Prep Football Fix

Abraham Lincoln at Ames

Records (District): Abraham Lincoln 1-4 (0-1), Ames 1-4 (1-0)

Last Week: Abraham Lincoln lost to Urbandale 56-0; Ames defeated Des Moines North 52-12

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Rankings: Neither team is ranked

The Word: The bottom line right now for the Lynx is getting some kind of sustained momentum on either side of the ball.

The Lynx averaged more than 28 points per game in their first two weeks but have scored seven points combined in the three weeks since.

“We’ve got to move the ball,” A.L. coach John Wolfe said. “We’ve got to get first downs. We need to change field position, get first downs and move down the field.”

The Lynx’s only win of the season came in Week 1 against a pass-heavy Sioux City North team. The A.L. defense will be tested in a similar way this week. Ames likes to throw the ball, and quarterback Cooper Downs has thrown for three touchdown, three interceptions and 723 yards.

“We think we match up well,” Wolfe said. “It’s a totally different animal than we’ve faced really since Week 1. They’re throwing the ball 40 times a game, so it’s a very different matchup than a Denison or Urbandale where they’re going to run the ball a lot more. It’s an interesting game for us defensively.”

A.L.’s offense could benefit from the versatility of quarterback Lennx Brown this week. He’s thrown for 333 yards and getting some balance established in the running game with Ben Fichter (228 yards) and Anthony Oberlin (226) will surely help.

Winterset at Lewis Central

Records (District): Winterset 3-2 (0-1), Lewis Central 5-0 (1-0)

Last Week: Winterset lost to Glenwood 35-28; Lewis Central defeated Creston 48-8

When: 7 p.m. Friday at Titan Stadium

Rankings: Winterset isn’t ranked; Lewis Central is No. 4 in Class 4-A

The Word: The first week in October has arrived, and Lewis Central will be celebrating its Senior Night with its final home game of the season.

Although it may seem a bit early for those celebrations, the Titans will need to shift focus back to football and lock in Friday night. Winterset marks the beginning of a four-game stretch for the Titans during which their final four opponents have a combined record of 14-6, and the last three matchups will take place on the road.

“The biggest things with our guys is we just have to take it week by week,” L.C. coach Justin Kammrad said. “(We can’t) look ahead, and I don’t think our guys really have. We really have been focusing on the process every week on getting better, attacking the game plan and getting ready for Friday nights. Our kids are pretty focused on that, which is good.”

The Titans’ defense is coming off another stellar performance, allowing just eight points against Creston, and Jake Lear, Jonah Pomrenke and Tevin Statzer each finished the game with five tackles.

They’ll be facing a Winterset squad led by quarterback Jaden Sweeney who’s thrown for 1,412 yards and 13 touchdowns.

“They’re a hard-nosed, physical football team,” Kammrad said. “That’s really the biggest thing. They’re going to compete. They’ve got some kids that are very talented and athletic. They’re competitors, and they get after it. I see that right away on film.”

St. Albert at Southwest Valley

Records (District): St. Albert 1-4 (0-1), Southwest Valley 3-2 (1-0)

Last Week: St. Albert lost to Earlham 38-3; Southwest Valley defeated Nodaway Valley 22-8

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Rankings: Neither team is ranked

The Word: St. Albert has lost two straight and has scored a combined 10 points in those losses.

Against Earlham, the rushing defense ran into some trouble, yielding more than 7 yards per carry (433 yards). And this week, the Falcons hit the road again for a district clash against Southwest Valley.

“We want to make sure we finish strong, keep our heads up and keep working hard,” St. Albert coach Pat Ryan said. “Work on fundamentals. Get better and improve for the rest of the season.”

If the strong finish is to commence this week, a better performance will be needed against another run-heavy offense. Southwest Valley quarterback Brendan Knapp is the team’s leading rusher through five weeks (572 yards) and has eight touchdowns.

On the other sideline, the St. Albert quarterback situation appears cloudy at the moment. Lance Wright left last week’s game banged up. If he can’t go, Ryan could turn to either junior Connor Cerny or sophomore Carter White. Getting back to basics may be the key to turning around the Falcons’ offense.

“It’s kind of a switch back to fundamentals,” Ryan said. “We kind of got away from that, and we want to make sure we work on becoming better football players the rest of the season.”

Des Moines North at Thomas Jefferson

Records (District): Des Moines North 0-5 (0-1), Thomas Jefferson 2-3 (0-1)

Last Week: Des Moines North lost to Ames 52-12; Thomas Jefferson lost to West Des Moines Valley 73-0

When: 7 p.m. Friday at Wickersham Stadium

Rankings: Neither team is ranked

The Word: Focus on what’s ahead, not on what happened in the past.

That message will serve the Yellow Jackets well this week. They’ve played two of the best teams in the state over the last two weeks, but T.J. coach Brant Anderson has preached to his squad there’s much opportunity remaining on the schedule.

Of the Jackets’ remaining four district games, three will be played at Wickersham Stadium, beginning with this week’s game against winless Des Moines North.

“We feel good about these games coming up here at the end,” Anderson said. “It’s a chance to end the season on a much higher note from a record standpoint than a lot people expected out of this team.”

Anderson said he may reference T.J.’s game against Denison-Schleswig from Week 3 to highlight the importance of maintaining one’s assignment on the defensive side of the ball.

“That kind of bit us a few times against Denison. We allowed them some big plays in their option game. We have to be more disciplined, playing assignment football and not allowing the energy of the game to get the best of us.”

Running back Tan Nguyen leads the North rushing contingent with 318 yards on 69 attempts. Four other players have at least 82 yards on the season.

T.J.’s Jermaine Green and JJ Johanns are averaging 4.5 and 9.1 yards per carry, respectively. Establishing a running game early and controlling the clock will go a long way in dictating Friday’s outcome.

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