The Mount Ayr Raiders, ranked second in Class 1A by the Des Moines Register, opens up district play at home Friday against a high-powered offensive team from Colfax-Mingo.
The game will be part of “Shaken Baby Syndrome Awareness Night” in Mount Ayr.
Mount Ayr defeated Clarinda last week, 15-3, to improve to 3-0 for the season. In preparations for that game, the Raiders prepared for Clarinda’s unique single wing offense.
The Cardinals did not run the single wing against Mount Ayr, instead opting to run a wishbone offense, but the Raiders prepared all week for the single wing.
Now, the Raiders prepare for the opposite of the single wing, as they prepare for Colfax-Mingo’s wide open spread offense.
The Tigerhawks enter Friday’s matchup with a 2-1 record overall and 0-1 in Class 1A District 7.
Colfax-Mingo defeated Saydel 63-47 and Southeast Warren 50-14 before losing to a top-10 Van Meter team 67-19 last week.
The Tigerhawks rank second in District 7 in total offense with 1,116 total yards through three games.
Quarterback Jared Myers ranks first in the state with 770 passing yards on 42 completions out of 69 attempts. He has tossed eight touchdowns. Myers also leads the team in rushing with 183 yards and three touchdowns on 38 attempts. He ranks second in Class 1A in total yards.
Sam Smith is the leading receiver for the Tigerhawks, catching 12 passes for 200 yards and two touchdowns. Blake Summy has 11 catches for 253 yards and two touchdowns.
“The Colfax-Mingo offense will present a new challenge for the Raiders,” Mount Ayr co-head coach Delwyn Showalter said. “The Tigerhawks will line up in a spread formation all night with four or five receivers running routes on almost every play.”
Smith is also dangerous in the return game, as he averages 39.5 yards per kickoff return this season on six returns, with one of those returns going for a touchdown.
Defensively, the Tigerhawks will line up in a 3-5 alignment, crowding the line of scrimmage in attempt to take away the running game. Colfax-Mingo has forced 10 turnovers in its first three games.
Mount Ayr quarterback Jacob Sobotka, who left last week’s win against Clarinda with an ankle injury, appears to be ready to go for the Raiders.
Sobotka is the leading rusher for the Raiders with 267 yards and three touchdowns on 33 attempts, averaging 8.1 yards per carry. The Raiders like to spread the ball around in the running game, however, as 15 different players have carried the ball this year.
Sobotka is 24-of-46 passing for 412 yards and four touchdowns compared to one interception this year.
Sophomore Jacob Taylor is the leading receiver for the Raiders with 134 yards and one touchdown on four catches. Kyle Dolecheck, another sophomore, has six catches for 99 yards. Lincoln Martin has 94 yards and two scores on four catches, while Erik Freed has caught eight passes for 73 yards and one touchdown.
Defensively, linebackers Riley Weehler and Cody Stackhouse are the leading tacklers for Mount Ayr, with 25 total tackles, each. Weehler has six solo tackles for loss.
Weehler also has one interception and three fumble recoveries this season. Dolecheck has intercepted two passes.
The Nodaway Valley Wolverines, fresh off their first win of the season, return home for their homecoming game against a tough Panorama team.
The Panthers are just 1-2 entering the game, but have losses to strong teams from West Marshall and Council Bluffs St. Albert.
The Wolverines will have to stop a balanced rushing attack led by senior Chase Hennen’s 210 yards, and also contend with junior quarterback Gavin Richey, who has completed 39 passes for 567 yards.
In just two games for the 1-2 Wolverines this season, senior running back Zach Brewer has racked up 342 rushing yards and seven touchdowns on 47 attempts for an average of 7.3 yards per carry.
Sophomore quarterback Jackson Lamb has a solid group of receivers to throw the ball to in Zach Plymesser, Jaydn Erlandson, TJ Bower and Baley Shantz.
Eight-Man District 8
Southwest Valley, at 3-1 overall and 2-1 in Eight-Man District 8, hits the road Friday to take on 1-3, 1-1 CAM in Anita.
The Cougars have losses to Adair-Casey, River Valley and Fremont-Mills. Their win came against Nishnabotna.
Trace Ticknor makes the Cougar offense tick, as he has completed 45 passes for 748 yards and eight touchdowns, and also leads the team in rushing with 408 yards and eight touchdowns on 74 attempts.
Dylan Amdor has added 188 yards and three touchdowns. He is the top target for Ticknor, catching 22 passes for 430 yards and six scores.
The Timberwolves bring a four-headed rushing attack into Anita, as senior Zach Barton leads the team with 500 yards and seven touchdowns. Senior Jordan Stuart has four scores and 326 yards, while juniors Gunnar McCuen and Tyler Bissell have added 275 and 235 yards, respectively.
Lenox, which suffered its first loss of the season last week to a strong Sidney team hits the road to take on 0-4, 0-3 Nishnabotna of Hamburg.
The Tigers will look to bounce back against the Blue Devils.
Lenox also features a balanced rushing attack, led by Dustyn Rauch with 318 yards and six touchdowns, while Dustin Gordon brings 216 yards and seven scores into the contest. Hugo Montiel has run for 200 yards and Josh Mitchell is also over the century mark at 127 yards.
Eight-Man District 6
Murray (3-1, 2-1) hosts Wayne in a non-district clash in the Mustangs’ homecoming game.
Wayne owns wins over Meswkawki Settlement School and Mormon Trail, and suffered a 54-21 loss to Twin Cedars.
The Falcons generate much of their offense through junior running back Clayton Kiefer, who has 406 yards and 11 touchdowns on 56 rushing attempts. Trent Carpenter has added 113 yards on 10 carries. Senior quarterback Dillon Lain has thrown for 185 yards and five scores without an interception this year.
Murray made a switch at quarterback last week, as freshman Thane Simmons made his first career start at the position. He completed 10 of 16 passes for 138 yards and three touchdowns. He added a rushing touchdown in Murray’s 52-14 win over Grand View Park Baptist.
East Union, meanwhile, hits the road to take on 1-3, 1-1 Colo-Nesco. Colo-Nesco defeated Ankeny Christian Academy, 60-6, last week for its first win of the season.
The Eagles come in with a 1-3 mark overall and 0-2 in district play.
East Union head coach Steve Kinyon made a switch in the offensive lineup last week, moving senior Trevor Barnett to running back and putting Cole Campbell in at quarterback.
Barnett shined in his new role, picking up 91 rushing yards and catching a 25-yard touchdown pass, while Campbell was effective at quarterback with 124 passing yards on nine completions.