Seven Points

(KMAland) -- It’s a new day, it’s a new dawn, it’s a new Seven Points.

Point 1: The Friday Night Rehash

13 Reasons Why Week 7 was a fun time…

1 – Mount Ayr found their offense in a big way on Friday night, throwing for 252 yards and three touchdowns and scoring 35 points in a win over Clarinda. Quarterback Payton Weehler’s favorite target? That was senior Dawson Frost, who had six catches for 180 yards and a touchdown. Kolben Klommhaus also had a pair of touchdowns grabs in a big win for the Raiders, which will play undefeated Van Meter this week.

2 – Fremont-Mills scored the final 34 points of a 58-21 win over East Mills, and they leaned heavily on their DUDE. That dude is Seth Malcom. The Division I recruit rushed 35 times for 458 yards and eight touchdowns. He also joined Daniel Vanatta in snagging an interception. Of course, Vanatta – a senior – had THREE interceptions.

3 – The collision course continued for Audubon and CAM on Friday night. Audubon took care of West Harrison 55-14 while CAM rolled over Boyer Valley by a 68-14 count. The Cougars have Coon Rapids-Bayard this week, and they won’t be looking past the Crusaders. However, a Week 9 tilt between a potential undefeated CAM and Audubon (in district play) beckons.

4 – Lamoni picked up their fourth straight dominant win in District 6 action. We really get to find out about the Demons the next two weeks when they travel to Lenox and host Southeast Warren. When you have Patrick Savage (115 passing, 105 rushing, 6 total TD on Friday) on your side, you have a shot nearly every time out.

5 – Another HUGE win for Tri-Center on Friday, as they hit the road to take down a streaking Lawton-Bronson team. They nabbed a pair of interceptions and played terrific defense on their way to the 35-12 win. Bryson Freeberg threw for another 173 yards, and Trevor Carlson rushed for 117. The Trojans finish with two home games and will likely be favored to end 6-3.

6 – Another streaking team in Class A is Central Decatur, which beat Martensdale-St. Marys 44-14 to move to 3-0 in District 8. The Cardinals opened 1-4, but they’ve scored 50, 44 and 44 in their last three contests. The culprit? The run game. Or more specifically, Cole Pedersen in the run game. He didn’t play in their first game of this stretch, but he’s rushed for 576 yards and scored eight touchdowns in the last two.

7 – Yet another streaking team in Class A: IKM-Manning. The Wolves picked up a huge win over Alta/Aurelia on Friday – their fourth straight win after starting 0-3. They kept feeding Kyler Rasmussen, who had 37 carries for 168 yards and a couple touchdowns. In fact, they didn’t complete a single pass. You don’t need to if you can just push it down the other team’s throat. The Wolves will look to lock up the district this week with a trip to Sioux Central.

8 – Underwood got the bounce back they needed in taking a 20-0 win over East Sac County. Brayden Wollan had a big night on offense (6 receptions for 147 yards and two touchdowns), but the defense held strong in finishing a shutout. East Sac had just 138 yards on the ground, averaging just 3.2 yards per carry.

9 – What an impressive job by Coach Cory Faust and the rest of his Glenwood staff in getting his team up and ready for ADM on Friday. I thought this might be a little bit hairy, considering Lewis Central awaited in Week 8, they were just coming off an emotional win over Harlan AND Adel is no short trip. Instead, they started out on fire on their way to a 54-18 win. Quarterback Zach Carr threw for 227 yards and four touchdowns, including 155 and three to John Palmer, who also had a 95-yard kickoff return for a score. Impressive stuff.

10 – Speaking of impressive, Harlan never trailed in a 14-6 win over Lewis Central. Since the Titans returned to 3A (last year), they had rarely been tested. The Cyclones went right down the field and scored an early touchdown, and they put together a strong all-around performance to take an upset of the Titans. Now, things get pretty interesting in 3A-9. The win could very well mean the district gets three teams into the playoffs.

11 – East Atchison moved to 7-0 with a dominant 62-0 win over Stewartsville. Pattonsburg also moved to 7-0 with an 82-50 win over Worth County. These have, undoubtedly, been the best two teams in the state all season. Nothing is assured, but if they were to meet in the 8-man playoffs, there would certainly be a ton of points scored.

12 – They nearly lost all of their early lead, but Plattsmouth was able to come away from Ralston with a 23-19 win. The Blue Devils didn’t complete a single pass, but they kept feeding the ball to Connor Pohlmeier, who put 206 yards and two touchdowns on the board. Big win, too, for Coach Bob Dzuris’ team, as they move closer to a playoff position.

13 – Nebraska City picked up their fourth win of the season on Friday, cruising to a 42-15 win over Falls City. The Pioneers got another big game from their senior quarterback Jordan Williams. Williams had 263 yards passing, 60 yards rushing and five total offensive touchdowns. Up next? Undefeated Ashland-Greenwood.

Point 2: The weekend of champions

The champs are here…

-Glenwood volleyball – led by our KMAland Athlete of the week Elle Scarborough – went a perfect 6-0 in Indianola to win the tournament and set a new standard for wins in a season. The Rams now have a cool 25 victories after a big week of EIGHT wins.

-Kuemper volleyball – The Knights won one of the toughest tournaments they play in all year. The Hampton-Dumont Tournament is a good one for teams to get ready for the postseason tournament that is ahead. Kuemper beat St. Edmond, Independence and the hosts in pool play before taking down Grand View Christian, Iowa Falls-Alden and 1A power Janesville in the championship. This was a huge bounce back from a disconnected performance against Lewis Central on Tuesday.

-Underwood volleyball – The Eagles rolled to a win at the CAM Tournament, finishing 10-0 in sets with sweeps of Ar-We-Va, Paton-Churdan and ACGC in pool play and then CAM in the semifinals and ACGC again in the championship. Macy Vanfossan was their representative on the All-Tournament Team.

-Wayne volleyball – Big ups to the Wayne volleyball program in winning their home tournament on Saturday. The Falcons went 3-1, and they tied for the best record of the day. However, they beat the right team and grabbed a head-to-head tiebreak win over Melcher-Dallas. Also, shout out to Essex, which went 2-2 at the tournament. The Trojanettes had zero wins coming into the week, but they left with four. That’s the sign of an improving team.

-Joshua Baudler – Baudler – the top-ranked runner in Class 1A – beat a very strong field in Atlantic, posting a winning time of 17:21.16. In the team race, Ankeny Centennial had a JV team on hand that ran to a win. Ankeny was second, TJ was third and then came Baudler’s Wolverines. Pretty strong showing against a host of large schools.

-Peyton Pogge – She still hasn’t lost. The Tri-Center junior was the only runner from Tri-Center at the meet on Saturday, and she trudged through the mud and the muck to win another championship. In a field filled with talent, Pogge won by nearly 31 seconds. She never ceases to amaze.

-Harlan girls XC – Another win for the Cyclones. Coach Doug Renkly’s team had four scorers in the top 11 and five in the top 21 on their way to 46 points and a dominant win. The rest of that top five: Ankeny Centennial JV, Heelan, ACGC and Ankeny. A really impressive performance for a team that has some major goals this year.

Point 3: Breaking down the volleyball regions

Hey, they’re nearly a week old, but it’s better late than never. Here’s a quick breakdown of the local volleyball regions:

1A Region 2: No. 2 ranked St. Albert is the favorite, and they will receive a bye with matchups after against Heartland Christian/Woodbine, West Harrison/Boyer Valley/Ar-We-Va and whomever emerges from the bottom of a pretty salty bracket that includes state-ranked Glidden-Ralston and previously-ranked teams Coon Rapids-Bayard and Riverside.

1A Region 3: Top-ranked Sidney is the featured team in this bracket, and they will eventually meet Bedford or Essex and the Lenox/Diagonal/Lamoni/Central Decatur winner. The bottom side of the bracket has No. 9 East Mills opening with a 2018 regional final rematch with Fremont-Mills. That’s….tough. East Union, Southwest Valley, Stanton and Griswold are also on the bottom side. Whomever emerges to face Sidney (at Tabor on November 5th) will be battle-tested.

1A Region 4: I held out some hope that East Mills might be shipped off to the North Tama region, but that did not happen. This is where No. 4 North Tama lives. Pride of Iowa’s Southeast Warren and Martensdale-St. Marys are on the bottom of the bracket and joined by the Bluegrass Conference’s Ankeny Christian and Twin Cedars in this region. Grand View Christian or BCLUW are the potential favorites – along with Southeast Warren – to advance to a final with North Tama.

2A Region 3: Logan-Magnolia found their way into the state rankings at No. 15 last week. They are one of three teams ranked in the region along with top-of-the-bracket favorite Clarion-Goldfield-Dows at No. 7. The Panthers would likely need to beat two ranked teams to get to state. No. 13 East Sac County is a potential Halloween opponent in a regional semifinal, but Lo-Ma would first have to beat either a really solid West Monona team or Harrison County rival Missouri Valley. South Central Calhoun is also on the top of the bracket and could be a pitfall for CGD. This has to be one of the strongest, deepest regions in 2A.

2A Region 4: No. 12 Underwood receives a bye and awaits the winner of a strong first round matchup between WIC co-champion Tri-Center and AHSTW. The other co-champion and top seed in the WIC tournament Treynor somehow got shipped out to Guthrie Center where they will have to deal with one of the state’s top hitters in Chloe Largent. No. 6 Grundy Center leads the top of the bracket. There are eight winning teams in this 10-team bracket. Also a really deep region.

2A Region 5: Mount Ayr and Nodaway Valley are matched up in a regional quarterfinal among a bunch of teams out of our coverage area. No. 8 Van Buren is on the top of the bracket and would be the favorite to get to the regional final. The Nod Valley/Mount Ayr winner actually would also be favored to get there, too, at least when you consider the records of Earlham, West Central Valley and Panorama.

3A Region 2: The defending champ and No. 7 Kuemper Catholic is joined by No. 14 Humboldt in this grouping. They will have a tough regional semifinal with 25-win OABCIG while Humboldt probably has the weaker of the two sides of the bracket. But that’s relative.

3A Region 3: It was awesome to see No. 8 Red Oak and Kuemper split from one another. The Tigers, of course, are not going to have an easy road to Cedar Rapids, though, with No. 10 Des Moines Christian on the bottom of the bracket. Atlantic and the Clarinda/Shenandoah winner are the road to a regional final. Creston would be the toughest road block for Des Moines Christian.

4A Region 1: No. 1 Sergeant Bluff-Luton lost this weekend to Western Christian, but they won’t see a Western Christian in this bracket, which is no disrespect to Le Mars, Storm Lake, Denison-Schleswig, Spencer or Carroll. Carroll is the only team with a winning record among those and is a likely regional finalist with the Warriors.

4A Region 2: No. 6 Lewis Central and unranked Glenwood are the two with byes here. First – as an aside – why did the Rams drop out of the rankings? They lost to St. Albert in five sets and dropped right on out. Weird. They’ll be back in this week, methinks. Anyway, LC has Harlan or ADM and Glenwood gets either Norwalk or Winterset – both winning teams – in a respective semifinal.

5A Region 1: Well, it’s happening. No. 8 Abraham Lincoln is the host team in the region, and it’s likely the defending state champion and four-time state champion Ankeny Centennial will be making a visit to Council Bluffs. They’ll first have to dispose of a five-win Fort Dodge club, and AL must beat 22-win Sioux City East or 14-win Sioux City North. But…Centennial to CB is something I didn’t think I would ever see.

5A Region 2: Thomas Jefferson will open with Sioux City West, and if the Yellow Jackets – who will be favored – can get past the Wolverines they will then take a shot at No. 3 ranked WDM Valley. No. 15 Waterloo West and unranked Johnston sit on the bottom half of the bracket.

I’ll predict seven teams from the Hawkeye Ten, Corner, Western Iowa, Pride of Iowa, Rolling Valley, Missouri River and Bluegrass group get to state.

Point 4: The Big Ten needs to shift its priorities

There is a legitimate case to be made that the Big Ten Conference has two of the top four teams in the country. You’ve seen this with the SEC before, and you’ve seen all the things they did and continue to do to make sure they get two teams in the College Football Playoff. Meanwhile…

The Big Ten Conference is more hyped about buckets and axes and pigs and trying to go to the hallowed Rose Bowl than they are about winning national championships. And it shows. Since the turn of the century, the SEC can claim 10 national championships from four different schools. The Big Ten? They have two – from the same team.

The Big Ten is the richest conference in America, and Jim Delaney deserves some kudos for that. But the league needs to change its priorities. The SEC has eight conference games, they don’t care about “dynamic” regular season matchups and their sole goal is to get as many teams in the CFP as they can.

The Big Ten? They play nine conference games, they want to match up the best teams against one another in the regular season and they tout “sweet” rivalry trophies more than the big crystal ball. Wisconsin and Ohio State play one another in the regular season, and they’ll likely meet in the Big Ten championship. They will eat one another up, and it’s possible NEITHER could end up in the CFP. It’s because the Big Ten doesn’t prioritize natties, and the result is playing out right along with their priorities.

Point 5: Speaking of priorities…

My Saturday team (Nebraska) and my Sunday team (Dallas) are playing some pretty bad football lately.

The Huskers have not taken the year-two step that many had hoped they would under Scott Frost. A lot of people want to fire assistant coaches or blame the strength and conditioning. Maybe they’re right. Maybe there are some changes that need to be made, but I doubt they are going to happen. And I don’t think constantly changing assistant coaches is going to help anything.

What I do think: Despite Coach Frost’s loud proclamations before the season last year, he has slowed his rebuild plan. They are redshirting freshmen that could probably contribute just as much (or more) than some of the veterans that are getting tick. He has a seven year contract, and he doesn’t want to rush it. That’s pretty frustrating to a lot of Husker fans that want to see Rome built in a day. Even I expected this team to look better, to be more disciplined and to not get smashed by Minnesota. But here we are, and we really have no choice but to wait it out.

I don’t have anything nice to say about the Cowboys right now, so I just won’t say anything at all. I guess I could say that it’s difficult to play well without your two tackles, your top receiver, your slot receiver and others. But that would just be an excuse, and you know what excuses are like.

Point 6: Iowa State is doing that October thing

Matt Campbell loves October. The Cyclones love October. West Virginia did not like how much they like October on Saturday. There were some disjointed things early on, but the second half belonged to ISU again. There’s a lot to be proud of in Ames right now.

Extra Point: Trevor Maeder is joining KMA Sports full time

Hey, I’m pretty excited to let you all know that Trevor Maeder will be joining KMA Radio (and KMA Sports) full-time. Some of you probably thought he was already a full-time guy here. However, he was actually just a dude that has a passion for radio and sports media while also holding down full-time student status.

Trevor’s job description is varied, but he will definitely be more involved in the day-to-day sports here at KMA. I have more or less been holding down the day to day in the sports department for nearly two years now (that’s despite having a “second sports guy” for about six months during that period). You may have noticed fewer blogs during that time. Frankly, I just don’t have time for it any longer. I have had to prioritize things I find more important, including daily sports features, interviews, etc.

With the addition of Trevor, I’m hoping that will allow me to do some of the extra things I did before (and some of the things some of you have been asking for). I’m excited for this, but I’m even more excited that for the first time there will be another sports guy here at KMA that can match or even exceed my passion for covering KMAland athletics. It’s going to be a beautiful marriage. He starts in December.

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