Heading into the third week of the high school football season, there is still a lot we don’t know for sure about area teams.
How many of the undefeated teams are real playoff contenders? Are there some 0-2 teams that could still rise that were just victims of a rough schedule out of the gate? There are plenty of 1-1 teams out there. What can we make of them?
All of it is important with the nondistrict games figuring into the postseason formula for the second straight year, so coming up with some positive responses right away is imperative.
Two of the biggest mystery teams at this point play each other on Friday as Sibley-Ocheyedan travels to Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn.
The host Hawks were one of the bigger riddles coming into the year. Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn was 6-3 last year but suffered an extreme amount of graduation losses. The team was essentially starting from scratch. Two wins later, is it possible the program hasn’t skipped a beat?
Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn was excellent on defense in its opener. Seniors Trent Mortenson and Turner Soden were the leading tacklers and junior Noah Adams had a pick in a shutout of Okoboji on opening day. The Hawks shut out Estherville Lincoln Central in three of the four quarters of a come from behind 19-14 win over the Midgets. Soden and Mortensen again led the way there. The triple-option offense is being triggered by freshman quarterback Kooper Ebel and it looked a little better in the second week. Sophomore Keaton Graves has been the team’s leading rusher.
Sibley-Ocheyedan hurt itself with penalties and a major miscue on special teams in a season-opening loss to Sheldon, but appeared to have cleaned some of that up in the second week and beat Okoboji 28-13. The return of junior Dylan Platt gave the Generals a big boost. Platt was in on just a few plays against Sheldon before being injured. Against Okoboji, his 96 yards rushing softened the defense up for junior quarterback Beau Jenness to attack the perimeter. Jenness ran for 141 yards in the win. Special teams were still an issue as the Pioneers returned the opening kick for a touchdown, but the Generals made up for that with a defensive score as senior Trey Schuck returned an interception for a touchdown.
In other N’West Iowa sports this week, two of the biggest regular-season events of the year happen on Saturday. The Tim Thomas Invitational cross country meet hosted by Ridge View features a crowded field. The results are split into a couple of enrollment classes and the meet also serves as the CYO meet for the schools involved with that. Six N’West Iowa teams plan to attend. In volleyball, we get a better idea of what the regional tournaments might look like as some of the region’s power’s face off in the Sioux County Tournament. Unity Christian is hosting the event this year.
Thursday, Sept. 12
Okoboji at MOC-Floyd Valley
Rock Valley at Sioux Center
West Lyon at Sheldon
Boyden-Hull at Sibley-Ocheyedan
Central Lyon at George-Little Rock
West Sioux at Harris-Lake Park
Gehlen Catholic at Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn
Trinity Christian at MMCRU
Hinton at South O’Brien
Friday, Sept. 13
Sibley-Ocheyedan at Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn
Spencer at MOC-Floyd Valley
GTRA at Okoboji
LeMars at Sheldon
Central Lyon/George-Little Rock at Spirit Lake
Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley at West Lyon
Sioux Center at West Sioux
South O’Brien at Alta-Aurelia
Unity Christian at Estherville Lincoln Central
Woodbury Central at Gehlen Catholic
Sioux City Heelan at Western Christian
Saturday, Sept. 14
MOC-Floyd Valley, Gehlen Catholic, Okoboji, South O’Brien, West Sioux, Sheldon, at Ridge View
Boyden-Hull, MOC-Floyd Valley, Sioux Center, Western Christian, Unity Christian at Sioux County Tournament (Unity hosts)
Central Lyon, Okoboji, Sheldon, Sibley-Ocheyedan at Spirit Lake
Gehlen Catholic at LeMars tournament
Trinity Christian at West Sioux tournament
Monday, Sept. 16
BHRV, GLRCL, Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn, Sioux Center, Trinity Christian, West Sioux at West Lyon
Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn, Trinity Christian at Sibley-Ocheyedan tournament
Remsen St. Mary’s at West Sioux
Tuesday, Sept. 17
Western Christian at Sioux Falls Christian
MOC-Floyd Valley, Unity Christian at Storm Lake
Gehlen Catholic at Woodbury Central
George-Little Rock at Rock Valley
Unity Christian at Gehlen Catholic
Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn at Trinity Christian