Seven Points

(KMAland) -- Welcome to Week 7 of the 2019-20 sports season. Let’s get on with Seven Points.

Point 1: The Friday Night Rehash

It was Moving Week – or as Ryan Matheny said on Friday night “Movement Week.” Gosh, that dude can’t get anything right! Anyway, here’s 13 Reasons Why Friday was outstanding.

1 – Beating a rival is fun. Beating a rival by 42 is…more fun. Shenandoah downed Red Oak 42-0 on Friday, and when they look back on this season I’m sure it’s going to be a game they will remember quite fondly. Kyle Cerven had a 100-100 game (125 passing, 100 rushing) and three touchdowns, Morgan Cotten went for 109 yards on the ground and Conner Birt also rushed for a couple scores. Plus, the defense. You know shutouts are good. Birt and AJ Herold had two solo TFLs each, and Riley Backus and Anthony Stogdill each had interceptions. A good night all the way around.

2 – ACGC and Clarinda was a classic grind-em-out battle. And Gavin Cornelison knows all about the grind. He had 31 carries for 175 yards and a touchdown to lead the Chargers in a 14-7 win. This game was not for the weak, as it pitted two former Northwest Missouri State stars on each sideline – Cody Matthewson for ACGC and Collin Bevins for Clarinda.

3 – Seth Malcom. And Jake Malcom. And Fremont-Mills. The Knights needed to outscore Bedford on Friday night without their starting quarterback – Colton Hauschild - for most of the game. So, they did. The younger Malcom (Jake) entered at quarterback and just kept feeding older brother (Seth), who rushed for 336 yards and six touchdowns.

4 – East Mills won their sixth straight to set up a showdown with Fremont-Mills for the district championship this Friday in Tabor. Michael Schafer had 141 passing, 95 rushing and four total touchdowns to lead the charge, but the special teams came up huge with a pair of kickoff returns for scores – one by Nic Duysen and one by Davis McGrew.

5 – How many touchdowns would you consider a lot? I’m guessing Keygan Day of Stanton-Essex had more than the number you’re thinking. The Vikings senior threw 10 touchdowns – the second-most in a single game in the history of Class 8-man football in Iowa. He found Colton Thornburg for scores three times and Caden Henderson and Easton Hultman twice each. Also, there was Jack and Logan Roberts once and Colby Royal once. There was plenty to go around on this night.

6 – Audubon left no doubt that they are the KMAland No. 1 team in 8-man. Or did CAM? I personally moved the Cougars to my top spot. While the Wheelers were really, really impressive with their 37-12 takedown of Coon Rapids-Bayard, I found it just a smidge more impressive what CAM did AT Woodbine. They held the Tigers to just 12 points – or 53 points fewer than they were averaging in the previous five games.

7 – Southeast Warren made a big, big statement on Friday night. That statement: District 6 still runs through us. The Warhawks took a couple early-season losses that maybe moved them off some people’s radar. Turns out that wasn’t a smart idea. Losses to Montezuma and Iowa Valley now don’t look so bad, and Southeast Warren is on their way to another district championship.

8 – Shout out to Riverside football for continuing to play hard, despite a tough 0-5 start. On Friday night, the Bulldogs played inspired football in a 24-6 win over Nodaway Valley. Mason Bivens went for 161 yards on 25 carries, and Austin Kremkoski had 114 yards on 19 totes. The defense bent a little, but they never broke in giving up just the six points. It’s not easy to play inspired and passionate football when you’ve tried it for five weeks and have not seen a payoff with a W. But they continue to do it. That’s culture. That’s a building block. And it will only make Riverside better in the future.

9 – There are some other teams out there that have lost more than they won this season, but I think they need to be mentioned. St. Albert and Logan-Magnolia are a combined 3-9, but they are much better teams than their record shows. Both have played top five schedules – St. Albert has played the toughest schedule and Lo-Ma the fifth-toughest in Class A. And for Lo-Ma, they’re 10 points away from back-to-back wins over two 5-1 teams (Westwood and Lawton-Bronson).

10 – Treynor and Underwood lived up to the hype, huh? It sure looks to me like they are both playoff teams, and the BCMoore Rankings agree, ranking Treynor No. 8 and Underwood No. 9. It’s that close. The difference on Friday was simply how the teams finished each half. In the first, it was a Hail* Mary* from Jake Fisher to Jack Stogdill. In the second, it was a touchdown run by Fisher with under a minute to play. What a game.

*Should these be capitalized? I need an editor.

11 – It wasn’t long ago that the Glenwood offense was on the struggle bus. They didn’t score a touchdown in their loss to Dallas Center-Grimes in Week 4, and they got off to a slow start in Week 5 against Winterset. And now….well, they’re trending towards the playoffs after a big 28-21 win over Harlan this past Friday. Zach Carr continues to sparkle with 317 yards passing and three touchdowns, including two to Ryan Blum and one to John Palmer, who also had 128 yards receiving on the night.

12 – East Atchison was impressive in their first five weeks, but I think the state needed to see them go out and beat an elite program before they truly believed. Well, enter Mound City. And enter a wild, wild game that went back and forth and back and forth to the point where it wasn’t over until Jake McEnaney was able to score his sixth touchdown of the game in a 58-50 victory. Huge win.

13 – Nebraska City’s Jordan Williams has been a godsend for the Pioneers offense. The senior signal-caller, who transferred back to the school from Kearney, had his third straight passing game of at least 200 yards and his best rushing game (105 yards) of the season in a key 37-22 win over Auburn. A big one with Falls City is next.

Point 2: AL and Red Oak keep winning, regional brackets are coming

Abraham Lincoln and Red Oak both won tournaments again on Saturday with the Lynx winning at TJ and the Tigers winning at Tri-Center. But that’s just sort of routine for those two teams at this point. Those two squads and the rest of the state will learn their regional fate this week when the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union release the pairings. Things to look for:

Class 1A: There’s a lot to look for considering how stacked 1A volleyball is in the area this year. Sidney is No. 1, St. Albert is No. 2 and East Mills, Coon Rapids-Bayard, Southwest Valley, Lamoni, Fremont-Mills, Stanton and maybe some others have been ranked at one point or another through the year. Who will go where? How will they split it? Will East Mills get a region away from those top two teams? It’s not likely, but it’s possible they get thrown into a Gehlen Catholic or North Tama region.

Class 2A: What will Underwood’s region look like? And for that matter, what will Logan-Magnolia’s region look like? Or what about Tri-Center? The Panthers just upset the Eagles in four sets at the Underwood crib last week. That was the 11th win in 12 matches for Coach Faith Bruck’s team. The loss? Well, that was to Tri-Center in four sets two days earlier. All three are state-level teams when they’re at their best. Can they find that consistent elite-level play in time for a regional run?

Class 3A: Red Oak is grossly underrated at No. 9. They started way too low, and they’ve been docked all season for quality losses to Waverly-Shell Rock, Kuemper, Abraham Lincoln (twice) and WDM Valley. And only twice did they not have a race-to-15. I’ll be disappointed if Red Oak and Kuemper are in the same region….again.

Class 4A: Lewis Central and Glenwood are pretty well assured of landing in the same region, I would think. The Titans are ranked No. 7 and Glenwood is No. 13. For the rest, that’s anybody’s guess.

Class 5A: AL is ranked No. 8, and Jeff Linder from the Cedar Rapids Gazette had them locked in a region with No. 9 Ankeny Centennial in his mock brackets. That would be crazy in my mind, but if it happens then Centennial should have to travel to Council Bluffs.

My guess is the pairings are out sometime tomorrow.

Point 3: Dear Mommy Nature, will you let them run this week?

What a rough week for cross country runners, who had most of their meets called due to weather. I guess maybe everybody could have moved their meets up to Monday and got them in, but the heavy rain that came on Tuesday and Wednesday ruined the entire week. Let’s not do that again, Mommy Naitch.

Point 4: A win is a win is a win

The Nebraska fan base doesn’t just want to win. They’ve long wanted to win with style points. I’m here to tell you that it’s time to move on from that thought – at least for now. First of all, this is a program that went through a recent stretch where they won ONE time in 13 games. ONE TIME. So, any win should be greeted with smiles, hugs and maybe even some tears.

Second of all, Saturday’s 13-10 victory over Northwestern is what one might call a “Big Ten win.” The kind of games that aren’t so appetizing to the eyes and that are an absolute grind. If you follow Big Ten football, you know the kind. If you’re going to have success in the Big Ten, you need a few of these. This past Saturday, to me, was the first one for a Coach Frost-led program. (Some might point out the 9-6 win over Michigan State, but that was in a snow storm so there were extenuating circumstances.)

Anyway, there should be no poo-pooing of Saturday’s win. Are there some problems that need to be rectified? Sure. But we don’t need a referendum on the program, the coaching staff and so on every single time a game is played. Especially when that game ends in a W.

Point 5: This is how not to think of a big game

My good friend “Hawkize” tweeted this before the Iowa/Michigan game on Saturday: “Iowa’s playing with house money today. Lose? Whatever. Win? The ceiling is the roof.”

Now, Hawkize does not speak for the entire Hawkeye fan base, but he got a good 36 likes and even 2 retweets. I personally find this to be a completely silly way to treat a big game. I’m not saying that Iowa fans should call for the heads of every single coach on staff after a loss, but to just say “whatever” after a loss is so wrong to me.

You’ve heard of the saying, “Fake it ‘til you make it,’ right?” Well, Iowa doesn’t even need to fake it. They’ve been a Big Ten contender for years, and they’ve sometimes even been a win or two away from even bigger things. Why not reach for those bigger things? Why not expect them? Why not have some expectations for a game against a team with an inept offense and a defense that got RUN THROUGH by Wisconsin?

Instead, it’s “whatever” with a loss? C’mon man. I still like Hawkize, though.

Point 6: NFL officials are bad

Seriously, they are completely mystifying. I’ve written about this before, so I don’t think I need to go over everything. However, it is seriously, seriously, seriously bad. A lot of it has to do with the over-regulation from the league office. There is so much junk swimming through officials’ heads that it’s almost impossible to officiate proficiently.

If you want to see the worst officiated game in NFL history, though, I would go ahead and snag a video of that Packers/Cowboys game yesterday. I’m thinking every single one of those officials might not get assigned for a playoff game this year.

Extra Point: Let’s have one heck of a week

I would really appreciate it if you all would join me in having one heck of a week. I’ll have many more thoughts, analysis and interviews throughout the week on Upon Further Review. Feel free to join me from 11 AM to Noon each day on KMA 960 and KMA-FM 99.1. As always, podcasts available here.

Send any questions, comments or concerns to dmartin@kmaland.com.