Arch rivals collide in West Des Moines tonight as top ranked and defending 4A champion West Des Moines Valley hosts fifth ranked Dowling Catholic. While the preparation for this game is no different than any other the atmosphere surrounding it is much different.
Valley coach Gary Swenson says it is a different game for the student body, players and coaches because of all the emphasis put on it. He says rivalry games like this are what make the sport of football unique, as you only see a team once in a season.
Swenson says if The Tigers have any weaknesses they will find out this evening as he says good teams expose your areas of weakness and he hopes his team can expose Dowling’s weaknesses.
Dowling coach Tom Wilson says this is unlike any other regular season game. “Because there is so much that is going on around you, there’s going to be newspaper articles, and then there’s going to be people talking on the radio,” Wilson says. He says the hype is probably higher among the fans than the actual coaches and players in the game.
Wilson says in a rivalry game it is important for the players to keep their emotions in check, which he says is usually tough to do.
Wilson says Dowling’s defense has played well in a 2-0 start but they will need to step it up against Valley.
He says they are very explosive offensively, with two outstanding wide receivers and a top running back.
Valley is also 2-0.
A pair of ranked teams collide in a non-district affair as class 2A second ranked Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley visits class 1A sixth ranked Emmetsburg. Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley coach Cory Brandt says his defense has been preparing to face a unique offense.
Brandt says their hurry up offense is a little different than anything else they see. Brandt says this will be a great test for his team heading into next week’s start of district play. “It’s a great environment to go play in, it’s a lot of fun, you’re going to find out a lot about your team when you go play a team like this,” Brandt says.
Emmetsburg coach Mike Dunlap says the Nighthawks collection of skill players on offense will be tough to stop. He says they spread the field and use their speed to make you defend the whole field.
Dunlap says the E-Hawks will need to do a good job of tackling in the open field, and will have to be disciplined.
Class 3A-fourth ranked Lewis Central will look to go 2-0 with a visit to class 1A second ranked Council Bluffs St. Albert. Lewis Cewntral coach Jim Duggan knows St. Albert well. He played for the school and coached the Falcons to state championships in 2006 and 2007.
Duggan says he never coached any of the kids on the team now, so it’s not as big a game now from that aspect of it.
A pair of ranked teams collide in eight-man district three this evening as fourth ranked Don Bosco hosts number six Janesville. Don Bosco played their first game as an eight-man team last Friday, and didn’t show any trouble adjusting in a 52-12 win over Clarksville. Dons coach Colby Yoder.
Yoder says he really didn’t know what to expect in their first eight man game last week. Yoder says the Dons will need to find a way to slow down Janesville junior quarterback Hunter Meyer who passed for three touchdowns and ran for another in a season opening win against Central Decatur.
“He can throw the ball real well and that does worry you a little bit,” Yoder says. He says Clarksville did not throw the ball very much in the first game.
The Dons will counter with junior quarterback Jake Hogan who rushed for 188 yards and passed for 161 in last week’s win over Clarksville.
Janesville coach Dale Eastman says Hogan will option read the end and will either tuck and run, hand it off, or throw to a big wide receiver.
Jesse Gavin, KCNZ, Cedar Falls contributed to this story.