Seven Points

(KMAland) -- The 14th week of the 2021-22 sports calendar year is here. I’ve got Seven Points.

Point 1: A perfect 3-0 for KMAland teams in championships

One by one they went out, and one by one they came out with championships. CAM beat Easton Valley in a 42-40 thriller, Lewis Central played the game of the year with Xavier in a triple overtime game that finished with a goal-line stand and Harlan did what Harlan does in leaning on their terrific athletes and stalwart offensive and defensive line to claim a 13th championship. I’ve got plenty more to say on all of them.

Point 2: CAM Cougars

Sometimes football can be a test of patience. Can you be patient enough to stick to your stuff even when things aren’t looking so great? CAM’s patience paid off, even if the championship game was a little scary early on.

The Cougars trailed Fremont-Mills at half in a state second round game. They were tied with Audubon at halftime of the state semifinal. And they were down early against an explosive Easton Valley team. If you panic, you might just lose yourself the game. CAM was patient. They stuck to their stuff, made a few minor tweaks and adjustments and found a way to win every single time.

You might think it’s easy to be patient when you have the likes of Lane Spieker and Cade Ticknor and that overwhelming offensive line. But it’s another thing to do it when the pressure is at its highest against a team that was seemingly moving the ball at will. They did it. They’re champions.

Point 3: Lewis Central Titans

What a game. Heading into the state semifinals I put the over/under for championships from KMAland teams at 2.5. Lewis Central, in my opinion, was the difference in that half. Could they take down a Xavier team that has some history of winning state championships? I felt very good about the over after one quarter of that 4A championship.

There were some times when that feeling waned a bit, like just for a moment as Lane Feirfeil tracked down a high snap, but they found a way to get it done in the end. For me, as a viewer and a person that was cheering for Lewis Central to win from my recliner, I felt a big sense of excitement and….relief. The better team won the football game, and when you get into an overtime game it’s one that can go either way. The better team won the game. The best team won the championship.

Point 4: Harlan Cyclones

Want to know how many teams that won state championships last week also beat a state champion this year? It’s one, and it’s this one. I think it’s time to start a serious conversation about this Harlan team. Like, where does it rank among the greatest Harlan teams in school history? Well, you’ve got to check the other 12 that won state championships, and then you’ve got to check on those that finished undefeated (like this team). Here they are:

2009: 14-0

2005: 13-0

2004: 13-0

2003: 13-0

1995: 13-0

1983: 12-0

1982: 12-0

1972: 11-0

So, this is the ninth Harlan team in history to go undefeated and win a state championship. Here are the rankings for margin of victory (while also understanding not all things are equal):

2021: 38.00

2004: 34.31

2009: 34.21

1983: 33.83

2003: 31.62

1982: 29.67

2005: 28.08

1972: 20.55

1995: 18.77 (they beat Denison-Schleswig 2-0 in the greatest high school game I’ve ever seen & then beat them again in a 10-7 overtime game where I still swear the field goal was wide)

I don’t know how to go into ranking these teams, but I can say this: The 2021 Harlan football state champion is the most dominant football team in school history.

Point 5: Tips of the cap

That dang Wisconsin EZ: Tip of the cap to you, Wisconsin end zone. That’s the second time in the last whatever amount of years where officials just ignore pass interference near you. Thanks for ruining my day, again.

The Chiefs defense: Hey, big shout out and tip of the cap to you folks. You held the No. 1 offense in the NFL down to zero touchdowns and nine points. I am amazed not a single pass interference or hold was called all day, especially when you consider there were several that appeared obvious. Nonetheless, you earned it, Chiefs D.

Isaiah Stewart’s sticktoitiveness: That’s a word. I promise. The Detroit Pistons young’un just would not give up in his pursuit of LeBron James after LBJ gave him a little closed fist shot to the eye. Accident or not, you don’t like to get hit in the eye, and it stinks even worse when you feel blood streaming down your face. Scary moment, for sure, but you have to take your cap off to Stewart for trying as hard as he possibly could to get at LeBron.

The Martin boys: I have to take my cap off for two of my sons in winning their wrestling tournaments this weekend with a combined six pins. Turner won the Cobra Early Bird at Abraham Lincoln High School while Hudson handled business at the Missouri Valley beginner’s tournament. A little extra tip to Hudson for his first-ever tournament win.

A favored 3-8 team: Tip of the cap to the favored 3-8 team against the underdog 9-2 team for this Black Friday. No matter what side you are on, you have to admit it’s pretty impressive how much Vegas thinks of a 3-8 team and how little they do of a 9-2. We know what the result will be, but this has to be a truly unprecedented moment in history.

Point 6: Coverage this week

Here’s what the sports calendar looks like this week:

Monday, November 22nd 

FM: Iowa State Cyclone Coaches Show, 6:30 PM

Wednesday, November 24th 

FM: Men's College Basketball (NIT Preseason Tip-Off at Brooklyn) -- Iowa State vs. Xavier, 5:00 PM pre-game, 6:00 tip

Friday, November 26th

Iowa State basketball plays their final game at the NIT Preseason Tip-Off in Brooklyn. Find the complete recap at the KMA Local Sports News Page.

FM: Big 12 Conference College Football -- TCU at Iowa State, 1:30 PM pre-game, 3:30 kickoff

So, no high school stuff on the air, but we will be continually throwing football awards at you throughout the week. Here’s how it will line up:

Tuesday: KMAland Offensive Players of the Year

Wednesday: KMAland Defensive Players of the Year + KMAland Missouri Player of the Year

Thursday: KMAland Linemen of the Year + KMAland Nebraska Player of the Year

Friday: KMAland Coach of the Year

Saturday: KMA Sports State Football Players of the Year

Extra Point: One quote

Success is not final; failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts. –Winston Churchill

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

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