There are four games featuring battles between unbeaten teams in the second week of high school football in N’West Iowa — West Lyon at Sioux Center, Sheldon at South O’Brien, Estherville Lincoln Central at Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn and Gehlen Catholic at West Monona.
Of that group, the one with the most intriguing storyline is West Lyon at Sioux Center.
On one hand, you have a team that is as much of a known commodity as any team in the region.
West Lyon was a state playoff team last year, as it seemingly always is, and suffered the least graduation losses of any postseason team I can remember in quite some time.
In fact, looking at the Wildcats' stats from last year may be more informative than looking at what they did in a 35-0 week one win over Central Lyon/George-Little Rock.
Last week against the Lions, the Wildcats got out to a huge early lead and were able to spread the wealth offensively in their bread and butter ground attack. Ten players carried the football for West Lyon, with none of them getting more than six attempts.
Senior quarterback Jalyn Gramstad tried only five passes but completed three of them for 104 yards, including a 72-yard touchdown strike to senior Gavin Lorenzen.
Lorenzen also had a 43-yard interception return for a TD.
Senior Davion Sterner had 14 tackles, including two sacks.
Senior Logan Meyer was the leading rusher last season for West Lyon with 987 yards and 12 touchdowns. He was also the top receiver with 246 yards and two TDs. Gramstad threw for 660 yards and seven TDs with one interception. Senior Gauge Erickson was the top tackler, followed by Sterner.
Sioux Center did not have the luxury of a big lead in its season opener. Instead, the Warriors needed a 19-yard TD pass from Damon Walhof to Lane Kamerman with 41 seconds left to pull out a 33-32 win over LeMars.
The Warriors are expected to lean more heavily toward the run than they have in recent years, and senior Sam Vonk finished with 111 yards rushing and three TDs.
However, Walhof was quite efficient when called upon. He completed 73 percent of his 22 pass attempts, throwing for 181 yards and a TDn with no interceptions. Junior Eli Hibma was his top target with seven grabs for 89 yards.
The strength of this year’s Sioux Center team is its defense, particularly its linebacker group. Junior Matthew Bomgaars had six tackles in the opener and Kamerman had 5.5. Senior Chayce Hooyer recovered a fumble. Seniors Jack Vogel and Domo Roskam were the top tacklers on last year’s team.
In other N’West Iowa sports this week, it’s a busy one for the cross country teams that will be capped by a meet at Sibley-Ocheyedan on Tuesday, Sept. 10, that will feature 11 of the 15 teams in the region. In volleyball, the War Eagle teams have already gotten into conference play. One matchup that might have a lot to do with how the final standings end up is South O’Brien’s match at Unity Christian on Tuesday, Sept. 10.
Thursday, Sept. 5
GLRCL, Gehlen Catholic, HMS, Sibley-Ocheyedan, Sioux Center, South O’Brien, Trinity Christian at Okoboji
Luverne, Tea Area at West Lyon
River Valley at Sibley-Ocheyedan
Akron-Westfield at at South O’Brien
George-Little Rock, Rock Valley at Boyden-Hull tournament
LeMars at MOC-Floyd Valley
Friday, Sept. 6
GLRCL at Augustana
West Sioux at CLGLR
Western Christian at BHRV
Okoboji at Sibley-Ocheyedan
West Lyon at Sioux Center
Sheldon at South O’Brien
Estherville Lincoln Central at Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn
Hinton at Unity Christian
Gehlen Catholic at West Monona
Saturday, Sept. 7
West Lyon at Luverne, MN
MOC-Floyd Valley at Sioux City North Tnt
West Lyon, George-Little Rock at Luverne, MN, Tnt
Sioux Center at Algona Tnt
Monday, Sept. 9
West Lyon at George-Little Rock Tnt
Sibley-Ocheyedan at Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn
Tuesday, Sept. 10
Okoboji at Estherville Lincoln Central
BHRV, GLRCL, HMS, Sheldon, South O’Brien, Sioux Center, Trinity Christian, West Lyon, West Sioux, Western Christian at Sibley-Ocheyedan
Gehlen Catholic, Unity Christian at LeMars
MMCRU at Gehlen Catholic
Remsen St. Mary’s at Trinity Christian
South O’Brien at Unity Christian