7 Things to Watch in Week 7
Solon snaps the ball against Regina on Sept. 2. Jackie Blake Jensen/IC Pixx. By Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
The regular season is two thirds completed after last week and the final three weeks are when things get interested.
District titles and playoff spots are up for grabs in the final three weeks with the postseason opening on October 28.
Here are seven things to watch as week seven of the high school season kicks off.
No Fly Zone
West High has continued its success through the air this season averaging 177 passing yards per game.
The Trojans will face a tough test Friday against a Cedar Rapids Kennedy secondary that is allowing 96 passing yards per game.
Opponents are completing 45 percent of their passes against the Cougars this season and have four touchdown passes and five interceptions.
Kennedy held each of its first five opponents to less than 100 yards passing and didn’t allow a team to complete better than 50 percent of its passes until Linn-Mar senior quarterback Reese Phillips went 18-29 through the air in a 31-14 loss to the Cougars last week.
After nearly a month away from home 4A No. 5 City High returns to Bates Field for back-to-back District 7 games against Muscatine (4-2) and Bettendorf (4-2).
City High has played three straight road games and hasn’t played a game at home since a 30-27 overtime loss to Ames on Sept. 9.
The original schedule from the state had City High hosting the annual showdown with West High.
Since last year’s game was at City High arrangements were made for West High to host this season.
That change caused City High to go 27 days between home games. It didn’t affect City High as the Little Hawks went 3-0 in those road games.
Next Men In
Cooper Kabela became the third quarterback to start a game for West Branch (4-2) this season when he stepped in for injured senior Brandon Rummelhart in a 50-22 win over Durant last week.
Kabela will make his second career start this week against North Cedar (1-5) after completing 9-of-12 passes for 82 yards and two touchdowns in his first ever action at quarterback last week.
The move of Kabela fills a hole at the quarterback spot created by season-ending injuries to Rummelhart and sophomore Beau Cornwell.
It also creates a void at receiver for the Bears where the 6-foot-4 Kabela led the team with 23 receptions for 385 yards and four touchdowns.
Juniors Ben Thompson and Jacob Graves are in line to fill Kabela’s role as a pass catcher.
Graves caught two passes last week including a 10-yard touchdown grab and has caught eight passes for 104 yards and two scores on the year.
Thompson has caught nine passes for 103 yards and a score this season.
Keeping it Rolling
It’s been a wild few weeks for Clear Creek Amana.
The Clippers improved to 6-0 for the first time in program history with 30-14 upset of then fifth-ranked West Delaware last Friday and climbed to sixth in the Class 3A rankings this week.
This week the Clear Creek Amana will try to avoid a letdown when it travels to upstart Marion (4-2).
Clear Creek Amana is 2-0 on the road this season outscoring opponents 67-8 and can clinch a playoff spot with back-to-back road wins the next two weeks over Marion and Davenport Assumption.
Following the Plan
Solon coach Kevin Miller was adamant the plan this season was to get the ball to senior Jacob Coons.
The Spartans have been putting that plan into action the past few weeks.
Coons is coming off the two best receiving games of his career, catching seven passes for 165 yards and three touchdowns in the last two games combined.
The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Iowa recruit leads Solon with 16 catches for 273 yards and four touchdowns this season, all career-highs.
More than Soko
Any discussion on the Muscatine offense starts with Alphonso Soko and with good reason, the South Dakota commit is one of the most electric running backs in Iowa.
Soko isn’t the only weapon on the Muskie offense.
Senior receiver Drew Greenhaw is quietly turning in one of the best seasons in the state with 36 receptions for 537 yards and six touchdowns.
The 5-foot-11, 165-pound Greenhaw ranks second to West High senior Oliver Martin in both catches and yards this season and has caught a touchdown pass in five of six games this season.
Back in Business
Since returning from a broken hand that sidelined him for one game nothing has slowed Regina junior Jacob Vollstedt.
Vollstedt has rushed for 100 yards in three straight games since his return, rolling up 464 yards and six touchdowns.
Over the last three games Vollstedt is averaging 10.5 yards per carry and leads Regina with 563 rushing yards and seven touchdowns on the season.