Week five had some great action: Winterset captured a signature win over Carroll, Atlantic won an overtime thriller over Creston, Glenwood went back to being the Rams of old, and Harlan was… well, Harlan. Tomorrow night’s slate has some intriguing matchups, including a certain district frontrunner on upset watch. Here is the week six District 7 rundown:
Winterset (4-1, 3-0) @ Creston (1-4, 0-3): Winterset officially proved that they mean business last week. The Huskies stormed back from a double digit fourth quarter deficit to nab a 22-19 victory over Carroll, their biggest win thus far. The Huskies trailed by 12 with just under eight minutes to go until quarterback Casey Kleemeier found wideout Jacob Dick for a 70 yard touchdown pass to get the Huskies within a score. Winterset drove the ball down to the Carroll one yard line where Kleemeier took it in on a keeper, giving the Huskies a 22-19 lead with under three minutes to play. The Winterset defense came up big with an interception inside Carroll territory with just over a minute left, sealing the victory for the Huskies. Winterset did it all without their leading rusher in Conner Van Pelt, who was likely sidelined by an injury. Kleemeier totaled 10 completed passes for 152 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Husky offense. The defense was led by junior Matt Benshoof, who racked up 11.5 tackles, bringing his season total to 33.5, which ranks fourth in the district. Winterset will be taking on a Creston team that continued their struggles last week. The Panthers extended their losing streak to three games with a 6-point overtime loss to Atlantic. No stats were posted for the Panthers from that game. Creston is trying anything they can to keep their heads above water as their chances of a playoff bid are already long lost. On the other hand, the Huskies are flying high after their biggest victory of the season, and will look to bring the pain against a whimpering Creston squad as they continue their chase for a playoff spot. Don’t expect any jawdroppers here.
My pick: Winterset 21, Creston 6
Kevin’s pick: Winterset 28, Creston 7
Game of the Week - Harlan (4-1, 3-0) @ Carroll (2-3, 1-2): It was smooth sailing for powerhouse Harlan in week five. The Cyclones routed District 7 cellar-dweller ADM on their way to a fourth straight victory. Senior superstar running back Nick Foss was once again the standout player for the Cyclones. Foss recorded his best game of the season, finishing with an eye-popping 283 yards and six touchdowns on just 26 carries. It is clear that Harlan’s unfortunate quarterback situation has not phased them one bit, as they have continued to rattle off wins despite having third-string Preston Mulligan taking the snaps. It is also evident that the Cyclones are leaning heavily on the running game, as Mulligan only threw the ball eight times last week, completing half of those attempts for 76 yards. Needless to say, the Harlan will be riding Foss and a solid defense off into the sunset as they are looking like frontrunners to claim a district crown in four weeks. I must not speak too soon however, as Kevin and I mutually agreed the Cyclones should be put on upset watch in week six. Carroll is one of those teams that plays a lot tougher than their record reflects, and Ram fans should know what I am talking about. Last week’s heartbreaking loss to Winterset was the second game in which the Tigers have taken a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter and blown it. Carroll will likely be coming out angry and ready to show the rest of the district that they aren’t going away quite yet, and a win tomorrow would do just that. The Tigers racked up a combined 236 total rushing yards against a stout Winterset defense last week, with backs Tanner Higgins and Ethan Rummel seeing most of the workload. Senior quarterback Justin Mohr had a rough night through the air, as he only completed 5 of 17 passes for just 57 yards as well as two interceptions. The Cyclones need to be ready to play when they travel to Carroll because it is almost inevitable that the Tigers will give them their absolute best. The target on your back is part of being good, and that target on the Cyclones will be in the crosshairs of a pesky Carroll squad tomorrow night.
My pick: Harlan 31, Carroll 17
Kevin’s pick: Carroll 21, Harlan 20
Atlantic (3-2, 1-2) @ Glenwood (4-1, 2-1): Ram nation breathed a collective sigh of relief after either watching, hearing or seeing the score from Friday night’s road game at Denison. Glenwood simply annihilated the Monarchs, behind an energetic offense that hung a season high 52 points, and a stifling defense that held their fifth straight opponent under 20 points. This game followed three straight nail biters that had Ram fans scratching their heads, wondering why the offense was struggling immensely to put up points. Well, Glenwood finally found their groove in a ground and pound rushing attack that the Monarchs could not stop. Junior slot back Cooper Silvius led the Rams with 158 rushing yards and a touchdown on just 15 carries. Senior quarterback Andrew Blum carried the ball 11 times, racking up 74 yards and tallying three scores. Blum also found senior wideout Cody Buresh for a 45 yard touchdown pass to add to his fantastic night on offense. The Rams’ triple option was back to what we saw all last season, with the give-pull-pitch system working to perfection. Glenwood will try to keep their momentum up as they host Atlantic for a homecoming matchup. The Trojans picked up their first district win of the season last week when they edged Creston in an overtime thriller. Junior Chase Mullenix was a workhorse for Atlantic on offense. Mullenix carried the ball 14 times for 65 yards and two touchdowns, while catching seven passes for 102 yards on the night. Senior quarterback Jaxson Eden had a decent game as well, connecting on 14 of 24 passes for 178 yards. While the Trojans seem much improved from last season after five games, they will have their hands full when they travel into the Glenwood homecoming atmosphere. There is no doubt Ram Memorial Field will be jam packed and rocking tomorrow night, giving the Rams more enthusiasm than they already had. Expect a Glenwood victory in this one.
My pick: Glenwood 44, Atlantic 13
Kevin’s pick: Glenwood 35, Atlantic 10
Denison (3-2, 2-1) @ ADM (0-5, 0-3): Denison was running with high hopes through the first four games of the season and essentially face-planted last week when they hosted Glenwood. The Rams came in and dominated them from the first snap, and the Monarchs were playing catchup less than five minutes into the game. There were no stats posted from Denison for that game, so I am unable to rattle off individual players’ performances from last week. The Monarchs will have a good bounce-back opponent in week six as they travel to ADM. The Tigers have been dragging their way through a painful season so far as they continue their desperate search for their first win. ADM is undoubtedly an air-first team, as they have attempted a district-high 139 passes through five games. That said, they also retain the second-worst completion percentage. They will look to salvage anything they can from a season that is already lost. As for Denison, they are not quite out of it yet. With only one loss in the district, the Monarchs are still hanging on by their fingertips in the playoff race, but they will need to pull off some big upsets down the road to have a chance at sneaking into the postseason. The Monarchs will start their climb back tomorrow, as they shouldn’t have too much of a problem with the winless Tigers.
My pick: Denison 28, ADM 13
Kevin’s pick: Denison 17, ADM 7
Kevin: 3-1 last week, 21-7 season
Nick: 3-1 last week, 19-9 season