After being knocked out of the top spot in the Radio Iowa poll by Postville last Friday night, #6 North Tama faces another ranked opponent this week as the RedHawks face tenth-ranked Don Bosco. The Dons are in the Radio Iowa ratings for the first time in program history, and coach Colby Yoder says he’s glad to see his players getting some recognition and to have some success.
Yoder says the kids have been getting beat up in recent years, but have kept coming out to practice. The RedHawks have been a top ten team all season, but tumbled five spots after last week’s loss to #2 Postville, a game that coach Brent Thoren says they didn’t deserve to win.
Thoren says they didn’t play well and Postville did, and yet his team still had a chance to win at the end. He says they just didn’t make enough plays to win. North Tama will likely be without quarterback Jacob Wrage until the playoffs because of a broken ankle. Backup Dalton Hulme stepped in last week, passing for 148 yards and a score.
Hulme also threw four interceptions, but Thoren says he was still happy with the junior’s play. He says Hulme made a couple of mistakes, but he says there is plenty of blame to go around on the team.
Yoder says that his players will have to be on their game regardless of who is taking the snaps for North Tama. He says they are still a really sound football team and they will have to go out and compete against them and battle every play. North Tama’s loss last week was their first regular season defeat since 2007 and according to Thoren, his players think that one is enough.
He says they are highly motivated after reviewing the game and they realize they have to refocus. Even though North Tama lost last week, they are still presumably the favorites in Friday’s matchup. Yoder says that’s just fine with his players, who relish the role of the underdog.
Yoder says he kids are real hungry and they like to be considered the underdogs as it gives them a little fire.
Class 3A’s 7th and 9th ranked teams will meet in Waverly to help settle the race in District 4. West Delaware, Waverly-Shell Rock and Decorah all finished as tri-champions in the district a year ago, and with a win over Decorah already in their back pocket, West Delaware can take a big step towards the district title in Waverly.
The Go-Hawks lost their top passer, top receiver, and four of their top five rushers from 2010, but are right in the thick of the district race with some new personnel. Head coach Mark Hubbard says that his players have really come together to become an enjoyable group of players.
Waverly-Shell Rock has spread the ball around this year, with four of their players getting at least thirty touches through the first six games of the season. Hubbard says some of that has to do with injuries to key players, and some of it is in an effort to keep players fresh late in games.
West Delaware’s offensive attack is led by quarterback Trey MacTaggart, the district’s leader in passing and fourth best rusher. Hubbard says that MacTaggart is all over the field for the Hawks.
West Delaware won last year’s meeting 29-3 in Manchester. Things won’t get much easier for Waverly-Shell Rock after tonight, as the Go-Hawks travel to Decorah next Friday.
By Jesse Gavin, KCNZ, Cedar Falls