The debate ran through the newsroom this week with four or five writers chiming in and four different games mentioned as possibilities for our feature game of the week for football as district play kicks off.
Big rivalry games featuring Western Christian (4-0) vs. Unity Christian (3-1) and South O’Brien (4-0) vs. Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn (2-2) definitely have our attention. West Sioux (4-0) is off to a great start as expected and faces a Sibley-Ocheyedan team (3-1) that has maybe been better than expected.
The game that drew the most votes, however, was one that features two traditional powerhouses that are still looking for their first win of the season.
Despite being 0-4 on the season, with the way the playoff system in Iowa works, Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley and Central Lyon/George-Little Rock are still legitimate postseason threats. One of them is about to get a serious confidence boost after Friday’s game in Rock Rapids.
Much was expected from each of these squads. Both have shown flashes of brilliance that have ended up being dimmed by a crushing strength of schedule that has led to the problems in the win-loss department.
Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley has not started this slowly since going 0-5 to start the 1998 season. All of the Nighthawks’ losses are to state-ranked teams.
Keyton Moser has thrown for 1,028 yards and seven touchdowns. Alex Godfredsen has 23 catches for 373 yards, Josh Heitritter has 20 grabs for 366 and Spencer Te Slaa has 11 catches for 254 yards. Kody Noble had 340 yards rushing and 115 receiving. Turnovers, however, have been an issue for the Nighthawks.
Defensively, Dawson Vonk leads a balanced effort with 17.5 tackles and Gavin Dykstra has 17.
Central Lyon/George-Little Rock has played almost the identical schedule to Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley. Each team has lost to Class 1A top-ranked West Sioux, Class 1A fifth-ranked West Lyon and Class 1A ninth-ranked Western Christian. The only difference is one of the Lions losses was to Spirit Lake, which was ranked fourth in Class 2A at the time. The Nighthawks’ fourth loss was to Class 3A eighth-ranked Sergeant Bluff-Luton.
The Lions have settled on Colby Postma as their starter at quarterback. He has thrown for 329 yards and a touchdown in three games at the spot. Kalen Meyer has been the centerpiece of the offense, running for 172 yards and adding 114 yards in receptions.
Central Lyon/George-Little Rock has been tough on defense, with Meyer again leading the way with 31 tackles. Addison Metzger has 21 stops, four of them for losses. The Lions have only created two turnovers all season, interceptions by Cooper Spiess and Carter Krull.
In other N’West Iowa athletics, the area cross country teams have been busy lately and many of them are in action at the Dordt College course for the Sioux Center Invitational on Thursday. In volleyball teams are in the thick of conference play and there is a big one in the Siouxland Conference on Tuesday, Oct. 1 when Class 2A 12th-ranked Central Lyon visits MOC-Floyd Valley.
Thursday, Sept. 26
BHRV, Gehlen, GLRCL, Okoboji, Sheldon, Sibley-Ocheyedan, Trinity Christian, Unity Christian, West Lyon, West Sioux, Western Christian at Sioux Center
Boyden-Hull at Sheldon
Rock Valley at Central Lyon
Sioux Center at Okoboji
MOC-Floyd Valley at West Lyon
Sibley-Ocheyedan at George-Little Rock
Unity Christian at MMCRU
Kinglsey-Pierson at Trinity Christian
Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn at West Sioux
Friday, Sept. 27
Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley at Central Lyon/George-Little Rock
West Lyon at Emmetsburg
Sheldon at MOC-Floyd Valley
Sioux Center at Okoboji
West Sioux at Sibley-Ocheyedan
South O’Brien at Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn
MMCRU at Gehlen Catholic
Unity Christian at Western Christian
Saturday, Sept. 28
Trinity Christian at Harlan
Gehlen Catholic, Okoboji, Rock Valley, South O’Brien, Trinity Christian at Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn
Central Lyon, Western Christian at Pentagon Invitational
Sioux Center at Unity Christian
Sheldon at Sioux City East
Monday, Sept. 30
Okoboji at Algona
Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn, Sheldon, Sibley-Ocheyedan, South O’Brien at Alta-Aurelia
Remsen St. Mary’s at South O’Brien
Tuesday, Oct. 1
Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley, George-Little Rock/Central Lyon, Gehlen Catholic, MOC-Floyd Valley, Sioux Center, Trinity Christian, Unity Christian, West Lyon at Western Christian
Sheldon at Sibley-Ocheyedan
Central Lyon at MOC-Floyd Valley
Boyden-Hull at Rock Valley
West Lyon at Sioux Center
Okoboji at George-Little Rock
Gehlen Catholic at Akron-Westfield
Hinton at Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn
West Sioux at Unity Christian