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Iowa high school football rewind: Central City back to winning
Wildcats are 4-0 after a 44-20 win Friday night over Midland
CEDAR RAPIDS — The barriers of youth have been plowed through. This Central City football team is winning because of it.
The Wildcats moved to 4-0 with a 44-20 win Friday night at Midland. It’s actually a seven-game win streak since they won their final three games last season.
“We’ve been really young the last two years,” Coach Matt Miers said. “Our sophomore and junior classes, growing up they literally didn’t lose a football game. The last couple of years, they were freshmen and sophomores, and it just took them a couple of years to kind of mature.”
Mature, they have.
Each of Central City’s wins has come by 23 points or more. Each of Central City’s wins turned around a result from last season, by a lot.
It lost a year ago to Lone Tree, 38-8. It beat Lone Tree this season, 44-21.
It lost last season to Lansing Kee, 64-8, but won this year’s game, 48-0. It lost last season to Edgewood-Colesburg, 54-6, but beat the Vikings a couple of weeks ago, 38-12.
It lost last season to Midland, 52-30.
“We have depth,” said Miers, in his eighth season. “We’ve had four classes in a row that have won a lot of football games growing up. So we’re rotating guys on defense. Our front five, six guys are rotating each series. It’s been a huge blessing.
“We have one group, they’re able to go all out, and then the next group is in.”
Central City has 31 kids on its roster, with Miers saying he is able to split varsity and junior varsity teams. The varsity practices against each other, so does the JV.
The coach said he really likes the way his defense has played, mentioning senior Mekhi Benton as its leader. Benton has nine sacks and 12 tackles for loss in four games.
Offensively, junior quarterback Jayden Hanson has thrown eight touchdowns, to only one interception. Junior Aiden Klostermann has seven rushing TDs and two receiving.
Six different players have rushing touchdowns this season, four different guys have receiving scores. Senior Brayden Rickels had 10 TD receptions last season but hasn’t played this season because of injury.
He’ll be back this week against sixth-ranked Easton Valley. It’ll be a huge test to see just how good is Central City.
“State runners-up last year, probably even better the year before. So this is definitely going to be a measuring stick,” Miers said. “Our guys, like I said, before their sophomore years, they basically didn’t lose a game in youth and middle school. So now it’s like ‘All right, let’s see how good you really are.’ The good thing is even if it doesn’t go our way, we’re still in really good shape for the playoffs.”
Central City went 8-2 and was in the 8-Player playoffs in 2018. Miers said this team compares because of its winning capabilities, though they are two different clubs.
“Absolutely, by far, this is the best team we’ve had since then,” he said. “They’re two separate teams. I’ve had people kind of ask me to compare them. That team in 2018 was very explosive. Whereas with this team, our defense has been lights out. It’d be interesting if they could somehow go back and play how that game would turn out.”
This and that
— East Buchanan rushed for 428 yards in its 34-27 win Friday night over Class A seventh-ranked Alburnett. The Bucs threw one pass, a 25-yard completion from quarterback Trystin Russell to Hunter Bowers. Bowers (121 yards) was joined by Ryland Cornell (161) and Tanner Thurn (143) as 100-yard rushers in the game for EB (3-1).
— Andy Henson tied a school record with six rushing touchdowns in West Branch’s 86-0 win over Louisa-Muscatine. Henson finished with 167 yards on nine carries.
— Corbyn Palmer rushed for 109 yards and four touchdowns as Waukon knocked off Class 2A seventh-ranked North Fayette Valley, 45-23. The Indians (1-3) ran out to a 31-7 halftime lead on NFV (3-1).
— West Des Moines Dowling got four rushing touchdowns, two from C.J. Phillip and limited Iowa City High to 260 yards in a 34-0 win. Dowling is ranked third in Class 5A, City High sixth.
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