Football is the king of the fall. There is no disputing that. The leaves change, and we get this almost second-nature yearning to see dudes in helmets whack each other. Covering my first game of the fall last weekend was a blast, not just because the Pella Christian-Lynnville-Sully matchup was a great game, but it was the first live football I had seen since the Super Bowl (no, the Pro Bowl doesn’t count).
This week should supply another onslaught of great games, but what I am most looking forward to is next Friday. Week three of the season is typically when the players get into real game shape. They have had a couple weeks of sucking wind and gasping for air in the fourth quarter, so by then they are at least accustomed to the discomfort brought on by four quarters of running as fast as you can for 8-10 seconds.
Not so coincidentally, next week is also when district play begins. The first of the two teams I have seen in person, Pella Christian, will have a home matchup against Central Decatur in Pella. The Eagles are fairly young, but stout team. There are plenty of big guys that provide good protection up front. They also seem to have a lot of talent at running back. There were at least four players with big carries, and that is going to be a tough combination to stop, but Central Decatur has a running game of their own. Senior Wyman Reed carried the ball for 175 yards at Bedford last week. That should be a solid game.
Lynnville-Sully is a fast team, very fast. I covered this school’s track athletes last year, and it’s no mistake that an All-State 4x100 team is largely representative of the Hawks on the football field as well. Bailee Samson is one of the fastest in Class A. In open space, he will be difficult for even the swiftest of feet to run down. They will go up against Pekin at home. Pekin kicked off the season by scoring 55 points in a win over New London. That Hawks’ defense will need to provide a similar effort to the Pella Christian game, otherwise they will be forced to keep pace by putting the ball in the end zone repeatedly.
Tonight, I’m headed to Colfax to see the Colfax-Mingo Tigerhawks take on Southeast Warren in what should be a warm up affair to their district matchup with Van Meter in week three.
The Tigerhawks boasted a supreme passing attack in their opening win over Saydel, with sophomore quarterback Jared Myers proving that he is definitely fully recovered from a collarbone injury that cut his freshman season short. He threw for 383 yards on 20-for-25 passing with four touchdowns. That impressive stat line included a 65-yard bomb to Blake Summy and a 49-yard touchdown pass to Sam Smith. On the defensive end, Jake Lietz was the one of the top tacklers in the state last year. I am really looking forward to seeing both sides of the ball in action for C-M.
I have yet to watch Newton, Prairie City-Monroe or Collins-Maxwell/Baxter, but over the next several weeks, I should get looks at all of these teams matched up in the games that matter the most.
In short, it’s nice to have football back. It makes my job a whole lot more fun.