Week 4 of the high school football season is here. Check out previews for each area team except for Northeast, which had its game against Durant canceled due to COVID-19 exposure.
Marion (1-1) at Clinton (0-2)
Clinton coach Nate Herrig said his team has been doing the right things this season, but just needs to add the most important ingredient — finishing.
“We executed, but we just had to finish plays last week,” Herrig said. “For this week, we’ve been harping on the kids to finish the play. We were in the right spots, now we’ve got to finish, and continue to have fun and just continue to grow as players because we’re a young ball club.
“We’ve just got to continue to work hard and get better every week.”
The Indians of Marion won over Center Point-Urbana 29-20 in their first game, but are coming off a 42-0 loss to Assumption.
Though Indians quarterback Alex Mota has been lukewarm through the air (five-of-20 passing, 117 yards, one touchdown, four interceptions) so far this year, he has rushed for 167 yards on 23 carries with three TDs, which leads the team.
“They run the option a lot,” Herrig said. “They like to attack the edge quite a bit, so we’re trying to do some different things to counteract that. We’re working hard on who’s got the quarterback on the dive, who’s got the pitch guy.
“Their quarterback runs really well. He’s a sophomore and when they played Center Point, he ran all over the place, so we’ve got to make sure we keep him contained and do our job with him.”
The River Kings will hope to get more production out of players like QB Jai Jensen (team-high 193 offensive yards) and Tavian Bailey (tied-team high 8.5 tackles, team-high two sacks) this Friday.
“Always exciting to be back home,” Herrig said. “It makes our lives so much easier. We’re not planning all this COVID travel stuff — we just get to show up and play some football.”
Camanche (2-1) at Anamosa (1-2)
Camanche coach Dustin Coit said the Indians aren’t underestimating the two-loss Blue Raiders.
“They’ve got a quality team,” Coit said. “They’ve got two losses against two really good teams. We’re looking forward to the opportunity.”
Anamosa is coming off a 37-14 loss to Waterloo West after a 66-0 loss to West Delaware and a 42-28 win over Beckman Catholic in its first two games.
The Blue Raiders feature a gunslinger at QB in Grahm Humpal, who is 33-of-59 for 443 yards, three TDs and five interceptions this year, along with a team-high 270 yards on 39 carries and a score. He primarily throws to receivers Trey Klatt (12 catches, 197 yards) and Colton Borst (10 catches, 167 yards, two TDs). Levi Ehresman (19.5 tackles) leads the defense.
But Anamosa will have its hands full with the Indians’ three-headed monster of Michael Delzell (31-of-49 passing, 438 yards, two TDs), Jordan Lawrence (16 catches, 169 yards, two TDs) and Cade Everson (49 carries, 532 yards, six TDs).
“They’re playing with a ton of energy, they’re confident, they’re really coachable with the gameplans that we put together and the last two weeks they’ve executed it well,” Coit said. “Hopefully they’re going to continue to do that from here on out.”
Erik Kinkaid (29 tackles) and Zayne Feller (24.5 tackles) lead a defense that’s only given up 30-combined points the last two weeks.
Coit added that teams are having a hard time figuring Everson out.
“He’s been in beast mode,” Coit said. “That’s what he’s been, he’s done it all. He had a 72-yard punt return last week and he’s just always falling forward, not going down on first contact. He put on a ton of good weight in the offseason, he’s up to about 200 pounds.
“He’s just a load for other teams to take down.”
No. 8 Easton Valley (3-0) at No. 9 Springville (8-man football)
Two undefeated teams square off this week, as the River Hawks look to continue what’s been a dominant season so far.
“We’re feeling confident,” Easton Valley coach Tony Johnson said. “A lot of good things have been happening for us. We continue to get better every week, which is something we always look forward to. We’ve got a big contest ahead of us at Springville. It’s a tough place to play.
“We’re running into a team that has 10 seniors and they’ve got a good running back, so we have to do our best to try to contain him and get to a fast start.”
The River Hawks have scored 40, 85 and 54 points in its first three matchups. The Orioles have had similar success: they opened the season with a 60-14 win over Central City, followed by an 81-0 thrashing of Central Elkader and an 82-0 win over Clarksville.
With two such high-scoring teams, Johnson said defense will be key. Andin Farrell (26 tackles, seven for loss) and Hudson Felkey (21 tackles, four for loss) figure to lead the River Hawks defensively.
“It starts with our defense getting us great field position, No. 1, and then just utilizing our speed on defense and I think when we get the coin toss, we like to go on D first to set the tone and that really pumps up our offense and gets us moving,” Johnson said.
The Orioles have a workhorse in running back Spencer DeMean, who has 611 yards on 47 carries with 12 TDs. Watch out for Grant Gloeckner on defense, who leads the Orioles in tackles (19) and tackles-for-loss (six).
Johnson wants to get quarterback Conor Gruver (29-of-46, 350 yards, seven TDs, one interception) going through the air after setting up the ground game with Kolton Murphy (44 carries, 305 yards, eight TDs) and Porter Fuegen (24 carries, 220 yards, four TDs).
“It’s going to be a slow, steady progression for (Gruver),” Johnson said. “It’s always good to get Kolton going early and establish that run game — it opens things up for Conor. And then you platoon a kid like Porter Fuegen, who can do everything for us.
“When you can get both things going, it really makes us go.”
Class 3A No. 6 Assumption (3-0) at Central DeWitt (2-1)
In a muddy, 7-0 loss to North Scott last Friday, Sabers coach Ryan Streets hopes his team can capitalize more against Assumption this week.
“We feel pretty good,” Streets said. “We’re healthy, that was the big thing. Anytime after a hard-hitting game like that, you want to make sure you stay healthy. We felt good about that. We played hard, we just didn’t take the opportunities we had and just didn’t make enough plays.”
Assumption is led by quarterback Ayden Weiman (11-of-21 passing, 175 yards, two TDs), running back Dayne Hodge (38 carries, 329 yards, five TDs) and receiver Simon Weitz (seven catches, 127 yards, TD) on offense. On defense, Evan Forker has 14.5 tackles (six for loss) and three sacks. Weitz leads the team with two interceptions.
“They’ve got a quarterback who can throw, obviously, so we’re preparing for that,” Streets said. “He’s a nice passer and they’ve got a big line. They can do a lot of things — when you can do a lot of things, it means the line’s pretty good.”
The Sabers’ offense hopes to rebound after just posting 137 total yards last week.