4 @ S.E. Warren
5. Logan-Magnolia (5-1), LW #5 vs Griswold
6. Denver (5-1), LW #6 vs Grundy Center
7. Audubon (5-1), LW #7 vs Westwood
8. Gladbrook-Reinbeck (4-2), LW #8 vs AGWSR
9. Belmond-Klemme (5-1), LW #9 @ West Hancock
10.Winfield-Mt.Union (6-0), LW #10 @ WACO

1. Newell-Fonda (6-0), LW #1 vs #10 Exira-EHK
2. Don Bosco (4-0), LW #3 vs #6 Colo-Nesco
3. MMC (Marcus) (5-0), LW #4 vs Harris-Lake Park
4. Glidden-Ralston (5-0), LW #5 vs Coon Rapids-Bayard
5. Janesville (5-0), LW #6 @ Northwood-Kensett
6. Colo-Nesco (6-0), LW #7 @ #3 Don Bosco
7. Fremont-Mills (6-0), LW #8 vs Lenox
8. Central Elkader (6-0), LW #9 vs Central City
9. Graettinger-Terril/Ruthven-Ayrshire (5-1), LW #10 vs Clay Central-Everly
10.Exira-EHK (6-0), LW (X) @ #1 Newell-Fonda

Cyclones open Big 12 with a 38-13 win over Kansas

Paul Rhoads

Paul Rhoads

Iowa State woke up their offense in the second quarter and went on to a 38-13 win over Kansas in Jack Trice Stadium in Ames Saturday. The win evened the Cyclones’ record at 2-2. Coach Paul Rhoads says getting the win in the conference opener is key.

“Every game is important, whether it’s all 12 or in conference play. And every game is tough in this conference,” Rhoads says. “You watch K-U as the season goes on. And you watch them give people challenges, you’ve got to buckle it up every single game you play in this league.”

Rhoads says there are five teams in the conference that have been in the top 20 and that shows the strength of the league. “The other five can beat folks — and you’d better be ready to play every week. It’s a great league, it’s a challenging league, and you’ve got to coach it well and you’ve got to play it well,” Rhoads says.

Mike Warren

Mike Warren

The Cyclones got 175 yards rushing and two touchdowns from redshirt freshman Mike Warren. Rhoads says Warren ran hard last year on the scout team and got attention, but is now going beyond that by reading and reacting as he runs.

“Mike Warren did not have to necessarily read fronts and timing and such, there was a card in the line that told him where to go and he ran as hard as he could in preparing our guys. That’s what he carried over into the spring and through fall camp. Now he is becoming a running back,” Rhoads says.

Warren says all the reads and things he needs to see are coming to him as he gains experience. “Yeah, it’s slowing down a lot because we practice it all the time, everything is moving in slow motion. Once I see it, then I just go, a full-speed decision,” Warren says. He had 126 yards rushing last week against Toledo, and says his confidence has continued to build.

“Our Toledo game, I went in with a lot of confidence and had a good practice, and I had a good practice the week after that in our bye week, and leading up to this game, even more so. It’s just kind of snowballed for me. Everything just feels natural when I am out there,” Warren says.

Cyclone quarterback Sam Richardson says Warren’s running helped open up everything for the offense, and led to a key win. “It was absolutely necessary after starting 1-2 in nonconference. We really had no choice but to start getting a little momentum here and winning some games,” Richardson says.

Richardson completed 27 of 37 passes for 269 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for a touchdown.

Iowa State is now 2-2 overall and will travel to Texas Tech Saturday. Kansas falls to 0-4 overall and 0-1 in the conference.


IIAC opener features heavyweight battle

wartcenFifteen of the last 17 Iowa Conference football championships have been won or shared by Wartburg or Central and the two league heavyweights collide in Waverly on Saturday. Defending champ Wartburg enters conference play with a 3-0 record and the Knights are ranked sixth in the latest D3football.com poll.

Wartburg coach Rick Willis says the games against Central over the years have been hard fought and close.

“Their defense has been very solid in all of their games and they had a huge win the last time out”, said Willis. “Basically it is just playing Central and the rivalry and knowing how big the game is. Typically these games have been pretty close.”

It is also homecoming at Wartburg and Willis says it should provide for a great atmosphere.

Central is 2-1 and the Dutch will be in search of their first victory in Waverly since 2009.




GPAC rivals set to collide in Orange City

Northwestern beat #1 Morningside 38-28 in 2013.

Northwestern beat #1 Morningside 38-28 in 2013.

Some football rivalries are based on geography and others are built on the importance of the outcome.

The Morningside/Northwestern series has both.

Separated by only 45 miles, the fourth ranked Mustangs visit the 15th rated Red Raiders on Saturday in a key Great Plains Conference game.

Morningside coach Steve Ryan says emotion plays a big part in this series and there is always plenty riding on the outcome.

“Every year I have been at Morningside College the team that wins this game has gone to the playoffs”, said Ryan. “It’s our toughest game every year. Regardless of anything else, it is physically and mentally the biggest challenge for our guys.”

Both teams are coming off losses. Morningside dropped a heartbreaker at home to division three power Wisconsin-Whitewater while Northwestern dropped a GPAC game on the road to 10th ranked Doane.

Northwestern’s strength is on defense but coach Kyle Achterhoff says the offense will need to play well to give them a chance.

“Obviously they are dynamic offensively so we have to play well on the defensive side of the ball but we are probably not going to stop them for an entire game so we have to score some points on the other side”, said Achterhoff. “We just can’t make mistakes. We have to play good, solid, all around football.”

Two years ago when these teams met in Orange City, Northwestern stunned then top ranked Morningside to earn a spot in the NAIA playoffs.