Hey, hey sorry about the lack of a column last week, but we're back this week ready to dive into the world of high school football. Week five showed us a lot about our area teams, I feel. It showed us that some of them have gone through a murderer's row of scheduling while others are beginning to separate from the pack in a huge way.
As customary, we'll begin with Storm Lake. Excuse me, I mean number eight in the state of Iowa Storm Lake Tornadoes. For what seems to be the first time in school history, the Tornadoes are a top 10 team. The mountain isn't over yet for Storm Lake with four games left on the schedule.
We learned that this past week that it doesn't seem to matter who is carrying the ball for the Tornadoes, they'll earn some yards. Six players had 20 or more yards on the ground. Four of those six found the end zone. Coach Rudy Wieck has done a good job this season of spreading the ball around, making it difficult for opposing coaches to say we have to stop that one player down to shut down the offense.
Of course having senior signal caller Michael Demers rush twice for 71 yards was a huge benefit for the offense against Humboldt. If Demers is able to do a little more on the ground, it will open up the offense even more in the last four weeks.
The defense does a great job of bending but not breaking. The two interceptions this week were key, as turnovers usually are. Without Drew Thomas, the Wildcats might not have racked up that many yards on the Tornadoes.
The secondary will be tested again this week against a pretty decent LeMars quarterback in Gabe Eckstaine. So coming up with those big plays will be key for the Tornado defense to help set the tone for their homecoming contest on Friday night. As coach Wieck said to me on Friday night, Thomas exposed some holes in the defense that they can work on fixing.
Alta-Aurelia, you can breathe a sigh of relief now. That three straight weeks of top 10 opponents has reached the end. The last four weeks could see a turnaround in their record. But the fact is that the Warriors might've been playing one of the hardest schedules in the state of Iowa. Let's remember they did beat Ridge View, a team that is nearly in the Class A top 10.
To the Warrior nation, simply rejoice. Rejoice in the fact that it's over. This is a good team in Alta that plays under the lights on Friday nights. Skylar Solko has been a vocal leader for his team from what I've seen. I enjoy seeing that kind of senior leadership on a team that's been through a rough time.
Newell-Fonda has found their moxie, their mojo or whatever you'd like to call it. They've reeled off four straight wins on the season now thanks to an offense that's beginning to mesh pretty well, and a defense that isn't giving up too many points.
Reed Kruse is putting together a great year for the Mustangs helping to lead their offense. The running backs are also doing a good job with their roles as well. The defense is starting to get it put together from the looks of things.
They haven't allowed much on the ground since the opening week gashing. The Mustangs have rebounded nicely from that quite well. It does baffle me though that GTRA has been placed ahead of Newell-Fonda in the AP rankings. The Mustangs gashed them and yet are behind them? Doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.
Ridge View has picked up four straight wins as well. Tyler Wingert has led an efficient offense through five weeks. The defense has had some stout efforts as well pitching a shutout a few weeks ago and then holding St. Edmond to just seven points in this past week.
Ridge View has a strong chance to make the playoffs like Storm Lake and Newell-Fonda.
Sioux Central continues its up and down season. While they sit at 2-3, they've had a roller coaster ride to get there. They'll drop a game and win, drop a game and win. You get the picture. Their rushing attack has been their offense. In the case of Prior and Rusk not getting it going, the Rebel offense is going to suffer.
In their shutout loss a couple of weeks ago, they had nothing in the run game. In the close loss to South O'Brien, they were able to get those backs going. The defensive effort and opening up the lanes for those two is the key for Sioux Central to earn winning streak instead of just this see saw type season they're on.
It's rather amazing that they're the only team in the area who can move the ball so well without too much of a passing attack. Every other squad has averaging over 100 yards per game through the air except for them.
Week six should let us know who will keep moving forward in the drive for the playoffs. I know I'm looking forward to it.