By Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – Cory Siders always envisioned making an impact by catching the football.
Siders finally got his hands on the ball enough to produce the breakthrough game he’d been waiting for on Friday but the way he made his biggest impression was slightly different than how he imagined.
A three-year varsity letter winner at wide receiver, Siders intercepted three passes in just his second career start at corner back as Clear Creek Amana shutout Independence 26-0.
“I had never played varsity defensive back before this year, last year I was basically all wide receiver,” Siders explained. “I was kind of expected to learn a new position because going into your senior year you are expected to do more than anyone else and I just tried to learn everything that I could. I guess it just came to me.”
After three seasons playing primarily receiver, defensive back has come naturally for Siders.
On Friday the football kept coming to Siders and the 6-0, 195-pound senior kept making plays.
Siders returned one of his three interceptions 66-yards for a touchdown to give Clear Creek Amana a 19-0 fourth-quarter lead.
“We ran a different type of coverage so as the corner I was pressed down on the flats,” Siders said of the interception return for a touchdown. “I saw that third guy bubble and all I did was stay back a little bit and right when I saw the quarterback flip his hips I went right for the ball and it came right to me.”
After dedicating three seasons to playing wide receiver Siders has used that offensive knowledge to aid in his transition to defense.
It showed on Friday as he broke on passes three times to end Independence drives with interceptions.
“That helps me a lot because I know how to read the receiver and I can kind of guess when he is going to break down and where the quarterback is going,” Siders said. “The biggest thing is just watching the quarterback.”
The career game for Siders wasn’t limited to his strong day on defense, he also had the best game of his career at receiver.
Siders entered the game with 13 career receptions after catching a team-high 10 passes for 123 yards a year ago.
He nearly equaled those numbers on Friday making a career-high seven receptions for 50 yards.
“Not only did he do a great job on defense with the pick-six and the other interceptions but he made a couple of one-handed catches on offense that were unbelievable too,” Clear Creek Amana coach Matt Hughes said. “That really brings a lot of confidence to our quarterback when he just has to get it close and Cory can get up there and snatch it.”
Two games into his senior season Siders has proved to be weapon on both sides of the ball.
Siders has now caught eight passes for 59 yards and a touchdown on the season.
“He’s always had those abilities we just haven’t been able to get him the ball as much as we’d like,” Hughes said. “He’s begged for the ball every year for three years and this year we are getting him the ball in space.”