Class 3A District 7 Rundown: Week Four

Nick Stavas's picture

    Week three of high school football was full of surprises in District 7. A blowout win for Harlan over Creston, and two games decided by less than four points made for an exciting opening week of district play. The Glenwood-Harlan game is obviously our game of the week selection, and the full preview of that matchup can be found here. But while all you Ram fans perform your gameday-eve rituals (whatever those may be) in preparation for tomorrow night’s battle here in Glenwood, let’s take a look at the rest of the action around the district:

 

Winterset @ Atlantic: I feel like a broken record when I talk about this Winterset team. But once again, after another week of football, I issue a fair warning to all the “top tier” District 7 teams: don’t sleep on the Huskies. After a week one win over Bondurant-Farrar, the Huskies hung wire-to-wire with preseason 3A top dog Norwalk. Another solid defensive performance highlighted the night for Winterset last week when they handled the ADM Tiger offense with ease on their way to a 34-13 victory. This stout Winterset Defense is led by senior linebacker and 2016 District 7 tackles leader Connor Van Pelt, who currently ranks sixth in total tackles. This matchup will feature the top two quarterbacks in the district. Junior quarterback Casey Kleemeier is the Huskies’ field general on offense. In a system that seems to focus heavily on the run, Kleemeier’s passing stats have been impressive. Not only does he hold the highest completion percentage of the starting quarterbacks in District 7, but he also ranks second to Atlantic’s Jaxson Eden in total passing yards with 481. Eden ranks first in yards (605), second in completion percentage (61%) and first in passing touchdowns (5). While they have statistically the best quarterback in the district leading the way, this Atlantic team still has a lot of question marks. The Trojans have yet to face a true test this season. After shutout victories over Clarinda and Shenandoah in weeks one and two, Atlantic fell just short in a 31-28 loss to Denison last week. A lot of those questions still hanging in the air will be answered when the Trojans take on a Winterset defense that will likely be one of the best they face all season.

 

My pick: Winterset 31, Atlantic 14

Kevin’s pick: Winterset 24, Atlantic 17

 

Carroll @ Adel-Desoto-Minburn: While it looked as if it would be a down year for Carroll, they almost shocked the world last week when they had the undefeated Glenwood Rams on the ropes. The Tigers looked like they were going to roll to a major upset when they sat on a 12-0 lead headed into the fourth quarter. That lead was quickly erased after two big plays from Glenwood, causing the victory to slip out of the Tigers’ grasp, and sending Glenwood home with a 13-12 road win. Led by some stellar defense and a methodical, balanced offensive attack, Carroll will likely be a tough out in District 7 this season. The backfield is spearheaded by senior running back Tanner Higgins who has rushed for 225 yards and three touchdowns on 49 carries through the first three weeks. In the passing attack, senior wideout Cooper Ross has 13 receptions on the year and currently leads the district in receiving yards with 193. For the other Tigers, ADM, that is, the 2017 season has been one big nightmare. After suffering their third straight blowout loss last week, ADM remains the only winless squad in District 7. The Tigers are a team that likes to air it out, as senior quarterback Matthew West has attempted over 50 passes this season. The ground game has done next to nothing for ADM to this point, so look for that ball to fly as they attempt to pull off a big week four upset at home. Expect Carroll to have no issue proving their Tiger dominance in this one.

 

My pick: Carroll 27, ADM 7

Kevin’s pick: Carroll 28, ADM 14

 

Denison @ Creston: Creston was undeniably embarrassed last week in Harlan. In a game that was highly anticipated as a matchup between two heavyweight programs expected to have solid seasons, the Panthers were blown out by a Cyclone team that was simply better. The Panthers will be looking to bounce back from last Friday’s 42-7 thrashing against a Denison team that seems to be a much more favorable matchup. Creston will be led by junior quarterback Kylan Smallwood, who has frankly been outstanding on the stat sheets this year. Smallwood has completed 21 of 39 passes for 258 yards and four touchdowns. But most importantly, he has yet to throw an interception this season. Smallwood is clearly a dual-threat QB as he averages over nine yards per carry with 321 yards on just 34 rushing attempts. Unfortunately, this is football, and one player cannot make a team. The Panthers will need to make some significant improvements on the defensive side of the ball if they want to stay in contention for a district title down the road. On the other end of this matchup, Denison has clearly made some big leaps from last season. The 2-1 Monarchs have already matched their win total from a year ago, their only loss being to a much-improved Thomas Jefferson team in week one. Denison has one 200+ yard rusher in Luke Staley, as well as two 100+ yard rushers in Jaden Langenfeld and Jacob Irwin. These three ball carriers have a combined average of 5.5 yards and have added six total touchdowns on the season. A Panther squad that is likely angry after last week’s blowout loss will be seeking to take it out on what seems to be a weaker Dension team. However, don’t be surprised if the pesky Monarchs make this one a little close than you’d expect.

 

My pick: Creston 34, Denison 24

Kevin’s pick: Creston 35, Denison 21

 

Pick Results

Kevin: 3-1 last week, 16-4 season

Nick: 2-2 last week, 14-6 season

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