Class 3A District 7 Rundown: Week Five

Nick Stavas's picture

    Week four was for an interesting one in District 7. Harlan took the reigns in the standings with a road win at Glenwood, Denison dominated Creston on the road and Carroll was nearly stunned by ADM (but not quite). As for tomorrow night, there are some pretty good match ups on the slate that could shake up the standings even more. So, without further ado, the week five District 7 rundown:


Creston (1-3, 0-2) @ Atlantic (2-2, 0-2): The Creston Panthers have had a disappointing start to the season that is quite unexpected. As a popular pick to contend for a District 7 title, the Panthers came into the season with high hopes. After suffering a one point loss to Boone in week one and then blowing out class 2A rival Clarinda, Creston has gotten punched in the gut in the last two weeks. The Panthers suffered a 42-7 loss to Harlan, followed by a 35-14 home loss to Denison last Friday night making their record a lackluster 1-3. They will look to bounce back tomorrow when they travel to Atlantic to take on the 2-2 Trojans, a team that has started a losing streak of their own. Atlantic will be led by quarterback Jaxson Eden, who before last week was the best District 7 had to offer. A stellar Winterset defense got the best of Eden, forcing him to throw three interceptions in the Trojans’ 20-0 week four loss. One of the these teams will walk away with their first district win, while the other will be sent back to the drawing board for yet another week. Expect a low scoring struggle between two teams trying anything to stop the bleeding from the last couple games.


My pick: Creston 28, Atlantic 20

Kevin’s pick: Atlantic 21, Creston 14


Game of the Week - Carroll (2-2, 1-1) @ Winterset (3-1, 2-0): This game will have large implications down the road as far as district seeding goes, but it will also be very important for both squads as each try to remain contenders for a district title. Winterset has been somewhat of a surprise for a lot of people this season. The Huskies are led by a stifling defense that has only allowed 13 points per game, including a shutout of Atlantic last week. On offense, quarterback Casey Kleemeier is second in the district in overall passing stats after a decent performance a week ago. His most eye-popping stat is the fact that he has only thrown one interception through four games. Connor Van Pelt will be taking most of the reps at running back for Winterset. Last Friday, Van Pelt had his best game of the season, rushing for 117 yards and a touchdown on just 18 carries. Currently atop District 7, the Huskies have picked up two blowout wins in a row and will look to hold onto that momentum. That said, the strength of schedule question always arises. While their wins may not be against powerhouse programs, Winterset’s lone loss is to Class 3A #6 Norwalk in a game that was closer than the 29-12 score portrays. The Huskies will face their first true district test this week in a seemingly underrated Carroll team. Glenwood fans should know quite well what I am talking about when I say the Tigers are not a team to take lightly. Carroll racked up a whopping 323 rushing yards last week in a 17-14 win at ADM. Tanner Higgins is the Tigers’ leading rusher with 351 total yards and four touchdowns on 71 carries this season. The running game will need to be in full force against Winterset’s defense this week. The Husky defensive unit has only given up an average of 43 rushing yards per game to their opponents, a number that is frankly phenomenal. This is truly going to be one of those “unstoppable force vs. immovable object” match ups when the Carroll rushing attack meets the Winterset defense. It should make for a fun, nail-biting, low scoring game between two teams fighting to stay in the playoff hunt.


My pick: Winterset 14, Carroll 13

Kevin’s pick: Carroll 20, Winterset 16


Glenwood (3-1, 1-1) @ Denison (3-1, 2-0): Just looking at those records to the left, this may look like it should be the game of the week. However, the first thing that pops into anyone’s mind when they read those numbers is probably, “how is Denison 3-1?” Even though they have improved tremendously from last season, the Monarchs haven’t exactly played a world-beating schedule. After losing to Thomas Jefferson 28-14 in week one, Denison has rattled off three wins in a row over East Sac County, Atlantic and Creston. It is hard to tell just how good the Monarchs are strictly from their schedule, so the best way to do so is to take the common opponent between Denison and Glenwood, which would be TJ. The Jackets had Glenwood on the ropes in week two, but a second half comeback allowed the Rams to escape with a 24-14 victory. Like I said above, the Monarchs struggled with Cameron Baker and the Jackets, allowing him over 200 yards and three scores. But that was nearly a month ago, so we have to look forward. The Monarchs will be led by senior running back Luke Staley, who has rushed for 356 yards on just 57 carries on the season (6.2 yards per carry). Staley will be going up against a stout Ram defense that has allowed just under 11 points per game. While Glenwood’s defense has been exceptional, the offense has been all but that. The Rams have not scored a single point in the first half of the last three games, and they were shutout through three quarters against both Carroll and Harlan. After a solid start to the season, quarterback Andrew Blum has had a rough go of it in the last two games, with three interceptions and five total turnovers. He has flashed signs of greatness in the ground game, however. Blum was Glenwood’s leading rusher last week with 104 yards on 20 carries. He will need to step it up if the Rams want to nab their second district win of the year. Glenwood will be traveling to Denison looking to replace the Monarchs in the district standings after suffering a 17-14 loss to Harlan last Friday. As for Denison, they will want to continue their win streak and pick up a staple victory in week five. Be ready to watch some smash-mouth 3A football in this one.


My pick: Glenwood 20, Denison 10

Kevin’s pick: Glenwood 17, Denison 13


Harlan (3-1, 2-0) @ ADM (0-4, 0-2): There really isn’t a lot to this match up. Harlan has hopped in the driver’s seat in District 7 after their 17-14 win over Glenwood last week. Led by senior running back Nick Foss, the Cyclones will look to ride that momentum straight into what will likely be a blowout victory in week five. Foss ranks sixth in Class 3A in rushing yards (624) and second in rushing touchdowns (10) through the first four games. Needless to say, Harlan officially has one of the best running backs in the state in their backfield. At quarterback, junior Preston Mulligan will be taking snaps for the Cyclones. After a series of unfortunate injuries sideline Harlan’s top two quarterbacks, third-string Mulligan has been quite impressive stepping into the spotlight. Mulligan has 300 total yards and two touchdowns on the season. Harlan will be taking on an ADM squad that has been flat-out struggling out of the gate in 2017. After three straight 20+ point losses to Dallas Center, Ballard and Winterset in the first three weeks, the Tigers almost shocked the world (or at least the western side of Iowa) when they nearly upset Carroll last week at home. Unfortunately for them, things will likely only get worse when they host Curt Bladt’s Harlan Cyclones this week.


My pick: Harlan 45, ADM 7

Kevin’s pick: Harlan 35, ADM 10


Pick Results

Kevin: 2-2 last week, 18-6 season

Nick: 2-2 last week, 16-8 season