Now that we have had a “warm up” in the 2017 season, it’s time to get down to business. Non-district play is finally over, and there are some intriguing match ups on the slate for the opening week of district play. Since the Glenwood-Carroll game is seemingly highly anticipated, the full preview and predictions for that game can be found here. On another note, here is what other action we will see around District 7 this week:
Winterset @ Adel-Desoto-Minburn: The Winterset Huskies were nothing short of impressive in their week two matchup against Norwalk. While they may have lost 29-12, the Huskies hung with the preseason Class 3A #1 Warriors wire to wire. Winterset’s defense is the highlight this season, led by 2016 all-district linebacker Connor Van Pelt, who is currently fourth in the district in total tackles. While the Husky offense hasn’t put up anything special, junior quarterback Casey Kleeimeier ranks second in the district in passing yards after two weeks. Needless to say, my preseason District 7 dark horse is starting to look like they could pose a threat to the usual powerhouses at the top this season. As for this game, the 1-1 Huskies will take on an ADM team that has been anything but impressive. A 36-0 blowout loss to Dallas Center-Grimes in week one, and a 43-7 trouncing from Ballard last week makes ADM the only winless team left in District 7. Look for Winterset to have no issue on the road against the Tigers.
My pick: Winterset 30, ADM 7
Kevin’s pick: Winterset 28, ADM 17
Atlantic @ Denison: Surprisingly enough, Atlantic, the team thought to finish dead last in the district, currently sits tied for first being one of only two teams that hasn’t lost. Now, there is an argument to be made about the level of competition that was included in the Trojans’ non-district schedule. However, senior quarterback Jaxson Eden and this Atlantic squad has been pretty impressive out of the gate. Eden currently leads the district in overall passing statistics. In Atlantic’s two blowout wins over Clarinda and Shenandoah, Eden completed 23 of 35 passes (65%) for 402 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions, all compiling to a 190 passer rating. Again, we get it, it’s Clarinda and Shenandoah, but those are pretty convincing stats nonetheless. The Trojans will have a decent chance of starting off 3-0 when they travel to Denison to take on the Monarchs. Don’t let Denison’s 1-1 record fool you, Ram fans. After last Friday’s game, I think it’s safe to say that the Monarchs’ 28-14 week one loss to TJ is respectable. In last week’s 31-6 victory over East Sac County, Denison rushed for nearly 300 total yards, with four different guys racking up 60+ yards on the ground. It’s hard to say how good either of these teams are, but with the Monarchs’ versatile rushing attack taking on Eden and an Atlantic offense that has proven they can put up points, you could expect a pretty good game here.
My pick: Atlantic 33, Denison 27
Kevin’s pick: Atlantic 21, Denison 20
Game of the Week - Creston @ Harlan: Unfortunately, Creston has been at the forefront of the news for all the wrong reasons this week, but I will stay away from that situation completely. As soon as this game was scheduled it was viewed as a pivotal early season matchup in District 7. Not only were both Creston and Harlan ranked in the top 10 in Class 3A, but they were also both popular picks to win the district prior to the season kicking off. However, after both squads suffered disappointing week one losses, those predictions came into question. Even though each team already has a blemish on their record, I wouldn’t count either of them out. Coming off a 41-7 win over Greene County, Harlan seems to be back on track. However, they will continue to play without 2016 second team all-district quarterback Deren Schmitz, who is still nursing a finger injury. Schmitz was supposed to be the second half of a Harlan’s dynamic duo on offense. Don’t worry, the other half is still fully intact. Senior running back Nick Foss, who was highly regarded coming into the season, has not disappointed so far. Foss has already racked 250 total yards and three touchdowns on just 39 carries over two games. But without Schmitz, this offense is clearly not at its full potential. This will prove as an advantage for a Creston defense who has played the run quite well in the last two weeks. The Panther offensive charge will be led by junior quarterback Kylan Smallwood, behind a gargantuan line. Senior linemen Trevor Downing (6-4, 290lbs) and Tucker Flynn (6-7, 320lbs) are simply a force up front for this Creston offense. This is a game that could frankly go either way, and is very hard to predict based on all of the question marks. But then again, that’s why they play the games. Look for this one to be a low scoring, grind it out game between two teams looking to prove themselves.
My pick: Creston 20, Harlan 17
Kevin’s pick: Harlan 28, Creston 21
Kevin: 8-0 last week, 13-3 season
Nick: 8-0 last week, 12-4 season