It’s deep enough in the football season that the Iowa High School Athletic Association’s RPI rankings are out, and based on those there are a couple of monstrous games with N’West Iowa teams going head-to-head this week.
In Class A District 1, the headliner has South O’Brien visiting Gehlen Catholic on Friday, Oct. 11.
The undefeated Wolverines have been a powerhouse and that shows in the RPI, with South O’Brien second in Class A. Offensively, it’s all about a big, powerful offensive line carving out room for senior running back Tristan Wilson, who is fourth in the state in all classes and third in Class A in rushing with 1,285 yards. Wilson has scored 14 touchdowns and averages 8.3 yards per carry.
Defensively, senior Matt Riedemann leads the Wolverines with 25.5 tackles, He has two interceptions and a fumble recovery. Senior Thomas Nelson has 21 and junior Evan Ball 20.5. Senior Zeke Lundquist has three sacks. Seniors Jackson Louscher and Austin Paulsen each have two interceptions.
The Jays are a young squad that has shown that youth at times, but has also shown tons of potential in its 4-2 start that has them 15th in the Class A RPI.
The numbers are not quite as big since the Jays’ win over MMCRU was a forfeit, but even without the opportunity to rack up stats there, sophomore quarterback Ryan Livermore has thrown for 961 yards and six touchdowns. Senior Jacob Nemmers is the big-play threat on offense. He has 406 yards rushing and five touchdowns, averaging 9.4 yards per carry. He also has 119 yards receiving and a touchdown. Senior Ethan Peters has 10 catches for 294 yards and three touchdowns. Junior Zach Kraft has 16 grabs for 260 yards.
On defense, junior Derek Von Arb has 20.5 tackles and senior Cade Walgenbach has 20. Nemmers has a pair of interceptions.
The other huge contest is in Class 1A District 1. West Sioux is the defending state champion and won a state title in Class A the year before. The Falcons looked invincible until falling 25-21 at Western Christian last week. The Falcons are now a desperate team trying to keep its playoff hopes alive against West Lyon in Hawarden on Friday. West Lyon, unbeaten on the season, is ranked third in the RPI. West Sioux is seventh.
West Lyon comes in averaging 45.8 points per game while West Sioux averages 44.5 per contest.
Five players have over 100 rushing yards for West Lyon, led by Senior Logan Meyer with 504. Meyer has scored 10 rushing touchdowns. He has 290 receiving yards and a touchdown. Senior Gavin Lorenzen has 294 yards receiving and six touchdowns. Senior quarterback Jalyn Gramstad has thrown for 834 yards and nine touchdowns while completing 64.8 percent of his throws. Seniors Gauge Erickson and Davion Sterner lead the defense with 37.5 tackles and 34.5 tackles respectively.
West Sioux senior quarterback Hunter Dekkers has thrown for 1,982 yards and 21 touchdowns with just one interception. Dekkers broke the state record for career touchdown passes two weeks ago against Sibley-Ocheyedan. He now has 111. He is one away from Iowa’s career total touchdown mark of 129, which was set by Levi Ferguson of North Mahaska who played for 2002-05. He is 176 yards away from the all-time passing yardage mark of 9.146, which is held by Tyler Jones of Cherokee. Jones played from 2005-08.
Senior Kade Lynott leads the Falcons with 877 yards receiving and nine touchdowns. Senior Bryce Coppock has 274 rush yards.
Make your picks for the week here:
It’s a big week upcoming in other N’West Iowa sports too, especially in cross country. The War Eagle and Lakes Conferences will each hold their league meets on Monday, Oct. 14. The War Eagle meet is in Marcus and the Lakes meet is in Storm Lake. The Siouxland Conference meet is on Tuesday, Oct. 15, in Sibley.
There are some important conference volleyball games going on, but if you want to see a lot of talented squads in one gym the place to go is the Western Christian tournament on Saturday. Boyden-Hull, Central Lyon, MOC-Floyd Valley, Unity Christian and the host Wolfpack represent N’West Iowa and are joined at the event by Sioux City Heelan, Des Moines Christian, Harlan, LeMars, Sergeant Bluff-Luton, Sioux City East and Dakota Valley of South Dakota.
Tuesday, Oct. 8
MOC-Floyd Valley, Okoboji, Sheldon, Sioux Center, Trinity Christian, Unity Christian, Western Christian at Cherokee
Gehlen Catholic, South O’Brien at Kingsley-Pierson
Western Christian at Storm Lake
Sibley-Ocheyedan at MOC-Floyd Valley
Okoboji at Sheldon
Boyden-Hull at Sioux Center
Central Lyon at West Lyon
Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn at Harris-Lake Park
Unity Christian at Hinton
South O’Brien at Trinity Christian
Thursday, Oct. 10
Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley, Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn, Okoboji, Sibley-Ocheyedan, Sioux Center, Trinity Christian, West Lyon at George-Little Rock/Central Lyon
Gehlen Catholic, South O’Brien at West Sioux
Sheldon at Rock Valley
Okoboji at Central Lyon
Sibley-Ocheyedan at Sioux Center
Boyden-Hull at West Lyon
MOC-Floyd Valley at George-Little Rock
West Sioux at Gehlen Catholic
Harris-Lake Park at Unity Christian
MMCRU at South O’Brien
Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn at Remsen St. Mary’s
Akron-Westfield at Trinity Christian
Spencer at Western Christian
Friday, Oct. 11
Okoboji at Central Lyon/George-Little Rock
Sheldon at Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley
Western Christian at Sibley-Ocheyedan
MOC-Floyd Valley at Sioux Center
West Lyon at West Sioux
Akron-Westfield at Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn
South O’Brien at Gehlen Catholic
Emmetsburg at Unity Christian
Saturday, Oct. 12
George-Little Rock, South O’Brien, Rock Valley, Trinity Christian at Harris-Lake Park tournament
Boyden-Hull, Central Lyon, MOC-Floyd Valley, Unity Christian at Western Christian tournament
Monday, Oct. 14
Lakes Conference meet at Storm Lake
War Eagle Conference meet at Marcus
Tuesday, Oct. 15
Siouxland Conference meet at Sibley
Central Lyon at Boyden-Hull
Sheldon at MOC-Floyd Valley
Rock Valley at Okoboji
West Lyon at Sibley-Ocheyedan
Sioux Center at George-Little Rock
West Sioux at Akron-Westfield
MMCRU at Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn
Gehlen Catholic at Hinton
Remsen St. Mary’s at Unity Christian
Western Christian at Cherokee